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How to Write a Job Description that Will Help You Get a New Hire Fast

Updated on Mar 09, 2020 3491 views
How to Write a Job Description that Will Help You Get a New Hire Fast

Are you a small business owner struggling to write a job description that can help you attract the right candidate?

Being in a stiff competition with big companies can make hiring seem difficult especially if you run a small business.

Whether you run a small or large business, writing a good job description will go a long way to determine whether you or not you will get a good hire.

Many employers and HR managers find job description writing a bit challenging. If you belong to this category of people, guess what? I have good news for you.

Writing a job description doesn’t have to be difficult and stressful, in fact writing a job description can even be easier than you think.

To make job description writing even easier for you, we have put this amazing job description writing guide together to help you through the process.

You are a few minutes away from writing an amazing job description; all you need to do is to follow a few actionable steps. Before we go on to talk about the steps, it is important you understand what a job description is and why it is even important in the first place.

 

What is a Job Description?

A job description is a general document that is written of a specific job based on findings from a job analysis. A job description generally includes duties, purpose, responsibilities, scope, working conditions of the job along with its job titles, the name of the supervisor and sometimes the salary specifications for the job. 

A job description outlines the specifics of a job position with a particular company.

 

Why is a Job Description Important?

We know that a job description is a written document that outlines the duties, responsibilities, qualifications relating to a particular job. Despite the information that a job description will help the recruiter know, many people still don’t see the reason why they should write a job description.

While some people see the idea of writing a job description as pointless, writing a good job description can be a helpful means for you to find a great hire. You want to know how?

  • It gives a job candidate a clear understanding of what their duties and responsibilities for a particular job would be.
  • A job description can serve a legal document for a company and can stand as a defense as to why a candidate was or was not selected for a position.
  • A clear job description will allow a company to discover the basis on which to develop compensation plans that ensures that employees are being compensated in ways that matches their levels of responsibilities and qualifications.
  • The job description can form the basis of the interview questions you would love to ask the job candidate.
  • A job description provides the basis for growth setting, career path discovery, and a basis for employee reviews.
  • A job description provides a job candidate consistent understanding of how they help the organization grow.
  • A job description helps create boundaries regarding the responsibilities of an employee.

 

 

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Good Job Description

 

Here is how to write an effective job description step by step:

  1. Use a clear job title

  2. Describee the job duties and responsibilities

  3. Be clear on the skills and qualifications needed

  4. Agree on a fair salary range for the role

  5. Give the job candidates a reasons to take the job

  6. Sell your company to prospective job candidates

 

Step 1: Use a Clear Job Title

The first step to creating a good job description is to first pick a good job title for the position that you are advertising for.

Creating a realistic job title is step ahead to getting the employees of your dreams. Using wrong or unrealistic titles will definitely attract the wrong job applicants. For example if you want to hire a graphic designer, and then you use the term “unicorn designer”.

The job title “Unicorn designer” is an unrealistic and vague description of a graphic designer. What qualities should a graphic designer have to be classified as a “unicorn designer?”

One of the basic elements of a job description is a good job title. A good job title should contain the following qualities:

  • A good job title should at a glance reflect the duties and responsibilities of the job description.
  • A good job title should show the ranking of a particular position in relation to other positions in the company.
  • The job title should be clear enough to help in the recruitment process. Many online job site use the job title as the main keyword with which the role will be advertised.
  • A good job title should also be generic enough to help you determine equity in compensation and also to help job candidates with their salary research.

What would be a good job title for this job description?

  • The candidate will be responsible for entering data.
  • Ensure that all the data input is correct and accurate.
  • Check the validity of the data. Etc.

A good job title for this description would be a ‘data entry officer’ while a bad job title would be ‘data officer

 

Step 2: Describe the Job Duties and Responsibilities

A good job description should list the duties and responsibilities associated with the role. Properly describing the duties and responsibilities of a particular position will help the job candidate visualize themselves in that position already.

The task should be described in a way that it would not be difficult for the job applicant to determine whether or not they have the ability to perform the task.

When describing the duties and responsibilities for the role, remember to describe them in short and straight forward sentences so that it would not be an issue for the job candidate to understand what is expected of them.

Since the list of duties and responsibilities will help the job applicant know what they are expected to do and how they will be evaluated, then it is important that you make this list concise and as reader-friendly as possible.

The description of your duties and responsibilities should not be more than 15 sentences, else your job description will end up being a resource document.

For example, if you are hiring for the post of a data entry officer, then the job duties and responsibilities should be something like this;

  • Preparing and sorting documents for data entry.
  • Entering data into database software and checking to ensure the accuracy of the data that has been inputted.
  • Resolving discrepancies in information and obtaining further information for incomplete documents.
  • Creating data backups as part of a contingency plan.
  • Responding to information requests from authorized members.
  • Testing new database systems and software updates.
  • To ensure you get a good hire, make sure you and the hiring manager agree and are clear on the duties and responsibilities for the role.

 

Step 3: Be Clear on the Skills and Qualifications Needed to Perform the task

Skills and qualifications are an important aspect of a job description that should not be neglected. Understanding and listing the qualifications that a job applicant should have would go a long way to helping you hire the right job candidate.

Depending on the role you want to fill, you should be able to properly and clearly list the skills and qualifications that a job applicant would possess in such a way that they would be clear at once.

A skill basically means the abilities that a job applicant should possess in order to perform the task. This can be abilities gained from what the job applicant has learned. Sometimes skills are developed as a result of the person’s qualification.

The skills and qualification that you set for a particular role will also form your requirement for that role.

