So you have a project that needs a highly skilled independent contractor or consultant, and you need to post a project description in your ad. You search online or in your company’s shared drive for examples and templates of project descriptions that you can use. The templates are great, you’ll just need to make a few adjustments and the ad can be posted within a few hours. But not all project description templates will get you the right expert,
There is just as much competition for finding and hiring independent contractors and consultants as in looking for full-time employees. So if you want to attract the best for your projects, you’ll need to set yourself apart from the other companies by posting a great project description – one that’s concise and makes your project sound important and interesting.
We lay out a few tips for writing a project description template that will get the attention of your ideal expert.
Key elements of a compelling project description template
1. A detailed project overview
To pique the interest of your target audience of the best contractors and consultants, you’ll need to write a brief project summary. Start by clearly stating the project name, and include important details like the project background, the project’s goals, project deliverables, and its expected outcomes.
Your project description should also include key points such as the scope of the work, the specific tasks, and the responsibilities that the consultant is expected to take on if they were hired for the role.
The more information you can write about the project, the better. When consultants have a clear idea of the context, what needs to be done, and why, it will be easier for them to decide if they can help you reach your goals.
2. The skill set you need for the project
In addition to the project overview, detailing the skills and competencies needed for the project can prevent irrelevant bids.
Including essential and nice-to-have skills filters out candidates who won’t be a good fit. Some of the key criteria you can include in this section are qualifications, the minimum number of years of experience, competencies in using relevant software, and experience in similar projects. You can also include soft skills such as strong oral and written communication skills, strong work ethic, and conflict resolution.
Keep your requirements realistic and concise by focusing on your needs rather than your wants.
3. What it will be like to work with your organization
A project description should also help consultants decide if they will fit in well with your company culture. Provide a brief description of what it’s like to work at your company, including some of its values and working styles.
Does your company like traditional hierarchical structures or does it adopt a flat hierarchy? Is your team highly-skilled? Is the role fully on-site, fully remote, or are you flexible and can accommodate a hybrid way of working?
Additionally, top contractors and consultants value working with new technologies, gaining new skills, being a part of a technology-driven culture, and engaging in meaningful work.
If your company sounds like a great place to work, they are more likely to bid on your project.
4. The project start date and length
Your project start date and length will help bidders decide if they can take on the assignment and stay on for the entire project length. If you have your project scope detailed in the project overview, candidates can also determine if the project schedule is feasible for them.
The best independent contractors and consultants often have other projects set up months in advance, so it would be worth mentioning if there’s a possibility for an extension or reduction of the project duration, and the factors that may affect a change in the project duration.
5. Set the right budget
You’ll save yourself – and the applicants – a lot of time by including the budget for your project in the project description.
Having transparency in your project budget filters out contractors and consultants who won’t accept the project if the budget falls below their rate. You don’t have to disclose the exact budget for the project and can include a range instead. Be sure to have the right budget range for the level of skills you’re looking for.
Many companies fail to include a budget range for a project for a variety of reasons, but including a budget range will give you an advantage for two reasons. First, your ad will stand out from other postings that don’t include the range, and second, it will motivate the right candidates to apply.
Checklist for writing a project description that attracts the best contractors and consultants (a summary)
Put yourself in the shoes of a highly skilled independent worker when you write a project description template. A good project description includes detailed information such as:
- Project title or project name
- Project overview
- Project background
- Project objective
- Project aims and goals
- Scope of work
- Expected outcomes
- Essential skills
- Optional skills
- Years of experience
- Relevant experience
- Soft skills
- Work culture
- Working hours
- Typical work process
- Technologies and resources available
- Project schedule
- Project timelines
- Possibility for project duration extension or reduction if any
- Factors that affect project length
- Budget range
- Other benefits that may be attractive to top candidates
Once you’ve finished writing the project description, don’t hit publish yet. Double-check your project description for spelling errors – careless mistakes can turn the best candidates off.
Getting the best talent
Writing a great project description is just one of the things you can do to get the attention of top independent contractors, consultants, and other contingent workers. There are other factors that influence an independent consultant’s decision to work with you instead of other companies. Read our tips for attracting top consultants to your team.
And just a note – if you’re looking for top project managers, IT or business consultants in the Nordics and elsewhere in the EU, we can help. Our team at Right People Group has been delivering expert IT and business consultants to hundreds of companies and organizations since 2007, no matter the complexity of the projects. Reach out to your regional contact person listed at the top right of this blog page, or contact us at [email protected] or +44 7441 9080 06. A