A well define job description can attract qualified candidates faster!
If you want to find candidates who can start work with no learning curve, fit into your organization, get the job done, and exceed your highest expectations, then don’t underestimate the importance of knowing how to write a job description.
It’s crucial that you make writing job descriptions part of your overall business planning effort. You can’t simply start thinking about job descriptions every time you have a specific search to conduct for a hiring requisition.
You need to embed preparation of job descriptions within your human resources department as a central and fundamental basis for running HR. Take the time to write job descriptions for every position in your organization, not just the ones you are currently hiring for.
The job description needs to communicate clearly and concisely what responsibilities and tasks the job entails and to indicate the key qualifications of the job – the basic requirements (specific credentials or skills) – and, if possible, the attributes that underlie superior performance.
Don’t rely solely on past job description’s history as you’re creating the new job description. Focus instead on what the job needs to be in light of the company’s current needs and long-term objectives.
Job Description should have the following sections:
- The Opportunity – this section should include basic information about the position: job title, a short description of the job and its purpose, company name, geographic location, branch or department, supervisor’s job title, salary target, special benefits, special requirements such as drug testing or security clearance.
- Required Skills – This is where you define the skills, abilities, and attributes that the candidate needs to have. You may want to create a matrix that includes the following information: the competency; the experience, education or certification that is required; finally, specify to whether the competency is a required or if it is preferred.
A well-written job description consists of more than a laundry list of the tasks and responsibilities that the job entails. It should reflect a sense of priorities. It needs to be written clearly in simple language, contain information but not opinions or judgments, and avoid using words with “company specific” meanings. A well-written comprehensive job description for a management position might typically be about one to three pages in length.
Credentials (such as degrees and licenses) are absolute necessities in some jobs. You want to make sure whatever credentials you request should have a direct bearing on the candidate’s ability to become a top performer.
A job description should define what the person will actually do. Define the job qualifications such as skills, attributes, or credentials a person needs to perform the job. Clarify the actual tasks and responsibilities within the job description before you start thinking about what special attributes will be needed by the person who will be fulfilling those responsibilities.