The HR Outlook

How to Write a Job Description

How to Write a Job Description

HR practices have evolved with time, and organizations are now focusing on the business’s long-term success. HRM’s goals have changed, and managers now want to hire and keep top talent from the start so that they don’t have to go through repeated recruitment cycles. Therefore, they are constantly upgrading the hiring process.

To improve the hiring process, you must first evaluate it and identify its drawbacks. According to Standout CV, poorly written job descriptions can harm 52% of those who apply for a specific role. Therefore, it is necessary to write engaging descriptions in job postings.

Job descriptions are the first thing a potential candidate will come into contact with, and they provide a brief overview of the business to the audience. That’s why you must ensure your postings are optimized and drive the expected results. But how do you do it? We’ve covered some important tips for writing job descriptions that will get more and more people to apply. But before we look at the tips, let’s see some points to better understand the importance of job descriptions.

Top Reasons Why Job Descriptions Are Important

1. They Ensure You Are Recruiting The Best Talent

Optimized job descriptions help candidates get a better idea of what the company is really like. So, only qualified candidates who possess all the required skills and are comfortable with the role should apply. This way, the selection process becomes easy and quick, as all the applicants are eligible. There will be no need to eliminate unqualified candidates.

2. They Make Sure Your Expectations Are Met

Every employer has specific expectations of its employees. Job descriptions tell potential candidates what is expected of them on behalf of the company. This way, when a candidate is hired, he or she will know exactly what the responsibilities are. As a result, they will work more efficiently and try to meet all the expectations.

3. They Prevent The Risk Of Making A Wrong Hire

Making the wrong hiring decisions often costs companies a lot, and job descriptions prevent that risk. They make the audience understand the job role and responsibilities, so unqualified candidates automatically get out of the process. They also provide recruiters with a framework for making the best decision. This way, companies don’t have to go through the hiring process as often, and they can save a lot of money.

4. They Communicate Your Employer Brand To The Candidates

Nowadays, the most important thing for businesses is to boost employer branding efforts, as it helps to attract more candidates. And job descriptions do a good job of telling the audience about the employer brand and showing all the perks the company gives to its employees. In addition, it provides the candidates with all the reasons why they should join the company.

Tips For Writing A Compelling Job Description

Here is the heart of the article; what will you need to do to optimize the job descriptions and make the most out of them? So, here are some helpful tips for your hiring team to use to make sure that their job postings bring in qualified candidates.

1. Do An Analysis Of The Job Role

You must gather and examine the data about the job’s tasks so that you will have a better understanding of the requirements. The following steps will be helpful in performing the job analysis:

  • Ask existing employees about their responsibilities and what tasks are being performed. Know the importance of tasks in the process.
  • Observe how they execute the tasks.
  • Make relatable questionnaires and worksheets for the job role and ask the employees to fill in the data.
  • Examine the salary surveys and find out what packages the competitors are providing to their staff. Also, calculate the median pay for the role based on the comprehensive market data.
  • Study the occupational outlook handbook and determine what the desired employee should possess.

In the end, prepare a report in which all observations should be documented efficiently. It must include the required knowledge, skills, characteristics, and experience for the position. Let’s see in detail:

  • Knowledge: The potential candidate should have relevant knowledge about the job acquired by experience or study.
  • Skills: Efficiency and competency to perform specific tasks.
  • Characteristics: Physical or mental attributes the applicant must have to perform the duties.
  • Experience: Outline the minimum level of education, experience, and certifications required for the role.

If any other factors exist, they must be outlined and added to the report. Then, the report must be sent to the particular department’s head or the current employee for review. The recommended changes should be made to improve the criteria.

2. Make A List Of Essential Functions

Once the basic requirements for the job have been established, you need to make a list of all the important tasks that the candidate will have to complete. This will give the candidates a clear understanding of the company’s working style. You must ensure the essential functions align with your organization’s HRM objectives, so that the candidate will be working in the correct direction right from the first day. Here are the required steps to prepare a comprehensive list of functions:

  • Ensure that the tasks of the job are truly necessary and outline the standards to be met to perform efficiently.
  • Determine the frequency of the task and the time spent on it.
  • Find out what will be the consequences of not performing particular tasks. Check if the outcomes are severely affecting the business productivity.
  • Research if there is a substitute way to perform or redesign the task.

Once the list is made, then comes the stage of ranking functions in the job descriptions. Classify the essential and marginal functions and state them clearly in the descriptions. This will give applicants an outline of what tasks the company considers important for the position.

