As an employer, finding the best candidates for an open position can be a challenging and time-consuming process. That’s where the job description comes in – it’s your opportunity to clearly outline the requirements, duties and responsibilities of the role and attract top talent to your company. But job descriptions are more than just a list of duties and qualifications – they play a crucial role in the recruitment process and beyond. From shaping company culture to influencing salary negotiations, job descriptions are a vital aspect of any successful and profitable business.
In this article, we’ll explore 12 things you may not have known about job descriptions and how they can impact your company’s hiring and management efforts. Whether you’re an experienced employer or just starting out, these insights can help you get the most out of your job descriptions and find the best fit for your team.
12 Job Description Facts
Here are twelve facts that will help you when writing job descriptions and job ads.
1. JOB DESCRIPTIONS CAN VARY GREATLY FROM BUSINESS TO BUSINESS
As an employer, one thing you may not have realised is that your job descriptions can vary significantly from those of other companies. While some businesses prefer to have very detailed descriptions, outlining every responsibility and requirement in great detail, others may opt for more general descriptions to allow for flexibility and growth within the role.
This can be both a strength and a weakness – a detailed job description can give potential candidates a clear understanding of what to expect from the position. Still, it can also be off-putting to some suitable candidates who may prefer more flexibility. On the other hand, a more general description may attract a wider pool of suitable candidates, but it could also lead to confusion and misunderstandings about the job purpose.
Employers need to find the right balance in their job descriptions, clearly outlining the key responsibilities and requirements of a position while leaving room for growth and development. By carefully considering your business’s needs and potential candidates’ preferences, you can create compelling job descriptions that attract top talent and set them up for success in their roles.
We recommend reading how to write a job description and develop your recruitment strategy. To get started, you can access job description examples for more than 800 job titles in our job description library. For example, we have editable job description templates, such as a surveyor job description and insurance advisor job description, complete with job duties and responsibilities and skills and experience.
2. JOB DESCRIPTIONS ARE NOT ALWAYS ACCURATE
As an employer, you may assume that your job descriptions are accurate and comprehensive, but this may not always be true. While job descriptions are typically written in the HR department or by hiring managers, they may not accurately reflect a position’s day-to-day duties. This can be due to various factors, such as changes in company strategy, shifts in the industry, or simply a lack of awareness about the full scope of a role.
As a result, it’s crucial for employers to partake in regularly updating job descriptions to ensure they are accurate and reflect the company’s current and future needs. Keeping your job descriptions up to date allows you to attract the best candidates and set them up for success in their roles. Additionally, it’s essential to communicate with your employees about any changes in responsibilities or duties and to provide ongoing support and training as needed to help them succeed in their positions.
By reviewing and revising your job descriptions, you can ensure that your company has a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each job title, which can ultimately lead to better performance, productivity, and business development.
3. JOB DESCRIPTIONS ARE NOT SET IN STONE
It’s important to remember that good job descriptions are not set in stone. As your company grows and evolves, the needs and requirements of your various job titles may also change. This can be due to shifts in the industry, changes in strategic planning, or simply the natural progression of your business. It’s crucial for employers to be flexible and open to revising their job descriptions as needed to ensure they accurately reflect the company’s current needs.
By regularly reviewing and updating your job descriptions, you can stay ahead of these changes and ensure that your staff members clearly understand their specific duties and expectations. Additionally, it’s essential to communicate with your employees about any changes in their roles or duties and to provide ongoing support and personal development to help them succeed in their positions. By being proactive about reviewing and revising your job descriptions, you can keep your company running smoothly and help your employees thrive in their roles.
4. JOB DESCRIPTIONS CAN BE USED FOR PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
You may not have realised that most job descriptions can be used for more than just attracting and hiring new employees. They can also serve as a reference for evaluating an employee’s performance. By outlining the responsibilities and requirements the role entails, a job description can provide a clear benchmark for assessing an employee’s progress and success in their position. This can be especially useful for performance evaluations, as it gives both the employer and the employee a better understanding of the expectations for the role.
It’s crucial for employers to be familiar with their job descriptions and to use them as a reference during performance evaluations to ensure that their assessments are fair and accurate. Additionally, employees must understand the expectations outlined in their job descriptions to strive to meet them, improve their performance, and rise to new challenges. Using job descriptions as a reference during performance evaluations, employers can set their employees up for success and help them grow and develop in their necessary skills and experience.
5. JOB DESCRIPTIONS CAN INFLUENCE SALARY NEGOTIATIONS
As an employer, you may not have considered the role that job descriptions can play in salary negotiations with potential applicants. When it comes to setting salaries for your employees, the responsibilities and requirements outlined in a job description can serve as a reference for determining the appropriate pay for a particular role. By carefully reviewing the job description and considering the qualifications and experience of a candidate, you can establish a fair and competitive salary for a new hire.
It’s important to remember that job descriptions can also be used by candidates during salary negotiations. Job seekers may use the duties and responsibilities and required qualifications outlined in a job description to justify their request for a higher salary, particularly if they have additional qualifications or experience that exceed the expectations of the role.
