2 practical job description tips that small businesses need to do immediately

I promise this does not suggest anything creepy like stalking your candidates on Linkedin and Twitter.

Before we start, let’s look at why SMB employees chose to work at small businesses or start-ups over big enterprises.

In Linkedin’s 2018 Employer Value Proposition (EVP) survey, 62,000 small business employees and 88,000 enterprise employees were surveyed about their priorities when considering a job. It turned out that talents who chose to work for SMB instead of skyscraper corporations value the purposeful mission of the company (5% more), the meaningful impacts of the role to the company success (4% more) and open and effective management style (4% more).[1]

In many cases, small businesses have not yet had an enormous chunk of cash flow for salary, and fortunately, salary is not make-or-break for employees who have opted out of an enterprise’s life.

Let’s say your company has that great meaningful mission, exciting projects and flexibility that people are fantasizing about. How you can go about expressing them, especially in the job postings where job seekers usually first find out about your recruitment news?


  1. Be a better writer who truly understands the inspiration for people to work in that role

 Read the job posting below.

[1] https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/small-business/2018/recruit-small-business-employees



Here is what I feel. This job description fills me with excitement of what I can contribute to the company and a first glance into the company culture – light-hearted, flexible, and self-driven. So, how can you excite the job seekers with the art of writing?

As suggested by Katrina Kibben in her “Job posts rewrite workbook”[2], the job posting does not have to be impersonal and bulleted to be professional. As it is the first conversation the company has with the job seekers, be engaging by speaking the language of the people working in that role. This starts with asking human questions about the role while writing the job post, an example is “what happens on a good day and on a bad day?” instead of “what is a day-in day-out tasks?”. From that, rewrite every bullet points to be projects/impact oriented rather than skill oriented.

Take the job postings as your first pitch to the job seekers about what are the impacts they can make and what exciting projects they are going to take lead.

Linkedin 2018 EVP report also reports that one of the biggest advantages that small business employers have over big companies is a single person can make an outsized impact, and their work often has a direct effect on the company’s mission.

[1] Katrina Kiben job posts rewrite workbook

No one is longing to work because of the bulleted list of tasks or skills. That scared the daylight out of them! Instead, people are fantasizing about the change they can make, the future they can create.

Show them that fantasy right in your job posting.


  1. Become a “filmmaker” of your corporate and your phone is all you need

In case you are wondering why we are talking about videos, take a look at this blog for statistics and impacts that a recruitment video will have to not only your recruitment strategy, but also the entire corporate branding. (add link).

A dollar saved is a dollar earned for small businesses. The option to hire a production team or agency which can cost anywhere from $10,000 will be passed even though it is worth noting that there are low-budget, yet good-quality recruitment video agencies out there such as SkillScout with a starter package as affordable as $3,000.[3]

For the other option which is producing the video yourself using your own phone, it may sound intimidating at first, but it is totally feasible.

First principle, start filming or taking photos of as many things as possible. It can be a photo of your colleague’s dog, a 10s film of your weekly team meeting or a social gathering after work, or a boomerang video of the scooters. You will be surprised how these footage come in handy when you edit the video later. And also, practice makes perfect.

There is no single formula for a successful corporate videos, except that they should all eventually answer the question: “why do people want to work for your company?”.

A fail-proof approach to an amazing recruitment video is assemble your tiger team of enthusiastic employees, ask them “what do you love about working here?”, and then simply let them tell their stories![4]

In case you want to visualize how the process exactly looks like with you, your phone and that tiger team, here is a 3-min video that relays the process from shooting to final videos along with some technical tips like camera position and lighting.


Final words

Everything is difficult when you first started, but the moment you begin, it becomes better. Next time when you write a job description, stop writing another monotonous and lifeless lists, take another extra day to think about how you can make it different. Same with videos, take heart even if it is the first video you have ever made. It will always make a tremendous difference and you will know it when you watch applications rolling in!

[1] https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/small-business/2018/recruit-small-business-employees

[2] Katrina Kiben job posts rewrite workbook

[3] Skill Scout

[4] https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/talent-solutions/global/en_us/c/pdfs/recruitment-video-playbook.pdf