Crafting Effective Developer Job Descriptions

Andy Charters
.
August 18, 2023
IT Outsourcing

Every employer knows the hassle of hiring a new team member. The hardest part of the whole process is sending out job descriptions and then waiting with your fingers crossed to see who will respond.

Are you tired of leaving things to chance and hoping the right people apply? Do you want to know how to craft a highly effective job description that will attract the best developers? You’re in the right place.

Here at Cloud Employee, we work with companies looking to hire professional offshore software developers in the Philippines. We've helped many companies craft the best and most effective software developer job descriptions.

This article will guide you through the structure and contents of an eye-catching job description.

What is the structure of a software developer job description?

Unfortunately, many employers take job descriptions for granted; they simply throw a few words together and then put it out there. You have to remember that a job description is the first impression a job-seeker has of you, and the chances of getting a second chance are slim. Just as job-seekers strive to make a good first impression by writing eye-catching CVs, you also have to put effort into crafting a job description to make yours stand out from other job offers.

One of the most vital aspects of a good job description is structure. If your job description is disorderly, all over the place, hard-to-follow, or unclear, nobody is going to apply (and anyone who does apply is probably not the type of person you’re looking to hire, anyway!).  Here are the components of a good job description:

  • Job Title
  • Type of employment (full-time or part-time)
  • Location
  • Salary range
  • An overview of the company’s vision and culture
  • Day-to-day job responsibilities
  • Must-have qualifications
  • Good-to have qualifications
  • Benefits and Perks

10 Tips for Crafting a Highly Effective Software Developer Job Description

1. Get the job title right

The job title in your description should be as simple and straightforward as possible. There's a whole lot of room for creativity in a job description, but some people go overboard by describing job titles with adjectives like "ninja," "guru," or "Rockstar."  First of all, such a description makes your company seem a bit too casual or unprofessional. The second problem is that you’re likely to put a lot of people off by using such language.

Some people may not apply because they're not sure what you mean by "ninja" or "guru." When your job description sounds so casual, you’re likely to attract developers with a similar casual and laid-back approach to work. I guess it’s okay if that’s your aim, but generally, it’s best to stick with standard industry language. If you’re hiring a front-end developer, say exactly that. Also, be careful not to use terminology that is unique to your company.

2. Include a short, engaging overview of the job

Give a brief description of the job and how it fits in with the company’s objectives. Focus on how the job will give the applicant valuable experience and opportunities for growth. You can use words that appeal to the kind of applicants you’re hoping to attract.

For instance, if you’re looking for people with creative abilities, you can say something like, “…join a creative team…”  if you're looking for someone who loves the thrill of being in a startup team, then you should frame your words to attract such people. For instance, “a rapidly growing startup company is looking for a qualified front-end developer.”

3. Do not use superlatives or extreme modifiers

A good job description should avoid expressions like "world-class," "top-notch," "best of the best." Such language puts off many applicants who may be useful but do not feel that they are the "best of the best."  Another helpful tip is to avoid descriptions with a strong focus on a particular trait.

Studies show that most applicants, especially women, will not bother to apply for a position unless they are a hundred percent sure they meet all the requirements stated. For instance, asking for years of experience in your job description is a sure way to limit the number of applications you receive. If you place too much emphasis on a particular trait, you may cut off several applicants who may otherwise have been perfect for the job.

4. Tailor job requirements to the specific project

One of the worst things you can do is put down a long list of tasks, responsibilities, and qualifications. Just think back to when you were job hunting. Remember how scary those job descriptions were to you? That's precisely how potential applicants will feel if you simply write a long, bulleted list of responsibilities.

Instead, list all the requirements of a developer; think about the project at hand and the requirements you will need for it. It’s also good to differentiate the essential qualifications from the non-essential ones. Most people call these “must-have qualifications” and “good-to-have qualifications.” Another option is to have categories based on the types of skills. For instance, "technical skills," "leadership skills," "communication skills."

5. Get help from other developers in your company

It's often challenging to know what to include in a job description – what do developers want to see? What attracts developers to apply for a particular job? Here, you can get your current developers on board to help you. They know what is attractive to a developer, and they know which skills are necessary for the role. They will also help you determine the non-essential skills. Getting your current employees involved in the hiring process is remarkable, but a little-known strategy for choosing someone with the perfect cultural fit.  

6. Create a sense of urgency about the job

Even if you are not in a hurry, it doesn’t hurt to speed things up a bit. It is a proven fact that when people feel that a job announcement is urgent, they are more compelled to apply for it. That's basic human psychology at work. This principle of urgency is what drives people to buy goods on sale even when the sale price isn't far from the regular price. You can create a sense of urgency by including the date when the role will start.

