how to write job descriptions

With a record number of job vacancies in regional Australia and not enough people to fill them, making your job vacancy stand out is crucial. With a little effort and following our tips on current best practice, you can optimise your position descriptions so you can start attracting more of the right job candidates.

When the number of jobs being advertised in regional Queensland far outweigh the number of applicants available, going that bit further can make the difference between getting the right applicants and getting none.

In today’s tough job market, many employers are wising up to the need to stop putting out the same old job description and instead are thinking more about what their ideal job seekers are looking for in a job right now and what they need to say and do to get them to work for you.

The best jobs descriptions combine the role description and duties, and skills and experience required, with the culture, mission and values of the company to entice the right applicants and reduce the likelihood of making a bad hire. 

Here are our top tips to help employers in the Toowoomba region create effective and engaging position descriptions, so that they can find the right candidates for their jobs.

Get to know your ideal candidate

It’s all well and good to write a list of the qualifications and duties you need performed, but a successful job description goes beyond this to appeal to the human and emotional aspirations of a candidate.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to find a boilermaker or a beautician, a truck driver or a teacher. People are looking for jobs that they want to go to every day, that make them happy and give them purpose. If you can’t get your ideal candidates excited about the job before they start, they won’t last long and then you’ll have to find a new person all over again.

This is why knowing who your ideal candidate is before you create or revise any job description is essential. Start by working out the answers to these questions.

  • What are they looking for in a job?
  • What do they want in an employer and what can you deliver?
  • What are their career goals?

Create a great first impression

You’ve only got a few seconds to make a great first impression so make sure that your first paragraph makes the job position and your company stand out to the right candidates.

Remember, job seekers are looking at hundreds, if not thousands of job descriptions so if yours is boring and focussed all on you and not on your target employee, then you’re going to lose them very quickly.

Make it about the candidate. Use the words “you” and “your” rather than “the ideal candidate”. Show them how valuable this position is to the company and paint a picture of what it would be like to work for you.

Be flexible

The workforce has changed significantly in the last three years and employees now more than ever looking for flexibility. Of course there are plenty of jobs that must be worked on site. But there are plenty of others that can be transformed to be worked as hybrid jobs (working both on-site and at home) or remote jobs for the right candidate. Offering flexibility could help you find a great candidate who isn’t prepared or able to work fully on-site.

Culture is everything

Job candidates want to know will they fit-in with the culture of your workplace. And this will also be a major consideration for you because hiring someone who doesn’t gel will cost you in more ways than one. So be sure to tell job seekers what’s the culture of your organisation. Do you offer flexible working arrangements, bring your dog to work day, a day off each year to volunteer, a recycling program, employee parking, or the same work conditions you had back in 1988?

Too little or too much

There’s a fine line between providing too much information and too little on a job description but if you get it wrong, you’ll turn off applicants which is the last thing you want to do.

Don’t just list all the daily tasks and responsibilities so that you bore the candidate to death. You want them to read it and be excited by your job. Instead, describe the key functions of the job in  five or so bullet points, telling the applicant how they will contribute to the business mission.

Use video

Using video as a part of your position descriptions is a great differentiator. Bring your jobs to life and let prospective employees in on your story with video. You can use one video for all your job vacancies that tells the story of the work you do, your people and your customers.

SwarmFarm Robotics in Emerald does a fantastic job of telling their story and inviting job seekers to be a part of that story.

We know that videos take more time and effort but if you’re having trouble recruiting or you’re wanting to get the best applicants for more senior positions, then video is definitely worth a try.


Be realistic about requirements

If you’re struggling to hire new employees, consider which part of your non-negotiable job requirements could be change to being negotiable and what training you could do to overcome those necessities. 

According to the Indeed October 2022 Australian Labour Market Update “If the Australian labour market tightens further in the near-term, it may require employers to lower expectations around qualifications or experience for some roles. Broadening the candidate pool could potentially help bring more people into the labour force and help deal with the apparent mismatch between what employers want and what those without a job can provide.”

Ask for feedback

If you want to know what potential job seekers really think of your job descriptions and recruitment processes, you need to ask them. The best way to improve the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts is to ask new employees what they think.

Here are a few questions you can ask.

  • What attracted you most to the job and company?
  • What’s one thing that made you reconsider whether you should apply or not?
  • If you were applying for your job today, what would you want to see in your job description?
  • What information was missing that would have made a difference?

You can also ask job applicants in an interview if they have any feedback on the job description but you possibly won’t get an honest answer as they are trying to impress you.

Address inclusion

If you want to attract top talent, having a strong commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion, and addressing it in your position descriptions will help. It’s important that you use straightforward language and that you ensure the language you do use doesn’t alienate women, people of colour, people with a disability and the LGBTQ+ community.

Here’s a simple but effective paragraph at the top of Hubspot’s positions vacant. They have one of the best employer careers pages around. Take a leaf out of their book and see how what they’ve done could translate to your company.

how to write job descriptions

Salary or not?

Salary and benefits play a significant part in a job seekers decision to apply or take a job. While government, universities and the like are very transparent when it comes to salaries, a large number of private companies don’t advertise the salary range until interview stage.

This is part of a much larger debate but the question needs to be asked, are these companies missing out on applications from job seekers who assume they won’t get paid enough, or are they getting too many of the wrong level candidates which is wasting their time? It’s something to consider whether adding a salary band to your job descriptions would alleviate these problems.


We hope these tips will help you improve the success of your recruitment. With a little effort, you can create job descriptions that attract more of the right applicants and help to find you your next employee.

Remember to post your Toowoomba job vacancies right here on Employ Toowoomba.