Writing a Ruby on Rails Developer job description is one of the first and most important steps in the recruiting process. Unfortunately, this is also one of the steps that doesn't get the attention it deserves. We get it- time is tight, things need to get done, and this position needs to be filled ASAP. So why not just write down a list of requirements and blast it on every hiring site you can find? Because an effective job description inspires the right candidates to take action.
Here are a few more reasons why you'll want to invest some time in writing a thorough job description.
- There are tons of job ads out there, and you want yours to stand out.
- If you're not clear on what you need, a potential candidate won't be either.
- Outdated, boring job descriptions don't work anymore.
- Defining what you need saves time by attracting candidates that align with your company's values.
- You want candidates to learn your organization's unique aspects.
- You want candidates to be curious enough to read on/learn more.
Before you feel too bogged down by the whole idea, we'll help simplify it for you. We'll share a formula that we use to attract and hire top Ruby on Rails engineers, and we'll even include a downloadable template, so you can fill in the information and get an effective job ad up and running as soon as possible.
If you need more help hiring experienced Ruby on Rails developers, check out our new Recruiting Services, where we help match you with quality candidates looking for a unique opportunity.
First, A Thought Exercise
Before posting a job ad, take some time to ask yourself a few key questions. This will help you clarify the role and define your ideal candidate. Don't skip this part because it could save you a lot of time later on if you end up hiring someone who doesn't fit with your company long-term.
Questions to Answer Before Posting Your Ruby on Rails Developer Job Description
- Why is this position open, and what problems would it solve by filling it?
- What type of person would be an ideal candidate for this position?
- How will they fit in with your company culture and current team?
- How will they interact and support other roles within your organization?
- Are you clear on your requirements? Should there be any updates/changes to this role before posting?
- What does it take to be successful in this role?
- What skills are required for this role?
- What skills would be great to have (think soft skills)?
- Is there an opportunity for growth in this role?
- Why would someone want to work at your organization?
- What unique benefits or perks do you offer?
- How will you review applicants and determine who you'll invite to interview?
- Where are the best places to post your job ad?
Clear and Specific Job Title: The Role You're Hiring for
The title of your job description should be as specific as possible so that you'll attract the right type of candidate and hopefully decrease the number of underqualified applicants. For example, instead of titles like "Developer" or "Software Developer," write "Senior Ruby on Rails Developer." Most job sites will also allow enough space in the title section to describe what type of organization is hiring, so you could take this a step further and say, "Senior Ruby on Rails Developer for Remote Software Development and Consulting Agency."
Be sure to write out the entire title and avoid abbreviations that people are less likely to use when they are conducting a job search. For example, write our "Senior Ruby on Rails Developer" instead of "Sr. RoR Dev."
Also, be careful to avoid cliche phrases or buzzwords like "Rails Rockstar" or "Ruby Ninja."
Summary: An Overview of the Role
This section can be 2-3 paragraphs in which you describe your organization, a summary of the position, and why someone would want to apply. This is an opportunity to describe how a candidate could make an impact on the company and how they can contribute to your team's success. You can also include personality traits and interpersonal skills that would be beneficial in this position. Include a few key details about the role or your organization that will pique their interest, but avoid using exaggerations like "top influencers in the tech industry."
- Are there specific projects that you have in mind that you want them to work on?
- Who are the types of clients they'll be working with
- Will they be part of an existing team, or will they be the only developer working on projects?
- Should they have experience working with specific programs?
- Do you work with new applications or existing ones?
Core Values: Qualities that You Embrace Individually and as a Team
You want potential candidates to feel like they'll be valuable team members while being part of a professional and safe work environment.
When a job description includes the company's mission, vision, goals, and/or values, it shows potential candidates how each team member plays a vital role in the company and how that role contributes to the overall success of the company. It also shares insight into what's important to your organization, helping a candidate understand whether or not it would be a good fit.
We like to include each of our core values in our job descriptions, followed by a link to our website where they can learn more about our team. Here's an example from one of our recent job postings.