7. Talk about your company's culture

Ultimately, a potential applicant wants to know whether they will be a good fit in your company. More than ever, cultural fitness and working experience are becoming more important than pay grade. Because software developers spend a lot of time at work, they want to know what it's like to work at your company and whether it's an environment, they can spend long hours in. This is an excellent place to mention your company's vision or mission statement; share what makes your company unique and why people love to work with you.

8. Don't use biased language

In today's world, gender equality is big, that's no secret. With that in mind, try as much as possible not to use language that comes across as being gender-biased. Women are already more hesitant to apply for jobs than men, so don't add to that by using the wrong language. Even though it's probably unintentional, using biased language can scare off women who may actually be the best talents for the job.

To be on the safe side, steer clear of specific pronouns like "he" or "she." Instead, you can use "they."  The truth is, women, make up a considerable percentage of highly qualified professionals in the world; even in the software development industry. By using neutral language, you stand a better chance of attracting diverse talents for your organization.

9. Pay attention to detail

As an employer, you’ve likely been put off by applications ridden with bad grammar or poor spelling. In the same way, potential applicants will judge your company using similar standards. Before you send out your job description, be sure to check your spelling and grammar. Proofread what you have written and then have someone else check it for you. It's also important to pay attention to how your job description looks on the surface – the aesthetics of it.

You should check things like formatting to ensure that your job description is readable and easy to follow. As much as possible, place vital information at the beginning of the description so right from the get-go, a candidate has all the essential information. Try to use bullet points to make it easy to scan the information.

10. Use innovative methods to stand out

Candidates spend several hours a day reading through job descriptions.  It can get incredibly dull and tedious when all the job descriptions are pretty much the same format. A great way to change things up and get candidates to notice you is to do something different – like make a video. You can have your HR manager make a short video about your company’s values and what the job has to offer candidates. Another great idea is to get videos from current employees, sharing what they love most about working with your company.

To Conclude

Crafting a compelling job description is a huge part of securing the right candidate for your team. But it's not always easy to know what to include and what to leave out. Hopefully, the tips in this article will guide you to write a great job description and to attract the best talent.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below, and share the post as well!

We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.

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Crafting Effective Developer Job Descriptions

February 16, 2024

Every employer knows the hassle of hiring a new team member. The hardest part of the whole process is sending out job descriptions and then waiting with your fingers crossed to see who will respond.

Are you tired of leaving things to chance and hoping the right people apply? Do you want to know how to craft a highly effective job description that will attract the best developers? You’re in the right place.

Here at Cloud Employee, we work with companies looking to hire professional offshore software developers in the Philippines. We've helped many companies craft the best and most effective software developer job descriptions.

This article will guide you through the structure and contents of an eye-catching job description.

What is the structure of a software developer job description?

Unfortunately, many employers take job descriptions for granted; they simply throw a few words together and then put it out there. You have to remember that a job description is the first impression a job-seeker has of you, and the chances of getting a second chance are slim. Just as job-seekers strive to make a good first impression by writing eye-catching CVs, you also have to put effort into crafting a job description to make yours stand out from other job offers.

One of the most vital aspects of a good job description is structure. If your job description is disorderly, all over the place, hard-to-follow, or unclear, nobody is going to apply (and anyone who does apply is probably not the type of person you’re looking to hire, anyway!).  Here are the components of a good job description:

  • Job Title
  • Type of employment (full-time or part-time)
  • Location
  • Salary range
  • An overview of the company’s vision and culture
  • Day-to-day job responsibilities
  • Must-have qualifications
  • Good-to have qualifications
  • Benefits and Perks

10 Tips for Crafting a Highly Effective Software Developer Job Description

1. Get the job title right

The job title in your description should be as simple and straightforward as possible. There's a whole lot of room for creativity in a job description, but some people go overboard by describing job titles with adjectives like "ninja," "guru," or "Rockstar."  First of all, such a description makes your company seem a bit too casual or unprofessional. The second problem is that you’re likely to put a lot of people off by using such language.

Some people may not apply because they're not sure what you mean by "ninja" or "guru." When your job description sounds so casual, you’re likely to attract developers with a similar casual and laid-back approach to work. I guess it’s okay if that’s your aim, but generally, it’s best to stick with standard industry language. If you’re hiring a front-end developer, say exactly that. Also, be careful not to use terminology that is unique to your company.

2. Include a short, engaging overview of the job

Give a brief description of the job and how it fits in with the company’s objectives. Focus on how the job will give the applicant valuable experience and opportunities for growth. You can use words that appeal to the kind of applicants you’re hoping to attract.

