February 02, 2011

Effectively deliver your message when writing a job opening

In case you didn't know yet, at Xume we have an job opening for Java experts. Senior developers or technical architects as well as young potentials are most welcome to contact us and find out if we can create the perfect job experience for each other.

As Xume consultants we are often involved in the process of hiring people for our customers, both in composing job profiles as well as in screening potential candidates. And we've also a lot of experience in analyzing what a customer is really looking for when we receive a request consultancy work formulated as a vacancy. But writing a job profile is not an easy task. Now we've written one down ourselves, we'll share some thoughts and tips on how to do it, and motivate the choices we've made.

So what do you have to think about when you want to write a vacancy to hire people? In this post we'll focus on identifying your target audience. Follow-ups will deal with key requirements, offering perspective to a candidate and finally some words about the selection procedure.

Identify your target audience

When writing a text in general, you always have to think about your target audience. This is especially important when writing a job vacancy. In our case, we deliberately chose to write a single job profile for both senior and more junior candidates. The motivation behind this is very simple: how will you distinguish between both?

We don't believe the age of a candidate or the years of work experience matters very much in our sector (IT). It's all about relevant experience, and you can have more relevant experience after one year of professional work than some other people have after ten years.

Another option is to list required knowledge of this or that framework. If you do so, be aware that you are defining criteria in terms of knowledge and not necessarily in terms of experience. This might be relevant if you actually need your candidate to bring specific knowledge aboard, or you don't want to invest too much in the education of your candidate, e.g. when hiring a consultant. But in our case we're hiring employees and we do want to invest in training and education, so the required knowledge boils down to knowing Java and JEE. We believe you as a candidate will acquire further knowledge quickly if you have relevant experience in general, when you are part of a team of experts and if you haven proven you're eager to learn.

In a follow-up post we'll talk about defining the key requirements for our ideal candidate. In the meantime do check our
job opening, and if you know anyone that might be interested in joining us, please spread the word!

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