Hire software engineers: How to craft a JD that attracts the top candidates?

Hire software engineers How to craft a JD that attracts the top candidates

Your software engineer JD is NOT getting you, candidates? This post is for you.

I remember our first conversations with clients. As we listened to Singapore companies sharing their challenges in hiring software engineers, despite the constant change in the tech recruitment field for the past three years, one hardship has never ceased to disappear: Their published JD ain’t got them anywhere in their hiring process. Some received a good number of job applications yet hardy found ones that fit the JD, while others barely got any CVs after a while.

However, answering “Which situation are you in?” doesn’t help crack the problem. Today, our approach rests on a factor usually underrated in companies’ recruitment process — The JD.

How to write a JD which can lure great software engineer candidates while not pulling your hair out?

As working on hiring remote software engineers in Vietnam for Singapore companies, we have learned that:

  • ‘Software engineer’ is one of the most in-demand professions and the hardest to fill. If your JD is not unique, you’ll lose your chance against other companies.
  • Excellent tech talent themselves assesses employers from the first time they’re approached – in many cases, it’s when they see the company’s JD.
  • Candidates tend to apply for jobs they can trust. A well-written JD is a good help in preventing doubts and misreadings regarding the role.

Based on those insights, we have helped our clients hire the right software engineers in Vietnam primarily by adjusting their JDs into ones that attract great candidates. Here are our best-practiced JD writing tips. Feel free to make any of them yours.

Candidates hate long JDs with vague info

Your JD is your first candidate pitch, so don’t scare great candidates away with a sea of text. 

Oftentimes, less is more.

  • What will the candidate get to be involved in?
  • What decisions will they be making or influencing?
  • Whom will they get to work with on a day-to-day basis?

If any of the Responsibilities and Requirements mentioned in the JD don’t answer the above points, don’t hesitate to press the “delete” button.

Now that you have eliminated all redundancy in your JD divide your requirements into two groups: the must-have and the nice-to-have. This will benefit job seekers who read your JD and the PIC of your company’s hiring in their candidates’ evaluation process.

Here we’re done with the ‘what the candidate has to do’ part; let’s amaze them with the ‘benefits’ one.

Show candidates how amazing the job is, not just tell them

Be transparent about what your company can offer the software engineers in your JD
Be transparent about what your company can offer the software engineers in your JD

There is no better way to convince candidates your opening is a real deal than by showing them proof. 

Elaborate on “Attractive salary and benefits” as much as possible

  • Sharing the salary range in the JD lessens the number of applications that don’t match your budget.
  • Try not to overuse adjectives such as awesome, great, etc.
  • Specify what the candidate will get from working at your company. For example, instead of saying “growth opportunities,” go with “Employee’s performance review every six months” and/or “02 tuition reimbursement courses per year for employees looking to develop skills related to their job”.

The same goes for the part that pitches your company’s culture and team.

  • Be transparent about your company’s stage. While it may be small, you have an aspirational vision for the firm. Help the candidate envision their long-term potential as the company reaches your vision.
  • Let the software engineers know the project details they will be building when joining your team.
  • How does the development of teamwork? What direct impact will the candidate make on your company’s growth and society?

Remember to review the edited JD with others on the team for input to refine it before moving to the next step – Adjusting the JD’s look.

Keep things clear and digestible

We are looking to make your JD easy to read. Simple bullets can help you do so. Don’t forget to put in any company info you want the candidate to check out: A copy of your company’s product that they can take a glance at, activities your development team usually does, a short company intro video narrated by their may-be-future tech lead or teammate, would be nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN7CUFj8HFM
A simple ‘meet the tech team’ video like this can help your job sound compelling a lot more

And that’s it! You are now ready to get the attention of the next rock star software engineers wherever they might see your JD.
Do you have any other favorite JD writing tips? Share them for others to learn from in the comments below.

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