Working within recruitment, it’s safe to say that job descriptions can often be an overlooked task. HR professionals and recruiters put off writing or updating job descriptions because they think other tasks are more vital. But we assure you, a well-written job description will significantly impact the workplace more than you anticipate.
Helps attract the right employee: The primary purpose is to ensure the job description is written in a way that attracts the right talent for the position. Taking time to write this, speaking to HR, the hiring manager and others in similar roles will mean it is less likely that candidates who don’t fit the criteria will apply.
Helps guide training: If your job description is thorough, it will be easier to know where a new employee falls short in knowledge, skills or qualifications and where they might require additional training.
Offer protection after terminations: A good job description will be backup documentation for poor performance. If you had outlined the expectations right from the beginning, it’s easier to pinpoint and document exactly where the employee’s performance doesn’t meet the standards.
Assist with retention and satisfaction: A job description should be a sample snapshot of a candidate’s life within the company. If you don’t put an accurate job description, the employee may feel like the company has been deceitful.
Helps gauge performance: After hiring an employee, the job duties, tasks etc., are outlined in the description of the job advert and will act as expectation guidelines. You can use the job advert to measure performance during an employee’s probation period.
Tips for Writing Better Job Descriptions
Study your target audience: Learn everything you need to know about your target candidate so your job advert can tap into their emotions.
Optimise the job title with keywords: Don’t make up a new creative name for an established role as it won’t rank well.
Concisely describe the job & benefits: If hiring a software developer, explain how their work will impact your customers. Will it help people get more clean drinking water every day? Be specific
Keep the job requirements clear and realistic: Keep your list of requirements only as long as it needs to be. You don’t want to scare great candidates away with trivial prerequisites.
Summarise the benefits package: Instead of listing your perks, use examples to help candidates envision the benefits.
Company Summary: Your company summary should help to put the job for which you’re hiring into context for the applicant. Your applicants will want company details specific to the team they’d be joining.
Remove bias from your ad: Terms for ‘aggressive’, ‘fearless’, and ‘killer instinct’ may seem harmless, but they carry a masculine bias and can affect your candidate pool.
Keep Your Job Descriptions Up-to-Date
Writing and maintaining job descriptions must be an ongoing task. In the same way companies must re-evaluate budgets, workflows, and processes; they should also re-assess job descriptions annually. This ensures those position requirements are up to date and consistent with current industry trends.
You can download our ‘Writing a Job Description that Attracts the Ideal Candidates’ eBook:
- It gives more detail on the steps to writing a job advert
- How to go the extra mile when writing your job description
- Common mistakes to avoid
- How to go beyond posting on job boards