What is a Job Description?
In the simplest terms, a job description (also referred to as a JD, or a job profile) is a document that lists the job requirements, responsibilities and specific skills needed to properly execute a particular role.
An effective job description will enable anyone reading it to develop a good understanding of that specific role by defining what the role entails, what skills are needed, and how the role fits into the company as a whole. They ensure all members of a team, or organisation, understand the requirements of specific roles throughout the business.
Job descriptions are essential, not just to ensure you employ the right candidate at the recruitment stage, but also to ensure an employee is fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of their role. In this way, they are very helpful to use as part of performance reviews, assuming they are specific enough.
An accurate job description will ensure a company recruits the most suitable people and protects against any required key skills being overlooked during the recruitment process.
Our Job Description Library contains examples of job descriptions which you can use as a starting point to suit the needs of your business.
How to Write a Job Description
- Find the most suitable job description template.
- Add in the job title (people doing the same job in different companies or across different industries, might be referred to differently).
- Clearly state in the opening sentences what the role entails. If you don’t know the answer to this, then ask someone who does – you can’t guess at this!
- List the duties and responsibilities of the role. Again, ensure this is accurate and up to date.
- Provide information on any essential qualifications, skills, or other key requirements.
- Detail measurable and specific examples of success within the role.
- Give information on the reporting structure of the role.
- Ensure everyone involved (the Line Manager, the MD, HR, etc) is in agreement with what you have detailed in the job description.
Whilst you may choose to download a specific job description, and then personalise it further for your company, we do also have a general Job Description template available to download, which will cover any role.
Isn’t a Job Description that same as a Job Advert?
Whilst a job description and a Job Advert will both detail the duties of a particular role, along with any necessary experience, qualifications and skills required, a job description is an internal document which will contain far more detailed information, which is invariably personalised to the company.
A job description provides you with an essential reference in case of employee disputes or disciplinary issues, it clarifies expectations and enables you to conduct performance reviews in a quantifiable way. Job Descriptions are necessarily long and descriptive.
A job advert on the other hand, is a tool to attract candidates to your company; they are short and to the point, and aren’t weighed down with lots of detail. Job adverts should be designed to sell the company to prospective candidates. Telling a potential future employee that filing will be one of their tasks, won’t exactly entice them to apply, however detailing it in a Job Description is essential if is a requirement of the role!
Spending the time and making the effort to write detailed job descriptions for your company will pay off handsomely when you see how helpful they are, both at the recruitment stage and during an employee’s time in a particular role.
Using a template will massively cut down the amount of time and effort you have to put into this most essential of tasks.
The job descriptions templates in our library can either be used as job adverts or tailored for job descriptions.
Job Description Library