Writing Job Descriptions that Get the Best Candidates

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Job descriptions play a very important role in hiring and managing employees. They are summaries of job duties that ensure interested parties such as job applicants, agencies, advertisement platforms and employees understand their roles and what roles they need to play and be held accountable for in the hiring institution. For one to write a job description that will attract top professional candidates, you have to be clear and accurate in defining the roles that job will play and what is required for applicants to apply.

Important factors to research:

An effective job description must be carefully scrutinized and analyzed by the help of the following factors in order to reach the expected candidates

  • Individual role involved
  • Methods and system used to complete the task (such as SAP)
  • The importance and responsibilities of a job
  • The relationship of the job to other jobs
  • Qualifications of the job at hand

You also have to be aware that the job description should not be inflexible. One of the roles played by a job description is to encourage growth of the employees with their position and overall contribution over time to the business.

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Effective job description

The best job description must have the position details, job duties performance standards and job factors that are well described.

Job title

The title should sell the position on its own. Example: a Program Director position is less attractive by title than if you use Director of the WXY program at the HGD Company. You can use a title like Assistant to the Director instead of Administrative Assistant.  Get candidates to read further by selling the title!

General summary

In this you can list the nature of the job, the level of the job, departments, location, date of posting and end date of application for the job. Example: clerical position, job level-f-h, department-finance, location-WGB posted 25/02/2017 application ends on 25/03/2017. At this level you can also list the term of employment. It could be full-time, part-time, contract or permanent. In case of any travel requirements or physical requirements this would be the best position to list it. Some companies list the salary range too e.g. $140000-$149000 annually.  However, be careful not to pigeonhole your recruiting with the salary because the salary seldom tells the whole compensation picture.  Be sure to clarify highlights of the comp if you’re going to include salary.

Description of the broad function and scope of the position

Usually contains about 1-3 paragraphs with summaries of the main job description. This includes the key responsibilities, functions and duties. Some give a description of the company and department too so as to familiarize the applicant with the working environment. List the key functional and relational responsibilities in order of significance to make it more attractive and easy to read quickly.  You can add in subtopics that describe your next point or highlight the main points. This is effective especially when advertising for executive level positions.

List of skills required for success

All jobs have different skill sets required to help the person perform.

Qualifications and requirements

Make a list of the important qualifications such as education requirements, years of experience, knowledge of additional courses and certification at this level. In case a position is not very specific on the requirement of the job, you can list it as a general point such as: degree from a known institution. If it’s specific, you can require a degree in business, bachelor of commerce, supply chain management. Relevant courses will be considered too.

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