Writing a great job description is essential for SMEs who want to compel the best candidates to apply. Writing a job description is where you begin marketing your employer brand and attract the attention of job seekers and qualified candidates.
At the core of a good job description is a careful balance of providing enough detail for potential candidates to understand the role while keeping it concise and easy for the person to divulge.
Essential small business resource: View our library of 700+ job descriptions.
What Is A Job Description?
A job description is a summary of the responsibilities, duties, skills and qualifications of the role. It should include important company details, such as your mission, culture, benefits, salary range, and reporting hierarchy.
The quality of job descriptions significantly impacts whether a job seeker will apply for the position, so it shouldn’t be overlooked or trivialised. Below we cover what to include in a job description:
Writing A Job Title
Ensure your job titles comply with the following rules.
Avoid Confusing Jargon
Your job title should not include internal jargon that might confuse job seekers. Check your job title is inclusive and remove anything which could appear discriminatory, such as race or gender bias.
Make Job Titles Specific
Compelling job titles include phrases that precisely describe the role. Many job seekers click on the search results that exactly match the title of the job they are seeking.
How To Write A Job Summary
The job summary should cover the following elements.
Define Your Company And Say Why You Are Unique
You should provide a company overview and highlight what makes you unique. Refer to your employer brand, considering company culture, values, and mission.
State Your Expectations
Write precisely what is expected of employees, so the job seeker understands if the position fits them and if they can do a great job.
State The Job’s Location
For your job ad to appear high in search results, you must include the location, which could in today’s landscape be entirely remote, or a hybrid role.
How To List Duties And Specific Responsibilities
Listing duties and responsibilities are crucial and should explain the following.
Job Activities Required On A Daily Basis
Activities are key information that will help potential candidates determine if they can fulfil the role and be part of the company culture. An effective job description that contains this key information will attract a higher percentage of qualified candidates.
Core Job Responsibilities
The job description should include a concise list of duties the person will be responsible for conducting. Ensure you include anything that makes the job unique. For example, you may want to hire a marketing manager who will be responsible for a social media strategy explicitly targeting TikTok.
How The Job Fits Into Your Organisation
Help candidates see the wider company picture by sharing who they will report to and how the job impacts the business.
Skills And Qualifications
A compelling job description must also define the skills and qualifications candidates need to succeed in the job.
Your job posting should reveal the soft skills and personality traits you want from job seekers, for example, excellent problem-solving abilities or effective communication.
Effective job descriptions should also include technical skills specific to the role. You may need candidates proficient in using a piece of equipment or software application.
Many jobs also require employees to have specific education and training. Here, and with soft and technical abilities, be clear on what is a must-have and what is a nice-to-have. Remember, job ads and the hiring process can fail to hire candidates because they don’t apply due to not having every technical skill and education you detailed in your job description.
Pay And Benefits
Next, we clarify what pay details a small business hiring manager should disclose in the job description.
When you write a job description, you should be aware that candidates apply for jobs they feel will meet their pay expectations. However, almost three-quarters of all job descriptions fail to include salary information.
As a small business, you can stand apart from your competitors with a transparent hiring process and job description that gives a salary range.
If you write a job posting with a pay band, your hiring success rate will increase because the candidates you are recruiting already know they are a company fit.
Benefits And Perks For Candidates Who Become Employees
The benefits and perks that your company can offer candidates will significantly affect if they accept your job offer. Successfully writing job descriptions doesn’t solely rely on the money you pay the individual applying for the position. An effective job offer and employment package may be the one that offers, for example, flexible hours, tuition reimbursements, a pet-friendly office, snacks, or dental care.
Job Description Resources
Effective job descriptions can be tricky to create. If your company is looking to hire, you can use the following resources to help you write a compelling job description:
Job Description Tips
We also have two tips for small businesses, who often struggle with a lack of time and can’t risk getting it wrong:
- Conduct decision-maker discovery – speaking to managers and department heads to ensure you include enough detail and have the precise requirements for the position.
- Leverage the job description – throughout the hiring process, with the job description becoming the foundation for job ads and candidate interviews.
Visit our Interviewing hub for employer resources.
Small Businesses Guide For Cost Effective Recruitment
Preparing Job Descriptions is a chapter from our Small Business Guide For Cost Effective Recruitment. In this recruitment guide, we explore:
- Why Should SMEs Build An Employer Brand?
- Preparing Job Descriptions
- Introducing An Employee Referral Scheme
- Social Media Hiring Strategies For SMEs
- Posting On Job Boards And Leveraging Fixed Cost Recruitment
- Centralising Recruitment With ATS
- Creating A Talent Pool
- Defining Your Interview Process
- Presenting A Job Offer