As an employer, it’s essential to be prepared to defend your salary offer and be open to negotiating based on a candidate’s specific qualifications and experience. By being proactive about salary negotiations and using your job descriptions as a reference, you can attract the best candidates and set them up for success in their roles.
6. JOB DESCRIPTIONS CAN BE USED TO ATTRACT TOP TALENT
Job descriptions can be used to attract top talent by clearly and accurately outlining the responsibilities, duties, and requirements of the position. This information can help attract the right candidates by providing a clear picture of what the job entails and highlighting the skills, experience, and education required to succeed in the role.
A well-written job posting and detailed job description can also help establish credibility with potential candidates, as it shows that the employer has put thought and effort into defining the position and what they are looking for in a candidate. This can be especially important for attracting top talent, as these individuals may have multiple job offers to choose from and are likely to be more selective about the opportunities they pursue.
Finally, a good job description can showcase the company’s unique aspects or roles, such as the company culture, growth opportunities, or the chance to work on exciting projects. This can be a powerful way to attract top talent into the job application process, as these individuals are often motivated by the opportunity to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact.
7. A JOB DESCRIPTION SHOULD BE CLEAR AND CONCISE
There are several reasons why job descriptions and job ads should be clear and concise. Firstly, clear and concise job descriptions are more likely to attract a wider pool of qualified candidates. Job seekers are often inundated with job openings and may not have the time or inclination to wade through a long and rambling list of job requirements. By keeping your job descriptions concise and to the point, you can make it easier for potential candidates to quickly understand the responsibilities and technical skills of the role and determine if they are a good fit for your company.
Secondly, clear and concise job descriptions can save time and resources in the recruiting process. When job descriptions are long and confusing, it can be difficult for HR departments and hiring managers to evaluate and compare candidates effectively, hampering the decision-making process. By providing a clear and concise list of responsibilities and requirements, you can make it easier for HR and hiring managers to identify the most qualified candidates and streamline the hiring process.
Finally, clear and concise job descriptions can help to set employees up for success in their jobs. When job descriptions and job postings are well-written and easy to understand, the successful candidate will clearly understand their responsibilities and expectations, which can help them perform their duties effectively and efficiently. By investing in clear and concise job descriptions, you can help to ensure that your employees have the tools and support they need to succeed in their positions and contribute to the overall long term strategy of your company.
8. JOB DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD NOT DISCRIMINATE
Equal opportunity laws protect job seekers from discrimination, and employers must be mindful of these laws when writing job descriptions. As an employer, it’s important to remember that your job descriptions should not discriminate against any particular group of people. This includes avoiding language or requirements perceived as discriminatory based on factors such as race, gender, age, religion, or disability. By using inclusive language and avoiding any potentially discriminatory requirements, you can attract a wider pool of qualified candidates and create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Additionally, it’s essential to know any industry-specific equal opportunity laws that may apply to your company. By following equal opportunity laws and avoiding discriminatory language in your job listings, you can ensure that your hiring practices are fair and legal and that you are attracting the best talent for your company.
9. JOB DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD BE WRITTEN WITH THE JOB SEEKER IN MIND
When it comes to writing job descriptions, employers must remember that they should be written with the job seeker in mind. This means avoiding jargon or insider language that may not be familiar to all job seekers and using clear and concise language to outline the requirements and responsibilities of a position. By writing job descriptions that are easy to understand, you can attract a wider pool of qualified candidates and increase your chances of finding the best fit for your company.
It’s also important to be honest, and upfront in your job descriptions to avoid attracting candidates who may not be a good fit for the role. By being clear and transparent in your job descriptions, you can save time and resources in the recruitment process and set your business up for success.
Additionally, it’s important to include information about the company culture and values in your job descriptions to help job seekers determine if they will be a good culture fit for the organisation. It is a good rule to write job descriptions that are clear, concise, and reflective of your company’s culture and values – you can attract candidates and set them up for success in their roles.
10. JOB DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD INCLUDE A LIST OF RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIREMENTS
As a business owner or hiring manager, it’s important to include a clear and comprehensive list of responsibilities, soft skills, and requirements in your job ad to attract the most qualified candidates for your open positions. This list should outline the duties and qualifications necessary for a candidate to succeed in the role, and it should be realistic and reasonable in terms of the required soft skills and technical experience.
By including a complete list of job responsibilities and the right skills in your job descriptions, you can ensure that you are attracting the ideal candidate and setting them up for success in their position. It’s also important to review and update this list regularly to ensure that it reflects your company’s current needs and expectations. By being clear and transparent about the responsibilities and required skills of a particular role, you can attract a top applicants and set them up for success in their roles.
11. JOB DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANY CULTURE
It’s essential to consider your job ad and job description’s role in shaping your company culture and values. Your job descriptions are often the first point of contact that potential candidates have with your company, and they can provide valuable insight into your company’s culture and values.
