When it comes to hiring new SDRs for your startup, writing the job description seems like it should be one of the easiest parts of the process. But it’s not so simple, and it certainly shouldn’t be something that you attempt to start and finish in five minutes’ total.
Think about it. At any given time, there are thousands of sales job descriptions on sites like Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter. Candidates must be selective about which jobs they apply for. After all, a mediocre job description will bring in mediocre candidates.
To attract people who will become sales superstars, you need the job description to fit. Instead of just copying and pasting the same old boring text, follow these best practices for creating a killer SDR job description:
1) Make it candidate-centric.
Unemployment rate has been at an all-time low in the recent years and the demand for highly skilled workers is higher than ever. This means you have to be creative to attract top talent.
Putting yourself in the candidate’s shoes is the best approach to a candidate-centric model. Think about the candidate’s journey in applying for a job, and what they’re looking for. If you want to be successful in attracting top sales talent, the theme of the job post needs to be how you’re going to help the candidate grow their career.
This idea is so important that Trish Bertuzzi devoted an entire chapter to it in her book The Sales Development Playbook.
2) Use the right keywords.
Top job candidates search for jobs using keywords. To maximize your hits, incorporate standardized keywords that serious job searchers are likely to use: SDR, inside sales, etc.
Although it can be tempting to use jargon that’s idiosyncratic to your company (like “sales guru”), no one uses these terms in a search. What’s worse, this kind of language can also cause confusion about the job. You want people to be able to clearly identify your position as an SDR role.
3) Focus on company culture and messaging.
One common mistake hiring managers make is putting too much focus on job details, and not enough on company culture. Since SDR positions tend to be fairly uniform across companies, spending too many words on the job doesn’t make much sense.
Instead, use the job listing as an opportunity to get your company’s messaging across. Think about what your company culture looks like, and try to communicate the essence of that. This will help attract the kind of people you want.
Don’t shy away from injecting personality. Even a little bit of humor can go a long way towards demonstrating that you’re providing a fun place to work, and differentiates you from the dozens of cookie-cutter SDR ads on most job boards.
4) Specify that you’re a high-growth startup.
Working at a quickly-growing startup isn’t for everyone, but many people thrive in that environment and seek it out during the job search. By explicitly identifying yourself as high-growth, you’ll attract certain personalities while weeding out bad fits.
5) Include details about what makes your company a great place to work.
Most applicants will be scrolling through pages of job listings. To really differentiate yourself, it helps to explain why you’re special. So, don’t just say that you “work hard and play hard.” Provide concrete information about your company and workplace so potential applicants really get a feel for it.
Think about what you love about working at your company. Is it the great downtown location? The beer on tap, or the foosball tables in your lounge? Specific details will stand out to job searchers, and they will be more likely to remember your company later on in the process. The more unique your description, the better.
6) Don’t list every single job responsibility and qualification.
Many SDR job descriptions include a list of ten (or more!) responsibilities and qualifications. This is tedious and is likely to make job seekers’ eyes glaze over. Long lists are also an inefficient use of space; it’s better to be concise explaining what makes your company unique.
Similarly, posting a long list of qualifications might be counterproductive. Many candidates won’t apply for a position if there’s even one qualification that they fail to meet, so you may be unnecessarily limiting your candidate pool.
Obviously you don’t want to be inundated with unqualified applicants, but you still need to select your qualifications carefully. If you’re open to hiring new SDRs without previous sales experience, signal that explicitly. There are many promising candidates looking to enter sales, but they may be reluctant to apply to companies who only want experienced sales reps.
7) Briefly discuss opportunities for advancement.
The best job candidates want to work at a company that will give them room to advance. While this shouldn’t be the primary focus of your job description, indicate that advancement opportunities are available. If you have a career path for SDRs, describe it succinctly.
8) Include information about salary and benefits.
72% of job seekers search for information on salary before anything else. Make sure that it’s easy for readers to find this information. For sales jobs, it’s helpful to provide a range of possible salaries.
Some companies are reluctant to include information about salary in the job description. However, that reluctance is ill-founded. The data demonstrates that failing to include salary information will decrease result in 25-35% fewer applications.
Including salary information also helps establish your company as transparent and trustworthy. This information is oftentimes available on other websites such as Glassdoor. By being upfront with candidates early in the process, you can earn trust and compete for top talent. It also helps eliminate some of the awkwardness that can arise around salary during the interview process.
In addition to salary information, summarize your main benefits. Detail-oriented candidates will appreciate it.
9) Sell your company and product.
When applying for a job, salespeople want to know that they’ll be selling a product that is desirable and has a Unique Selling Proposition. To reassure candidates that your product is sellable, explain what makes it special in the job description. Don’t just say, “we offer a SaaS solution for mid-sized banks.” Explain why your solution is great, so candidates can really get excited about selling it.
And don’t just talk about your product; prove your claims by providing information about industry awards, recent investments, revenue growth, and other enticing tidbits. Many job candidates want to work for an up-and-coming startup, but they also want to know that the company they’re applying to is legitimate and poised for success. If you’re very early stage, including information about the founders and their qualifications can be helpful.
By following these tips, you can avoid putting out yet another boring job ad, and attract the candidates your startup needs.