When writing a job description or job advert, how do you know what people do in their job roles? Or, how about what job title, responsibilities, and tasks to include? And, why are all these important anyway?
If you are an employer or hiring manager pondering these questions, we define the process of how you can learn what people do in different jobs, so you can write great job descriptions and job adverts. We also discuss the importance of getting it right, so you can create effective recruitment campaigns resulting in better and more applicants.
In this article, we cover:
- What are roles and responsibilities?
- The benefits of defining a job title and responsibilities
- Which responsibilities and tasks to include in your job description
- Defining skills, experience, and qualifications
- How to write effective job descriptions
- How to write effective job adverts
- The responsibilities of all professions
What are roles and responsibilities?
The responsibilities define the tasks and job duties that an individual working in a role will be required to complete. A clear understanding of the respective roles on an individual level is essential and allows employees to complete their job effectively. Collectively, the responsibilities are often referred to as the job description.
The role is the employee’s job title, and these define the person’s position with the team and company. The combination of individual roles varies depending on the type of company or organisation. Each role must perform and fulfil its responsibilities for teamwork to be effective.
- Responsibilities are tasks and form the job description
- The role is the job title
The benefits of defining a job title and responsibilities
There are several clear benefits to defining job titles and responsibilities. When you clearly assign responsibilities, you will positively impact the organisation’s performance and enhance your recruitment strategy.
Company benefits include:
- Improve your recruitment process – A clear job description helps ensure internal and external job applicants are qualified and suitable for the role. Responsibilities let external and internal candidates know what to expect from the position and describe what success looks like.
- Reduce internal conflicts – Improved transparency reduces friction, with each team member understanding the bigger picture and knowing where they fit in the company hierarchy.
- Increased productivity – When team members understand what is expected from them and what they should do, productivity increases, tasks are completed, and project deadlines are met.
- Improved morale and motivation – Knowing what is ‘success’ allows team members to achieve their goals, which boosts morale and helps teams build momentum.
- Save time, money, and resources – You can hire the people you need, reduce the likelihood of redundancies, and manage unforeseen work environment challenges, such as working from home due to the pandemic.
- Roles and responsibilities help you hire the right employees, define success, and save time and resources
Which responsibilities and tasks to include in your job description
Before you start to formulate your job descriptions, it helps to ask a series of questions that will help you define the business aspects that are most important. Many of these questions are relevant to new ventures hiring their first employees, companies that are expanding, and businesses looking to exclude waste or restructure due to market or industry changes.
Questions most organisations should consider include:
- What issues are we facing? – Do you need to reduce customer queues or sell a product or service to a new group of customers?
- What needs to get done? – The specific tasks that need to be completed to reach the company’s end goal.
- Which tasks are related? – These groups of tasks fall under the responsibility of departments or teams. The tasks can then be split into smaller groups to create the responsibilities of each role or team member.
- What are the parameters of responsibilities? – Each task should be specific, state how it is best accomplished, have defined time-frames or deadlines, describe who the role reports to (chain of command), and say how performance is measured.
Defining skills, experience, and qualifications
Once the responsibilities of each position are defined, you need to consider what it takes to effectively perform each task. When defining the attributes an employee will need to complete tasks, you should consider the soft skills and hard skills that create a skill set, previous experience, and qualifications. Questions hiring managers should consider include:
- What personal characteristics does each role require? – Do you need an employee who can remain calm during stressful situations or has an abundance of confidence for approaching clients or potential partners.
- Do the tasks require technical abilities and hard skills? – Potential candidates can quantify and demonstrate these by holding a qualification, certification, or association.
At this point, you should have an excellent idea of what needs to get done and the strengths and skill set needed to get it done. You can describe all the little things that matter and those that create a positive difference to drive success, create successful teams, deliver company goals, and complete ongoing and future projects.
How to write effective job descriptions and job adverts
To write an effective job description, you will need to bring the information together. To ensure you compose effective job descriptions that you can use to hire a high-performing team and give employees a clear direction, follow these tips and best practices:
- Make your job description easy to read – Most people spend a few seconds glancing at a job advert, which may be one of many jobs advertised on a job board or careers-focused social network. To attract a candidate’s attention and encourage them to explore your vacancy further, use bullet points, placing one responsibility or qualification on each line.