By including information about your company culture and values in your job descriptions, you can attract candidates who are a good fit for your organisation and align with your company’s goals and mission. This can help to create a more cohesive and productive workplace, as employees are more likely to thrive in a culture that aligns with their values and beliefs.
Additionally, job seekers must research a company’s culture and values before applying for a position to ensure they are a good fit for the organisation. Including information about your company culture and values in your job descriptions can help job seekers make informed decisions about their careers and set them up for career success.
12. MOST JOB DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT CAREER PROGRESSION OPPORTUNITIES
You may not have realised the impact that your job posting and job descriptions can have on your company’s reputation and branding. Your job descriptions are often the first point of contact that potential candidates have with your company, and they can shape their perception of your business. By writing clear and compelling job descriptions, you can attract top talent and enhance your company’s reputation as a desirable workplace.
On the other hand, a poorly written or confusing job title, job posting, or job description can deter qualified candidates and reflect poorly on your company’s image. It’s essential to craft well-written and informative job descriptions that accurately reflect the needs and culture of your business. Investing in strong job descriptions can attract top talent and enhance your company’s workplace reputation.
Writing Job Descriptions FAQS
Here we answer your questions to help your create the best job descriptions, job titles, and job postings.
1. Job title and overview: This includes the name of the position and a brief overview of its purpose and place within the company.
2. Responsibilities and duties: This section should outline the daily tasks and duties that the employee will be responsible for.
3. Requirements and qualifications: This section should outline the education, experience, and skill set necessary for the position.
4. Working conditions: This can include information about the physical environment in which the employee will perform and any safety considerations.
5. Compensation and benefits: This section should include information about the salary or hourly wage for the job title and any benefits the company offers.
6. Company culture and values: This section should provide information about the company’s culture and values and how they align with the position.
Job descriptions must be inclusive and not use language that could be considered discriminatory or biased. Here are a few examples of words or phrases that should be avoided in job descriptions:
1. “Young” or “recent graduate” – These phrases can be seen as excluding older job candidates.
2. “Males only” or “Females only” – This type of language is not inclusive and can be seen as discriminatory.
3. “Native speaker” – This phrase can exclude non-native speakers and should be avoided.
4. “Fit” or “athletic” – These words can be seen as discriminating against people with disabilities or those who do not fit a certain physical stereotype.
5. “Strictly” or “only” – Using words like “strictly” or “only” can exclude a diverse range of candidates and should be avoided.
It is vital to use language that is clear, concise, and inclusive in your job ad and job descriptions.
A job description is a document that outlines the responsibilities, requirements, and duties of a specific job. It is typically used by employers to attract qualified candidates and to provide them with an understanding of what the job entails.
There are several reasons why a job description is essential:
1. It helps to attract the right candidates – A well-written job description posted on job boards can help to attract the most qualified candidates by clearly outlining the requirements and duties of the job.
2. It provides a clear understanding of the job – A job description can help candidates understand what will be expected of them in the role, which can help them determine if the job is a good fit for their skills and experience.
3. It sets expectations – A job description can help to set clear expectations for both the employer and the employee, which can help to ensure that the employee can succeed in the role.
4. It can be used for performance evaluations – A job description can serve as a reference point for evaluating an employee’s performance.
Overall, a job description is an essential tool for both employers and employees, as it helps to define the role and responsibilities of the job clearly, and can help to ensure that the right candidate is hired for the position.
The job description is a document that outlines the responsibilities, duties, and requirements of a specific job. It is a crucial tool for job seekers and employers, as it helps to clearly communicate what is expected of the person filling the position. While the specific content of a job description may change over time, the concept of a job description itself has not become obsolete. It is still widely used by employers to attract and evaluate potential candidates for various positions.
Job descriptions are typically created by the employer or a human resources (HR) representative. They may be based on the specific requirements of the job, as well as the employer’s expectations for the person who will be filling the position. In some cases, the person currently performing the job or a manager in the same department may also be involved in creating the job description.
The goal of a job description is to provide a clear and detailed overview of the responsibilities and duties of the position, as well as the skills, experience, and education required to succeed in the role. This information is used to attract and evaluate potential candidates and to guide the performance of the person hired for the job.
There are a few limitations to job descriptions that are worth considering.
First, job descriptions are often written in a very general way, meaning they may not fully capture the specific tasks and responsibilities a person will be expected to perform daily. This can lead to misunderstandings and unrealistic expectations on both sides.
Second, job descriptions are often focused on the requirements and expectations of the employer rather than the needs and goals of the person filling the position. This can make it difficult for job seekers to understand whether the job is a good fit for them and their career goals.
Finally, job descriptions are usually static documents that are not updated frequently. This means that they may not accurately reflect the job’s current state or the employer’s needs. As a result, they may not be the most effective tool for evaluating whether a person is a good fit for a particular role.
Overall, it’s essential to remember that a job description is just one part of the job search and hiring process. It should be considered in conjunction with other factors, such as the company culture and the specific needs of the role.