The 6-step guide to building an awesome recruitment brief

August 20th, 2019

BB TestingComunity Header 2

You’ve come so far, from identifying your vacancy to interviewing candidates, only to be greeted by a setback. Sure, your candidates are qualified, but they are also the complete wrong fit for your business. You’re sure you advised your recruiters well, so why is the talent you’ve been funnelled so… unsuitable?

If you find yourself in this situation, chances are you did not supply your recruiter with a comprehensive enough recruitment brief.

A recruitment brief is a detailed ‘how-to’ on filling your role – a document that clearly identifies information about your vacancy, timescales, ideal candidate and value proposition. The brief’s purpose is two-fold: to clearly confirm the outline of the role that you are hiring for and to make it easier for recruiters to bring the best candidates to you.

In short; a better brief for the recruiter equals better candidates for you. Get your brief right and you’ll give your recruiters a transparent arsenal of information to work from. Get it wrong and, well… you already know where that road leads.

So, how do you build an awesome brief that brings you quality candidates at the first time of asking?

1. Define what the job is

Think of your brief as an in-depth job description – except its main purpose is to provide understanding to recruiters rather than candidates.

  • Think about the role and what the key responsibilities and scope of the job are
  • What skills and how much experience does it require?
  • Analyse the outcomes of your research alongside similar jobs online to see if you’ve missed anything

2. Specify why it is a necessary and valuable role

This will generate an understanding of how recruiters can convey the role as an attractive opportunity to candidates.

  • Articulate the most important outcomes, contributions and solutions that are needed from the position
  • What is the biggest responsibility of the employee in question?
  • What would someone looking for a role like this care most about?
  • Try canvassing the opinion of the person who works in the role currently or the manager that the new employee will report to

3. Understand your company’s culture

Whether your recruitment partner is internal or external, it’s just as important to arm them with an understanding of your company as it is the role.

  • What does your company look like to you?
  • What about the other employees?
  • Hone in on the team the employee will be joining and understand how they work
  • Is your company independent? Collaborative? High-performing? Innovative?
  • Check out your Google and Glassdoor reviews for an unbiased view

4. Link your culture directly to your job

This is another great way to attract candidates to your role: figure out what makes the role at your organisation stand out compared to the same role elsewhere.

  • Discover the ways your company differs from others in the industry
  • How do the job and company overlap in a way that would appeal to a candidate?
  • Are you renowned for a certain approach when it comes to how you treat your employees?

5. Determine what candidates best suit the demands of your role

This is the final research step because you will need to assess all of the other steps in your research to distinguish who the perfect candidate would be.

  • Look at all of your other answers and imagine the person as an employee
  • How does the job, it’s necessity and your company’s culture come together? What type of person would be the ideal candidate?
  • A clearer personification of the role will help recruiters understand what makes a good candidate

6. Talk through the brief with your recruiters

When your brief is complete, send it to your recruitment partners and give them the opportunity to talk through the document with you in a meeting.

  • Get their feedback on the role and ideal candidate
  • They will usually have a strong understanding of the specific candidate market and will be able to offer suggestions for how you can improve elements of your offer and positioning
  • Ask them to identify any areas of the brief that require additional context

Once all of your research is complete and you are happy you have nailed the role and ideal candidate, you are ready to actually write your recruitment brief.

It’s a laborious task and could easily take days if you work on it by yourself. But fear not: we’ve built a free online tool that will do the hard work for you: it’s called Brief Builder. You can use it to build an awesome brief in a matter of minutes and export it as a PDF to share with your recruiters.

Want to try it for yourself? Head on over to

Bring on the brief!