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When unemployment is high (greater than 6%), a boiler-plate position description with a few buzz word qualifications will attract many resumes. In tight labor markets — the 4.6% unemployment rate of today certainly qualifies — it is imperative that position descriptions be written as advertisements that attract top candidates to apply. Recruiting Guru Lou Adler suggests that excellent position descriptions answer the following 7 questions:

1. What are some of the big challenges or projects that incumbents in the job will work on in the first year?
2. How do the jobs contribute to the mission/success of the company?
3. What would a top person have to do to earn an “outstanding” performance rating for the year?
4. What learning and growth opportunities are available for the new hires? How good is the Manager at developing employees?
5. Are there any best practices or innovations that new hires will be exposed to?
6. What’s particularly exciting about employment benefits? Flex-time, tuition reimbursement, 401k matching, bonuses, etc?
7. What kinds of people will the new hires work with? Executives? Team members with advanced degrees or impressive accomplishments?
8. Is the company entering new markets either by developing and launching new products or through M&A?
9. What were the three most important improvements this position or department made at the company in the last three years?
10. What are the three most important improvements that the company wants this position or department to make in the next three years?