10 Tips on Writing Compelling Real Estate Job Specifications for the Internet

The old methods of recruiting talent for the real estate industry - personal networks - are giving way to the new methods: technology and Internet searches, and this evolution has changed the demands made on hiring managers. Now, more than ever, the first step in effective recruiting is to write a strong, clear position specification. This holds true regardless of whether a company is hiring directly or using a placement firm. Ideally, the spec is written by the hiring manager, with input from the position's peers and the predecessor in the position. Finally, the position description should ultimately be reviewed by the human resource department to vet liability issues.

Below are 10 tips that hiring managers should use to create comprehensive position descriptions and to make their postings more appealing to potential candidates:

Tip # 1: Provide a good position title

The position title may be the most important in developing an effective position description because it will initially catch the viewer’s eye. In this age when so many companies and candidates look at postings on the Internet, the title should describe the functions to be performed and the level of the position. This allows potential candidates to gauge whether this position applies to them, and whether they should read further or skip over it. If the title is vague, the posting will be skipped or not appear when candidates input their search criteria.

Tip # 2: Articulate a clear reporting relationship

The reporting relationship clarifies the level of the position and helps to filter out those who are under- or over-qualified.

Tip # 3: Provide an overview of why the job needs to be filled

This statement should ideally be two to four sentences and will let candidates know what kind of employer you are, using a variety of criteria, including your industry, size, growth, and culture. This will help candidates decide if their personality type fits well into the specified environment. The industry, including product types and services, will also make it clear to a candidate whether their experience is a match with what the company is seeking.

Tip # 4: Outline a list of responsibilities or tasks to be performed

Include the tasks that will be performed during the course of the day, month or year. Be specific, but don't go into excruciating detail; 8-10 of most important responsibilities should suffice. The time requirement of each area of responsibility is generally helpful information if available, and also allows the candidate to understand where the clients priorities lie.

Tip # 5: List position requirements or qualifications

This section should detail the required background, including years of experience in a specific industry, specific educational attributes and degrees, professional certifications and credentials necessary, and skills. It should also outline requirements of the job, including equipment to be used, tasks to be performed, and desired attributes of the top candidate.

Tip # 6: Describe the supervisory requirements, if any

It's important to provide the number of individuals whom this potential candidate may manage. In addition, the types of positions that this individual may manage is relevant; this enables the candidate to determine if their experience makes them a legitimate candidate to manage the kinds of employees that the position requires.

Tip # 7: Avoid listing specific salary information

Although candidates are always interested in knowing the salary range, this can work against your online recruitment efforts; it may deter attractive candidates from applying. Therefore, omitting this piece of data will typically provide a greater pool of viable resumes for the hiring manager to review.

Tip # 8: Always include the location of the position

This is an obvious, but sometimes overlooked, detail. When hiring, you want to ensure that you have candidates who are aware of geographical considerations. Also, state if any relocation assistance will be provided and how much, and the timing for the chosen candidate to start employment.

Tip # 9: Describe the travel requirements, if any

Not only should you explain the percentage travel required, but also detail whether this travel is regional, national or international and the likely areas of travel. If the position allows the candidate to telecommute, describe the percentage of time this is allowed. For those positions where travel is required, include the percentage of time when the candidate is expected be on the road. Again, managing the potential candidate's expectations up front, will avoid disappointment or misunderstandings down the line.

Tip # 10: Create an honest, comprehensive and clear position description

The goal is to attract the most qualified candidates, not merely a vast number of bodies - to the position. The better the potential candidate can understand the business, their responsibilities, and what skills the company believes are keys to success in the new position, the higher the quality of responses to the open position which will ultimately lead to making an informed hiring decision.

It's important to note that it takes time to write a good position description, but this is time that will be paid back many times over with a smooth hiring process and a content employee. If the position is truly what the position description outlined and what the candidate understood, then the hiring manager and the new hire will have a smooth and successful transition.