Responsibilities: An Overview of the Role's Daily Activities and How it Contributes to Your Organization
Paint a vivid picture of the role, helping the right candidates visualize a typical day. In this part of the job description, we recommend using bullet points to outline day-to-day responsibilities. Be thorough and let the candidate know exactly what they'll be responsible for, who they'll be working with, and the deliverables you expect or track. Be precise and let them know what system or software they will be working with, what projects they will be working on, and what their exact responsibilities are within that context. Describing the role can help each job seeker get a good sense of what it's like to work at your company and determine if the opportunity will be a good long-term fit.
Here's an example of one of Shopify's job openings.
Requirements: Skills a Candidate Must Have to Perform the Job Successfully
Anyone reading through a job ad should be able to determine whether or not they have the skills necessary to perform the job well. This is another section that we recommend using bullet points, but list the requirements in order of importance: must-have requirements at the top, preferred requirements second, and nice-to-have requirements at the bottom.
Notch8 followed a similar format in one of their recent job descriptions.
Previous Experience: Relevant Experience to The Role
Not all job descriptions list "Previous Experience" in a separate section. Some may include this as a sub-section under the "Requirements." This part of the ad should line out any experience relevant to this position's success.
Here are a few areas we included in our recent Senior Ruby on Rails Developer Job Description:
- Self-onboarding to an existing Ruby/Rails app and providing value soon after
- Determining the health of an existing Ruby on Rails application by evaluating test coverage, app architecture, security, and performance
- Using application monitoring tools like CodeClimate, Pingdom, or New Relic
- Researching open-source gems and implementing them into an existing application
- Using git to fix branching errors and merge conflicts and enforcing version control best practices across applications
- Setting up and documenting deployments for Ruby-on-Rails applications
- Writing automated tests for Ruby on Rails apps
Benefits, Salary, and Equal Opportunity Employer Note: The Good Stuff
This is more than paid vacation and medical benefits. It's an opportunity to help candidates envision themselves benefiting from what you offer them. All of the descriptions above should be complemented by a summary of the benefits a candidate can expect to receive as a member of your team, as well as the job's big-picture benefits.
This example from FullStack Labs shares opportunities for collaboration and growth in their Benefits section.
We also recommend writing a statement from the company around your diversity hiring. Invite candidates who may not meet every qualification of your job posting to apply, expanding your candidate pool to include more underrepresented groups.
For example, after seeing it on another company's job ad recently, we added this inclusion phrase to our job ad template: "Women, people of color, LGBTQIA2S+ individuals, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are encouraged to apply."
Closing: Any Detail Relevant to the Role or Hiring Process
This is a simple 2- or 3-sentence section where you can describe your interview process here, your timeline for hiring applicants, and instructions for applying to the role.
We recently published a blog post on how we hire Ruby on Rails developers if you'd like to learn more about our hiring process.
How to Strengthen Your Ruby on Rails Developer Job Description
- Avoid the cookie-cutter approach. Don't copy and paste previous roles. Ensure you've updated any changes in the position since the last hire. Think about the questions we listed above and how your company stands out.
- Delete unnecessary requirements. Keep your description straightforward and to the point.
- Use headers and bullet points. This helps to separate sections and improves readability.
- Replace 'the ideal candidate' with 'you.' This allows candidates to envision themselves in the role and makes it more personal.
- Make sure your job description is simple to read and understand. Read it aloud. If it doesn't sound right, change or delete it. Another good way to check the readability is to run the text through Hemingway app.
- Keep it short. Most recruiting sites recommend keeping a job ad under 700 words. Some may be longer if specific technical requirements or details are imperative for a candidate to know before applying.
The best job descriptions inspire the most suitable candidates to take action, so be sure to capture the essence of a role with a defined structure, a specific language, and a glimpse of what it will be like to work within your organization.
Download Your Ruby on Rails Developer Job Description Template Below.