For instance, if you’re looking for people with creative abilities, you can say something like, “…join a creative team…”  if you're looking for someone who loves the thrill of being in a startup team, then you should frame your words to attract such people. For instance, “a rapidly growing startup company is looking for a qualified front-end developer.”

3. Do not use superlatives or extreme modifiers

A good job description should avoid expressions like "world-class," "top-notch," "best of the best." Such language puts off many applicants who may be useful but do not feel that they are the "best of the best."  Another helpful tip is to avoid descriptions with a strong focus on a particular trait.

Studies show that most applicants, especially women, will not bother to apply for a position unless they are a hundred percent sure they meet all the requirements stated. For instance, asking for years of experience in your job description is a sure way to limit the number of applications you receive. If you place too much emphasis on a particular trait, you may cut off several applicants who may otherwise have been perfect for the job.

4. Tailor job requirements to the specific project

One of the worst things you can do is put down a long list of tasks, responsibilities, and qualifications. Just think back to when you were job hunting. Remember how scary those job descriptions were to you? That's precisely how potential applicants will feel if you simply write a long, bulleted list of responsibilities.

Instead, list all the requirements of a developer; think about the project at hand and the requirements you will need for it. It’s also good to differentiate the essential qualifications from the non-essential ones. Most people call these “must-have qualifications” and “good-to-have qualifications.” Another option is to have categories based on the types of skills. For instance, "technical skills," "leadership skills," "communication skills."

5. Get help from other developers in your company

It's often challenging to know what to include in a job description – what do developers want to see? What attracts developers to apply for a particular job? Here, you can get your current developers on board to help you. They know what is attractive to a developer, and they know which skills are necessary for the role. They will also help you determine the non-essential skills. Getting your current employees involved in the hiring process is remarkable, but a little-known strategy for choosing someone with the perfect cultural fit.  

6. Create a sense of urgency about the job

Even if you are not in a hurry, it doesn’t hurt to speed things up a bit. It is a proven fact that when people feel that a job announcement is urgent, they are more compelled to apply for it. That's basic human psychology at work. This principle of urgency is what drives people to buy goods on sale even when the sale price isn't far from the regular price. You can create a sense of urgency by including the date when the role will start.

7. Talk about your company's culture

Ultimately, a potential applicant wants to know whether they will be a good fit in your company. More than ever, cultural fitness and working experience are becoming more important than pay grade. Because software developers spend a lot of time at work, they want to know what it's like to work at your company and whether it's an environment, they can spend long hours in. This is an excellent place to mention your company's vision or mission statement; share what makes your company unique and why people love to work with you.

8. Don't use biased language

In today's world, gender equality is big, that's no secret. With that in mind, try as much as possible not to use language that comes across as being gender-biased. Women are already more hesitant to apply for jobs than men, so don't add to that by using the wrong language. Even though it's probably unintentional, using biased language can scare off women who may actually be the best talents for the job.

To be on the safe side, steer clear of specific pronouns like "he" or "she." Instead, you can use "they."  The truth is, women, make up a considerable percentage of highly qualified professionals in the world; even in the software development industry. By using neutral language, you stand a better chance of attracting diverse talents for your organization.

9. Pay attention to detail

As an employer, you’ve likely been put off by applications ridden with bad grammar or poor spelling. In the same way, potential applicants will judge your company using similar standards. Before you send out your job description, be sure to check your spelling and grammar. Proofread what you have written and then have someone else check it for you. It's also important to pay attention to how your job description looks on the surface – the aesthetics of it.

You should check things like formatting to ensure that your job description is readable and easy to follow. As much as possible, place vital information at the beginning of the description so right from the get-go, a candidate has all the essential information. Try to use bullet points to make it easy to scan the information.

10. Use innovative methods to stand out

Candidates spend several hours a day reading through job descriptions.  It can get incredibly dull and tedious when all the job descriptions are pretty much the same format. A great way to change things up and get candidates to notice you is to do something different – like make a video. You can have your HR manager make a short video about your company’s values and what the job has to offer candidates. Another great idea is to get videos from current employees, sharing what they love most about working with your company.

To Conclude

Crafting a compelling job description is a huge part of securing the right candidate for your team. But it's not always easy to know what to include and what to leave out. Hopefully, the tips in this article will guide you to write a great job description and to attract the best talent.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below, and share the post as well!

We hope you found this article useful. Here at Cloud Employee, we assist companies looking to hire dedicated offshore developers across many technologies. Talk to us, learn more how Cloud Employee works, or see our Developer Pricing Guide.

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