Hiring managers and HR professionals are often tasked with writing job descriptions. Still, writing a compelling job description can feel like no easy task. You are probably asking, where do I start? And what should I include?
This article will highlight what job descriptions are used for, provide helpful tips on how to write an effective job description, and direct you to free writing resources, such as job description examples.
So, let’s get started by exploring the purpose of job descriptions.
What Are Job Descriptions Used For?
A job description can be used for several purposes. For Human Resources, the job description sets out the responsibilities, duties, and tasks for a particular job title and can be used for performance management. For a hiring manager, a job description is used in the hiring process, forming the bases of a job ad that aims to find qualified candidates.
Therefore, what a good job description constitutes, depends on its intended purpose. HR will want an extensive and all-encompassing document that line management can use to appraise current employees. Hiring managers will want a more concise and balanced document that can be used to advertise a new position and help during the recruitment process (to screen candidates and as a basis for interview questions).
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How To Write Effective Job Descriptions
A well-written job description that is ideal for use in job ads and finding quality candidates should include:
1. CHOOSE AN ACCURATE JOB TITLE
Job titles should be concise (job titles of up to 80 characters generate more candidates), specific, and accurately describe the role. Don’t confuse potential candidates with internal terminology, and always consider what job title the correct type of job seeker would use in a job search, either on LinkedIn or a job board. You should avoid gender bias and discrimination in your job titles to attract job applications from diverse candidates.
2. WRITE A JOB SUMMARY INCLUDING ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Hook job seekers by writing a job summary that promotes the most appealing responsibilities the job entails. Maintain a concise description, but provide enough detail to describe long-term objectives and to who new employees will report (the reporting hierarchy).
3. CREATE A LIST OF DUTIES AND TASKS
Bullet points are ideal for listing the tasks and other duties conducted during a typical day. Don’t be tempted to omit less desirable job duties; else, your new employee might not be prepared to complete them, and if they leave, the employment lifecycle starts over again.
Discover the job duties, tasks, and skills for your open job here.
4. CREATE A LIST OF NECESSARY SKILLS AND REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS
Desired skills fall into soft skills and technical skills and qualifications. Soft skills include personality traits and aptitudes needed to complete job duties. For example, specific skills might consist of problem-solving, organisation, and communication. Hard skills and required qualifications should be well-recognised requirements for handling the role’s responsibilities competently. However, don’t set an unrealistic required level of education where it isn’t needed. A good job description might define skills and required qualifications as must-have or nice-to-have.
Preparing Job Postings
For your job description to be used in the hiring process and for a job post, you will need to prepare extra key information:
1. ADD IMPORTANT COMPANY DETAILS
Describe your company culture, work environment, and the values of the wider business to ensure potential applicants are an excellent cultural fit. Use the present tense and say what makes your company unique and a great home for top talent.
2. ADD SALARY RANGE AND BENEFITS
A job posting that denotes the salary range will attract more job seekers. Furthermore, job seekers are more likely to accept your job offer and be at the right level of seniority and experience. Benefits that attract the best candidates include private healthcare, hybrid working, and financial assistance in gaining new qualifications.
3. ADD LOCATION AND HOURS
Location and hours are crucial for securing the right candidate for whom the position fits. Let candidates know the expected work schedule and if it includes flexible work hours or remote working.
4. ADD HOW TO APPLY
It seems like a no-brainer to add the contact details of the hiring manager so that candidates can ask questions about the application process. You should also clarify if you want candidates to provide a cover letter and CV or complete an online application form.
Job Description Writing Resources
Here are the free job description writing resources for employers:
Job Description Writing FAQs
Here we answer your job description writing questions.
A good job description should include a job title and position responsibilities, duties, and tasks.
A job description may be used to appraise employees or to advertise a position and hire the best candidate.