How to Write a Job Description: Must-Knows to Get the Right Talent
There’s nothing more attractive than a company that knows what it wants. When looking for new employees to fill vacant roles, there needs to be streamlined information to help both you and the potential talent. There are many jobs out there with overlapping job descriptions. For example, programmers and developers in the IT industry often have interchangeable roles.
Having a clear-cut distinction will help candidates understand their potential roles better. For your convenience, this article will help you learn how to write a job description. Why? Because job descriptions draw the line between good communication and poor recruitment planning.
What is a job description?
While it may sound like a simple written agenda, job descriptions are more than what meets the eye. They bridge the recruiter and the talent in the sense that they create an early form of communication regarding what to expect. An adequate job description addresses the needs and wants of both parties.
Why bother with good job descriptions?
It attracts the right talent Once you determine the key responsibilities of a role, you can narrow down the talents that will apply to it. With the advent of the digital age, some jobs have become automated, leaving many people unemployed. Below is the data in percentages from our Decoding Global Talent regarding Malaysian workers who perceive automation as a risk.
By giving a general overview of what to expect, you are simultaneously reassuring candidates their tasks will not be automated.
It sets early expectations Yes, diving straight into the unknown can be an exciting endeavour. But in a professional setting, uncertainties are more intimidating than they are thrilling. Good job descriptions give candidates something to hold on to and help them understand what you are looking for. If you’re after a more experienced employee, those looking for entry-level positions will move on if you specify your job description. This simplifies your search and saves you loads of time.
It prepares both the candidate and the interviewer As mentioned earlier, a good job description helps both parties. In this case, having a job description to base your questions on can enhance the process no matter what stage you are in recruitment. It also allows the candidate to excel in the interview since they will have a gist of your questions.
For example, if you wrote something for a managerial position, candidates can expect questions regarding their leadership capabilities and extensive professional background.
When both parties are prepared for the interview, you have fewer problems and more chances of landing the perfect hire.
It improves the company’s image Nobody wants to trust their careers to someone who won’t know what to do with them. All industries are specialised in their own ways, which is why you have to make a good first impression. A good job description can do that for you. If your description is too vague or it reads as if you don’t know your own industry, the potential candidate may look elsewhere.
Writing a job description can also be another way to separate yourself from other hirers. You can be unique and discuss the company’s history, visions, and goals. This way, everything will be aligned, and the candidate will feel more secure in moving forward with their application.
How to write a job description
An effective job description is never too specific, but also never too vague. It is concise and leaves room for revision and improvement. There are several factors you can consider when writing a job description.
1. Role summary and brief background of your company Jobseekers will search terms they’re familiar with, so make your job title clear. Each industry has its own standard language that they follow. For example: In the wiring industry, copywriters are different from content writers, so you must know which specific role needs to be filled.
Writing a maximum of five sentences regarding the role’s key responsibilities can give the candidate a good estimate of what to expect. The rest of the job functions can be done in bullet form, making it easier to read.
Try to incorporate the company’s mission statement and core values whenever necessary. This further stresses the importance of the job summary and gives the candidate a good overview of what the company prioritises.
2. Candidates’ qualities Start with the hard skills or qualities that can only be attained through years of experience. Include quantities such as years spent working for a specific industry or the college program that they completed. Other things you can include are certifications and knowledge of various tools and platforms.
However, while hard skills are nice to have, soft skills are nothing to scoff at either. For entry-level positions, this is more apparent. In this case, a person’s soft skills will be one of their foundations. You can use them to chart their growth’s possible trajectory.
3. Working conditions Many companies have now acclimated to the new normal: either a hybrid setup or a remote working condition. Being clear about this will set the candidate’s expectations. However, since many employees now prefer a hybrid or remote setup, it is ideal to reconsider some job descriptions that might not work with the current state of things.
Be upfront about the working hours as well. Having flexible hours is now popular in many companies, especially if different time zones are to be considered. If you’re managing flexible working conditions or onsite work, describe the location and how to get there. Candidates have to know whether they can commute to the area or if they have to relocate. Location can actually be a dealbreaker for some candidates.
Lastly, consider including the compensation and benefits package that you will offer. Most jobseekers will be more enticed to apply if the compensation package meets their salary expectations. Other benefits can also motivate them to go forward. It’s also important to note that jobseekers are willing to sacrifice an average of 11.7% of their salary in exchange for job training and flexibility.
A good job description is a gateway that allows candidates a sneak peek of what it’s like to work for your company. It will also boost your prospects of landing the perfect hire since you are already eliminating those that do not meet your standards by writing a good one.