Hiring and Retaining the Best Talent Starts with Writing the Job Description

Prior to the global pandemic, the national unemployment rate was low, leaving millions of jobs unfilled. COVID-19 struck and unemployment soared, but with economic activity resuming, the unemployment rate fell to 7.9% in September.

In talking with our clients, we’ve noticed that finding and keeping “good people” are top priorities, even for those currently experiencing a slowdown in business. Eventually, a rebound will occur and business owners want to be ready to hit the ground running with the best operators in their equipment’s driver seats.

Our team has heard that employers have found their best employees from just about anywhere—word of mouth, Craig’s List, Facebook, online job sites like Indeed and more. No matter where or how you advertise your job openings, attracting qualified and experienced operators for your equipment starts with the job description.

Attract Quality Operators with a Two-Punch Job Description

We get it—you’re busy, and it’s easier and less time consuming to use the same job description over and over again. The reality is that there is a difference between what you post online to get candidates interested in working for your company and the specific job description you send to applicants who show interest in a specific position.

Your general online job posting should include information about the company AND the position. This is your chance to highlight your company culture and get applicants excited about the prospect of working there. You should include a general idea of what a specific position entails, but the focus is on the company. Happy employees who enjoy their work environment are less likely to leave, so cultural fit is key.

A detailed job description can be added to the online post or sent in a separate document to applicants who request more information. This is the time and place to get into the details. Be specific about job requirements, expectations, qualifications, experience and certifications. Remember, you’re putting this person in charge of equipment. Hiring inexperienced operators can cost you in terms of project quality and equipment performance. Plus, not fully disclosing job requirements can land you in court should you fire an employee for lack of fulfilling job duties and he or she claims the requirement wasn’t clear.

The Most Important Words to Include in Your Job Posting

“Other duties as required.” Job roles evolve over time and more quickly for smaller businesses that are growing or cutting back. You may have to ask employees to take on more or share responsibilities as your staff size increases and decreases based on work load.

Begin the job description with a 30,000-foot overview of the responsibilities, then include shift and physical requirements, non-negotiable certifications and work conditions that might filter out unqualified applicants. This also is where you can touch on expected “people skills” that are important, especially if the position is customer facing. Think about the environment and conditions, this employee will work under and describe those so that the candidate need not apply if you’re seeking night shift and he or she is only available for day shifts.

Be Aware of Gender, Age and Typo Traps

Quality operators want to work at quality companies. Your job ads, descriptions and even online company reviews make your business’s first impression on job seekers. For positions where details are important, a posting with typos won’t grab the attention of a detail-oriented employee.

Avoid using language that can be considered discriminatory. Even in fields that are heavy equipment related, women are qualified candidates in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Same goes for age. With age comes experience, which is important when you’re putting an employee in charge of expensive equipment in any field.

In preparation to return to pre-pandemic tight employment numbers, now is the time to begin thinking about your hiring strategy to find and retain the most qualified employees—ones whom you can trust to expertly operate your financed lease equipment. Finding the best candidates starts with writing your best job description.