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Conveying Company Culture in Job Descriptions

In Company Culture — by Dave Anderson

A job description first and foremost needs to outline what the job entails. After all, you need to attract people with the right skills and experience.

But most organizations want to find candidates who are more than just qualified for the job. You should also strive to hire people who will be great additions to your team. You want your new hires to work well with your current employees and be happy coming to work every day. You want to hire people who are the proverbial “culture fit.”

Many companies focus on attracting candidates with the right background during the sourcing stage, then evaluate culture fit during phone screenings or interviews.

However, you can elaborate on the details in your job descriptions to highlight what your company’s culture is like. It likely won’t deter people who aren’t a culture fit from applying but it will attract more people who are. For instance, if someone is casually browsing a job board and sees a standard job description, they might not go through the hassle of applying. But if they conclude your company is the type of place they would love working, they’ll make the effort. The simple act of conveying your company culture in job descriptions can catch the eye of your next great employee.

What should a job description include?

We recommend including as much detail as possible in your job descriptions. You want job seekers to have a thorough understanding of what the job will be like if they get hired. That way they can decide if it’s something they really want to pursue. In general, a solid job description includes the following components.

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Role objectives
  • Role responsibilities
  • Desired experience
  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Work hours, travel requirements
  • Company description

Many of these are straightforward and won’t convey what your culture is like. But a few of them present the opportunity to provide a glimpse into what it’s like to be a member of your team.

Role objectives

This section tells a potential hire the objectives they’ll be expected to achieve. It’s generally a high-level statement outlining what the cumulative effect of their work needs to result in.

From a cultural perspective, you can use this section to talk about what your organization is striving to achieve and how this position will support those goals. You can share your company’s long-term mission, the impact you hope to have on your community, and the ideal experience you want customers to have. All while covering the value your future hire will bring to these grand plans.

Role responsibilities

Daily role responsibilities are a standard part of any job description. They give context to the role objectives by describing the specific tasks the employee will carry out.

You can expand on this section to help a potential hire envision what a typical workday would be like. Let them know who they’ll work with and what those collaborative activities will look like. Some companies even go as far as to list an in-depth daily schedule so candidates get a sense for what the workplace culture is like and how it applies to the job they’re interested in.

Desired experience

Like role responsibilities, sharing desired experience in your job descriptions is a must. You need to attract people who have worked in similar positions in the past.

You can use this section to attract ideal candidates and not just people who meet the years of experience requirement. For example, if you’re seeking a manager, outline the leadership qualities your organization values. If you’re hiring for a sales role, consider talking about the selling techniques candidates need to be versed in.   

Additionally, you can include the experience a potential hire will gain. Give candidates an idea of the career strides they can hope to make and how your company will aid them in that development.

Benefits

It’s always a good idea to list the employment benefits your company offers. However, benefits like health insurance, PTO, and retirement savings are more or less the same from company to company.

You can provide insight into your culture by sharing the unique benefits of working for your organization. Every company has its perks whether they be stock options, flexible work schedules, or something as simple as promoting from within or providing the opportunity to learn while on the job. Find out what your current employees love about their jobs and include those unique advantages along with the primary employment benefits.

Company description

A brief overview of your company is a good way to conclude your job description, especially if your brand isn’t yet well known or you operate in an obscure industry.

This section is also an excellent place to describe your culture in the most basic terms. The sections we’ve included up to this point touch on the employee experience but now you can state exactly what your culture is. Share your organization’s cultural philosophy, mission statement, and values so candidates know what type of company they’re applying to.

Attract culture fits

There is no need to wait until you talk to candidates to bring up culture. Use your job descriptions to outline what it’s like to be part of your team and what your company values in its employees so you attract the right people from the get-go.

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