3. Organize The Data Efficiently

There are many types of job descriptions, and every company sets its structure in its own way. However, all descriptions should be standardized to give the same impression to the audience in every job posting. Here is a standard way to arrange the data fields:

  • Job Title: Name of the Position
  • Experience Level: Mention entry-level or experienced candidates, whoever is required
  • Salary Grade: State the minimum and maximum pay range and state if any incentives/bonuses are offered.
  • Objective: Define the objective of the job in brief.
  • Essential Functions: Add the essential functions of the position, and include the frequency of tasks.
  • Competency: Talk about the competencies for the role. Desired level of knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position.
  • Work Environment: Highlight the perks of the workplace and mention how engaging a usual day looks like at the company.
  • Position Type And Work Hours: Mention whether the position is full-time or part-time and details of the shift timings. Also, state the workdays in a week and if overtime is expected.
  • Travel: Clarify if travel is required for the work and the region of travel. Also, give a brief of the claim policy.
  • Necessary Education And Experience: Define the minimum level of education and experience required for the role. Don’t mention the experience if the vacancy is for freshers.
  • Additional Perks Of The Candidate: State the points that contribute to the additional scores in the selection. It includes job-related certifications, industry-specific experience, and knowledge of handling certain equipment.

4. Add Summary

After filling in all the data fields, the summary adds more value to your description. It helps to convey the eligibility requirements in brief. Below are some useful points to consider when writing your description’s summary:

  • List details other than major duties, qualifications, and company perks.
  • Avoid using jargon, and if used anywhere, define it to make the description easy to understand.
  • Go through the description and think about the questions the audience might have. Answer them.
  • Mention that the description doesn’t cover a comprehensive list of duties and responsibilities. They may vary, or new ones might be assigned to the employee at any time.

5. Get Approval

The draft job description should be presented to the position supervisor and top management for review. All the recommended changes should be made, and descriptions should be added to the posts after approval.

Additional Tips

This is how job descriptions are written and put together so that candidates can understand what the job entails. 

A recruiting and hiring study shows that the number of recruiters who find it hard to find qualified candidates have gone up by 19% since 2020, and the number of recruiters who don’t get enough applications have gone up by 51%. This means that you can’t just change the job descriptions to fill the funnel. To get the best talent, you have to give something unique and valuable to the audience. Here are some additional points to make your descriptions more appealing.

1. Emphasize Clarity

You must write descriptions that are easy to understand and clearly define the objectives. Uncertain descriptions cause misunderstandings and waste recruiters’ and candidates’ time. So, you shouldn’t use strange words and should try to keep the descriptions as simple as possible. Moreover, you can consider the following points:

  • Be genuine about the employment type and location. If it is a position for an intern, mention whether it is paid and specify the internship duration.
  • Mention the office address clearly, as many people won’t apply for a job because it’s too far away.
  • Tell the company’s story and future vision. It helps the applicants understand what they will witness and how future moves will affect them.

2. Describe Tasks

Make the candidates think about what a typical day at work would be like by describing the tasks they will do. State the responsibilities into short and precise tasks so they can ensure their eligibility before applying. For example, if you are considering hiring a business development manager, the area of responsibilities should look like this:

  • Setting goals and making strategies to drive revenue growth.
  • Researching, planning, and implementing new target market campaigns.
  • Approach the leads and move them throughout the funnel.
  • Training business development executives.
  • Attending corporate events and conferences.

Now, you might have a clearer idea of why your description should be clear and specific.

3. Sell The Position

Applicants need compelling reasons to choose your company over other options. Therefore, just hiring is not enough; try to sell the role to the audience. Highlight the employee benefits that come with the role. Educate the candidate about how they will benefit and how this position will add value to their career. Moreover, the following points might help you:

  • Understand the employee experience at your workplace. You must have an accurate view of the company from an employee’s point of view.
  • Know your employer’s value proposition and emphasize it in the job descriptions. Include all the tangible and intangible benefits of working at your organization.
  • Find out what the candidates are looking for. Tailor the perks of the position according to the applicant’s choices to provide them with a personalized experience. This will help you attract the best talent easily.

Ending Notes

Learning how to write a job description effectively is a simple process, but actually writing the descriptions for different roles is challenging. As a result, ensure that you provide the audience with a thorough understanding of the position as well as a clear picture of responsibilities.

At first, you’ll want your job descriptions to catch the applicants’ attention, but try not to sound too mysterious. Also, be specific about the non-negotiable requirements, such as necessary certifications, work hours, etc. It will help you prevent potential deal breakers from entering the hiring cycle.

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