Trish Barnes on November 24, 2015
How to Write a Good Job Description
Writing a job description is arguably one of the most important aspects of recruiting and talent acquisition. It also ensures that new hires understand exactly what’s expected of them right from the get go and should minimize any misunderstandings or complications. And while writing a good job description may sound simple and straightforward, there’s a lot that goes into it. Let’s now discuss this topic in greater detail and highlight some techniques for fine-tuning the process.
What is a Job Description?
It’s defined by Business Dictionary as “a broad, general and written statement of a specific job, based on the findings of a job analysis. It generally includes duties, purpose, responsibilities, scope and working conditions of a job along with the job’s title and the name or designation of the person to whom the employee reports.” Basically, it’s meant to clarify which qualifications are needed for a position, the responsibilities that an employee will have and what their overall role will be within a company.
The Importance of a Good Job Description
While a good job description can positively impact your business in countless ways, there are five primary benefits:
- It helps you weed out the wrong candidates and at the same time attract highly qualified individuals.
- It specifically states what your expectations are of a job candidate so there’s no confusion.
- It reduces the risk of unfair hiring practices and helps keep you in the clear from a legal standpoint.
- You’re more likely to find employees who fit in with your company culture.
- It helps you avoid wasting your time as well as job applicants’ time.
When you look at the big picture, a good job description can also help minimize turnover. That’s because you’re more likely to hire employees that are a good fit both in terms of knowledge/skill set as well as personality.
Strategies for Writing a Job Description
First of all, you’ll want to start with a rock solid job title. This means that you need to consider all of the responsibilities and condense them into a brief job title that will instantly resonate with job searchers and gain the attention of qualified individuals. Next, you’ll want to summarize all of the key duties and specific knowledge/skills that are needed for the position.
Besides simply listing hard skills (e.g. knows how to use Excel or experienced at computer programming), it’s important to list the necessary soft skills (e.g. sound communication skills and capable of working well independently).
After that, you’ll need to explain the qualifications you’re looking for such as a certain type of degree, industry experience, etc. This will be followed by discussing the location in which an employee will work, working environment, the salary they will receive, the number of hours they’ll work per week, physical requirements and anything else that could influence their decision to apply.
Remember to be as specific as possible and highlight any details that you feel are important. To avoid any potential legal backlash, it’s usually best to remain gender neutral, which can be done by using he/she throughout.
When you break it all down, a job description is an essential yet sometimes overlooked aspect of recruiting. Getting it right is beneficial for several reasons and should increase the likelihood that you find the best possible candidate for your company and someone who sticks around for the long haul. That way, you can build a strong foundation of employees and better position your business for sustainable success.