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.
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.
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?
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:
What would be a good job title for this job description?
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;
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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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’
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.
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. Once you can gain a candidate’s attention with your job advert, then attracting the right talent will be a walkover for you.