For example, if you are recruiting for the post of a graphic designer, then your list of skills and qualifications should be something close to this:

  • Must be familiar with design soft ware’s like; Adobe illustrator, In design, Photoshop, etc.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Must have a degree in design, fine art, or other related fields.
  • Must have a good eye for details.
  • Must be creative and innovative.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills.
  • Excellent IT skills.

 

Step 4: Agree on a Fair Salary Range for the Role

Adding a salary range is another important step that you need to consider when you are writing a job description. This is an important aspect because it gives the job candidate an idea of how they will be compensated if they finally get the job.

It will also give the job applicant an idea of whether or not the job is good for them. Adding the compensation of the position that you are advertising will also reduce the risk of a candidate feeling cheated upon.

A clear compensation range will present your company as a transparent one.

 

Step 5: Give the Job Candidates a Reason to Take the Job

Millions of job adverts come up every day and all of these vacancies are competing for the attention of job seekers. So if you want job seekers to apply for your vacancy/vacancies, then you have to give them a reason to do that.

Job seekers would only leave their current jobs or decide to ignore other jobs and apply for yours only if you give them a compelling reason to do so.

To achieve this, you need to describe benefits and perks that come with the job. Examples of benefits and perks can be flexible work hours, creative and stimulating working space, good work gadget and free meals).

It is also important for you to explain how the role contributes to the growth of the company.

These are some examples of benefits that you can consider adding to your job description depending on your company’s budget and policies:

  • Paid time off such as PTO, sick days, and vacation days
  • Retirement benefits or accounts
  • Healthcare spending or reimbursement accounts, such as HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs
  • Wellness programs
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Long term disability insurance
  • Short term disability insurance
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Childcare benefits
  • Gym memberships or discounts
  • Relocation assistance
  • Commuting/travel assistance
  • Workplace perks such as recreation activities, food and coffee, and flexible work schedules

 

Step 6: Sell Your Company

You need to know that your job description allows you to sell your company to a prospective employee. This allows you to sell your company culture to prospective hires.

Adding links of employees’ testimonials to your job descriptions will go a long to give job seekers a glimpse into your company culture. This will also help your prospective employees understand the kind of workplace they are going to be working in.

Selling your company to job seekers will also help you thrive in the competition for talents. You can give job seekers the reason to consider joining your company.

These are examples of how you can sell your company to a prospective hire using your job description:

Great company culture:

  • A great company culture can be something like; a great learning environment.
  • A great place that support a work/life balance.
  • Paid time off: One month paid time off or leave.
  • Health benefits: Medical insurance.
  • These are some of the ideas that can help you promote your company’s culture.

While you need to follow these tips on how to write a good job description, you need to know what you should avoid when writing your job description:

 

Job Description Mistakes: 4 Things to Avoid When Writing a Job Description

As important as it is for you to understand what it takes for you to write a good job description, you need to know the things you should avoid when it comes to writing a job description.

Writing a bad or wrong job description will defeat the essence of the job description in the first place. So if you look forward to writing a good job description, then you should avoid the following:

  1. Avoid writing a long job title

Many employers sometimes get too descriptive with the job title, and that is what makes the job title unnecessarily long.

When your job title is too long, it will affect the click through rate. Your job description should not have unnecessary words in the title itself.

This is an example of a long job title; ‘iCloud Data Science Soft ware Engineer – New York’

Looking at this job title, it is clear that there are some information that are supposed to be in the JD and not in the title itself.

For example, the location ‘New York’ should be in the job description itself and not in the title.

According to a research carried out by Glassdoor, discovered that job titles with over 60 characters get only half as many clicks as jobs in the 10 to 20 character range.

  1. Avoid using negative words

Using negative words can send the wrong signals to your prospective employees. Using words that kind off suggests some form of absolute can chase great hires. Quality candidates don’t like to be told what to do and what not to do in some kind of ways.

You should avoid using these kinds of words on your job description:

  • Totally
  • always
  • cannot
  • Can’t
  • do not
  • didn’t
  • difficulties
  • extremely
  • always
  • not
  • refuse
  • unable
  • never
  • strict
  • must

These kinds of words will suggest to your prospective hires that the work environment will be a tense and toxic one. You should avoid these words and any other one that speaks some form of domination and harshness.

  1. Avoid writing your job description in the third person voice, you should rather write it in the 1st or 2nd person voice.

Writing your job description in the third person will create a sort of distance with your company and any job seeker that will read it.

Writing in the third person will not allow your audience resonates with your company and the job they want to apply for.

An example of a job description written from the third person point of view will sound like this:

“XYZ Group of Companies is hiring a software developer”

When you are writing in the 2nd person, you will make use of ‘you’ and ‘we’ rather than sounding more generic.

You should use the word ‘you’ as often as you can so that you can relate with every job applicant that views the job advert on a personal level.

An example of writing from the 2nd person point of view is; ‘We are hiring a software developer’

  1. Not structuring your job description.

A job description can be clear and attractive, but if it is not well structured it can affect its readability. Most job seekers check for job vacancies on their mobile phones, so it is good you make your job description well structured and easy to read.

Instead of writing job a job requirement in long paragraphs, you can put them in simple and clear bullet points. That way it is easy for anyone to read.

A well-structured job description will make sure that every aspect of the job description is separated in an organized manner for clarity sake.

  1. Being ambiguous with your words.

If you want your job description to fulfil its aim, then you should concentrate on the clarity of the message that you want to pass across and not really on the best fancy words to use.

Being explicit with your job description will help your potential employees understand what the job or company expects from them.

Being unclear and ambiguous may result in a deal-breaker in the future if you end up hiring a candidate that did not understand your company’s expectation for the role they applied for.

 

A well-written job description will open the door of a successful hiring process. To make the progress of writing your job description easier, check out this page for job description examples you can start using. 

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