Job descriptions should be written summaries that assist candidates in understanding what is expected of them, and what they can expect of you as the employer. The description should be clear and define what your needs or expectations will be of the successful candidate. This may include a concise list of tasks or responsibilities, as well as the expected outcomes of the position. Here are three other important things to include if you’re in the process of writing a good job description:
The job description should outline the responsibilities of the position. If the position includes multiple responsibilities, it is good practice to explain which roles are primary and which are secondary. Doing so will attract candidates with the right skill set to best fill the multi-faceted position. Overall, keep the job description short and sweet – If the job posting is too long, candidates may either grow intimidated, or may not bother to read it at all.
If the job posting is for a position that requires specialized skills, be sure to clear identify the necessary degrees/diplomas, previous experiences, or certifications. If applicable to the position, you can make the description more enticing by including opportunities to improve professionally that your company may offer. These opportunities may include trainings, certification courses, or stipends for college or continuing education courses.
It is important to explain the working and supervisory relationships in the job description because it will provide candidates with a glimpse into the personnel structure of the company. Personality conflicts and disillusionment with management are primary causes for employee dissatisfaction. Your description should make it clear who the candidate reports to, and who will be reporting to them. It is also helpful to include the size of the department, the frequency of meetings, and how employees best communicate with each other.
A person’s salary is influenced by a number of factors including level of education, previous experience, and what is required of the position, to name a few. Because of this, candidates do not expect to see a set salary figure in a job description. Instead, provide them with a starting salary range. This should be competitive with similar positions open at other companies. A range will still attract excellent candidates but will allow you to negotiate a salary that is fair for everyone.
If a job requires physical labor or puts the candidate in a situation that may require special training due to its hazardous nature, it is essential to include these details in the job description. Some employers may try to omit these to make the position more appealing, but this is a misstep. Not only will you attract candidates who may be unqualified or unwilling to perform the tasks of the job, but a disingenuous job description could bring legal ramifications.
For legal purposes, including a disclaimer at the end of the job description always provides a good safety net in the event someone questions your company’s hiring practices. This disclaimer should be brief and include a statement indicating that you are an equal opportunity employer as well as a sentence explaining the responsibilities of the position are subject to change. This will prevent candidates from ever accusing you of being anything less than forthcoming.
Posting a well-written job description will help you streamline the application and hiring process by attracting qualified candidates for the position. It’s also important to remember that, to potential candidates, the job posting represents your company. Because of this, it is crucial that you know how to write a job description that accurately conveys the needs of your company in a way that will attract the best possible candidates.