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The Guru Guide to Writing Job Descriptions: Best Practices for Freelance Hiring

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Writing a job ad is a unique opportunity to attract the best contractor talent! 

Get it right, and you’ll transform the slog of recruitment admin into something way more exciting.

Yep, you’ll need to include the basics – rate of pay, hours, tasks – but here, we’ll show you how to stand out from the crowd and entice high-quality candidates to work with you.

Let’s get started with our guide to writing job descriptions. This guide includes the best practices for any size business seeking outstanding freelancers.

Why Great Quality Job Descriptions Matter

Never forget that quality attracts quality.

You need a writer, a web designer, or an SEO pro, so surely you just need to write the requirements and wait for a flood of candidates?

Not quite.

Say I’m a freelancer at the top of my game, a seasoned expert in my field with a wealth of skill and knowledge – I have the luxury of picking and choosing my contracts.

Vague wording, spelling mistakes, bland text; you’ll get a slew of applications that match the standards you have (perhaps inadvertently) set for the role.

Great freelancers are attracted by businesses they want to collaborate with and who align with their values. 

Use your ad to showcase the opportunity, not just the role, and you’ll instantly upgrade the standard of candidates.

Best Practice for Freelance Job Descriptions

Here’s how you put that into practice – and narrow down your freelance job applicants to people you want on your team:

Introduce Your Business (Or Yourself)

No two roles are the same, and it’s not enough to say you’re after an experienced data entry clerk.

Tell your applicants who you are, what you’re all about, and what your business does!

So many ads describe the role, but not the company, and it’s a major pitfall.

Junior freelancers might not be fussed about the employer. Still, professionals are far more likely to filter down the projects they’re interested in based on the sector or ethos of the hirer – not just the task itself.

Share the Goals of the Project

Give your job description some context!

Great, you need someone to sort out your SEO – but why?

You don’t need to go into masses of detail, but adding flavor and scope makes a freelance job description much more interesting.

  • Do you want to lead the field in your sector?
  • Are you expanding and want a contractor to help you achieve that?
  • Is your business launching an exciting new service?

Exceptional contractors will always be more engaged in a project with drive, purpose, and goals. So share your goals, make them tangible, and outstanding contractors will want to jump on board.

Don’t Forget the Basics

If you’re working with a limited word count, it’s annoyingly easy to forget a minor detail.

Unfortunately, that multiplies your workload, dealing with countless clarification questions, or filtering through a tonne of applications that aren’t up to scratch.

Essentials include:

  • Deadlines: When does the project start? How long will it run for?
  • Workload: Do you need a fixed number of hours per week or month?
  • Scope: How much involvement and creative freedom is allowed?
  • Pay: Always give a rough budget or fixed amount; never leave it to your freelancer’s intuition to guess whether the pay meets their expectations!
  • Qualifications: Do you have a specific degree, qualification, certification, or accreditation requirement? Always make that clear right from the start.
  • Skills: If you don’t have the time for training or need candidates to be ready to get cracking from day one, ensure your job description details the exact skills and experience you require.

Your aim here is to answer every possible question before it gets asked!

Better Job Descriptions = Better Candidates

Loads of businesses think the essential parts of their job descriptions are the name of the role and the list of duties – but make it well rounded and sprinkled with context, and the caliber of applications rises exponentially.

Finally, always, always proof your ad!

Grammar and spelling mistakes are human, but their place isn’t in a professional job advert.

Putting some energy into a quality job description is the number one way to improve your recruitment processes, so make sure it showcases the standards you expect from every applicant.  Check here for sample job posting ads. 

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