The path to hiring a great job candidate starts with a great job description. It’s by far one of the most critical elements of any hiring process – perhaps the most critical – and it lays the foundation for employee success within your organization.
Keep these 5 tips in mind for writing effective job descriptions:
1 – Remember the Essentials
Let’s start with the basics. Practically every job description out there has a general outline that it follows. At the minimum, make sure you address each of these areas in your job description. From there, you can tailor the description to your company’s specific needs.
- Job Title
- Job Summary
- Duties & Responsibilities
- Skills & Qualifications
- Contact information
2 – Include a Purpose Statement
In addition to the essentials, consider adding a purpose statement to your job description. Think of it as a high-level ‘about us’ message that touches on your company’s mission and culture.
3 – Don’t Skimp on Details
Avoid generalizations in your job description. It’s best to spell out the job duties and responsibilities in as much detail as possible, but without going overboard and scaring candidates away. Be clear and direct in your wording. Avoid using ambiguous words that are subject to interpretation – like some, multiple, frequently, complex, and so on.
4 – Be Flexible
A job description should not imply that the outlined duties are the only responsibilities that the employee is expected to carry out. Most jobs are flexible and subject to change for a number reasons – like a company merger or departmental restructuring. Or, an employee may want to expand her job role in order to learn a new skill or take on additional responsibilities. Whatever the reason, a job description should be flexible enough in its wording that additional duties can be taken on when needed.
5 – Keep Your Job Descriptions Current
Don’t let your job description get stale! Make sure the essentials are always up-to-date – job title, job code (if applicable), who the position reports to, education requirements and salary/benefits info. In addition to the essentials, always be improving upon the descriptions for the primary job duties and required skills and qualifications.
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