- Be clear on required knowledge and skills – To help your company and employees be successful, state specific qualifications, certificates, skills, and career experience crucial to completing the role.
- But, be realistic – Does every employee need to have a Master’s degree? It might be nice but you run the risk of excluding potential candidates and creating an over-qualified team with high salary costs.
For job descriptions to become successful job adverts, they need to include the following elements:
Job title: If you are recruiting within the organisation, it may be acceptable to use jargon or creative job titles. However, if the position is being advertised externally, the title should not be vague and should accurately describe the nature of the role.
Location: With remote working and working from home on the rise, you may want to promote virtual roles that can be completed from anywhere in the UK or world. For hybrid, office, and on-site jobs, it is a good idea to include the city or region.
Salary and Benefits: Many employers do not wish to make salaries or a specific perk or benefit public knowledge. However, research shows that keeping this information confidential harms applicant numbers. If you do not wish to state the exact salary, a salary range can lead to greater hiring success and candidate numbers.
Job description: A few sentences, job descriptions should convey the function and purpose of the position, which is vital for job titles that are more unique. To help encourage applications, consider including your business’s mission and values, give a sense of your team and company culture, and give the candidate a purpose, which together with other employees will help improve employee engagement and develop a positive work environment.
Responsibilities: These should be precise and easy for applicants to scan. Use bullet points and shorter sentences to be concise.
Qualifications: Stipulate exactly what qualifications your business is seeking. It can be advantageous, and increase applicant numbers, to provide an example of equivalent workplace experience to qualifications.
Call to action: Don’t forget to include a call to action. You might have a link to an online application form or which to lead applicants towards applying via email.
In summary, when composing job descriptions, you should be specific and concise. The document will aid you during the hiring process, including advertising and when conducting job interviews. You should also place a copy of the job description in the employee’s file, when a candidate is hired.
Job description templates for every team member in the entire team
You can use our example job description templates and job advert templates as a starting point when creating recruitment content for all roles on a candidate’s potential career path. If, for example, you want to use your own words but are unsure where to begin, we recommend moving to the appropriate articles listed below, defining the roles and responsibilities of all professions.
The responsibilities of all professions:
What does an accounting person do?
Accounting roles are typically completed in an office work environment by team members in roles such as accountant, auditor, or tax specialist.
What does an administration person do?
The life of an administration person involves completing admin tasks and providing support to other colleagues, teams, managers, and senior executives
What does a bar and restaurant person do?
Restaurant and bar staff work front of house serving customers and in kitchen and management positions.
What do civil service professionals do?
A civil service career may have a law enforcement focus or provide support and advice to inform the public and help people in their daily lives.
What does a construction worker do?
Construction workers complete building projects and have project meetings with customers and professionals such as architects.
What does a customer services person do?
Customer service professionals are fundamental to the success of businesses that sell or provide services or products to customers.
What does an educator do?
An educator usually works as part of a broader team including teachers and support staff.
What do finance executives do?
A finance career may focus on completing transactions, ensuring compliance, and managing invoices, budgets, and financial projections.
What do healthcare professionals do?
A healthcare team may work in a doctor’s office or a private or NHS hospital.
What does a hospitality person do?
Hospitality staff may carry out their duties in hotels, venues, or sports centres.
What does a HR person do?
Human Resources professionals focus their effort on managing the many aspects of employing and paying a team.
What does an IT person do?
An IT team might select, install, or maintain the network infrastructure of a company.
View the Key Roles and Responsibilities in IT.
What does management do?
The management team is responsible for creating direction, finding business opportunities, and driving success and performance.
What does a marketing person do?
A marketing team member carries out duties related to advertising and promoting products and services, through their entire life cycle.
What do professional services executives do?
Professional services roles are varied and duties might include developing marketing, delivering training, or defining projects.
What do retail professionals do?
Retail professionals are part of the shop floor team and their duties include sales, customer service, and inventory management.
View the Key Roles and Responsibilities in Retail.
What do salespeople do?
Salespeople work face-to-face, via the phone, or by email, securing and processing sales.
View the Key Roles and Responsibilities in Sales.
What do transportation and logistics workers do?
The transportation and logistics team complete tasks such as moving items in and out of warehouses and delivering goods to clients or personal consumers.
Defining team member roles FAQs
A job role refers to an employee’s position in a team. Responsibilities are the tasks and duties performed by the individual in the job role.