How to Write a Job Description: A Guide for Employers

When it comes to attracting the right talent for your company, drafting an accurate and well-written job description is essential. A job description is a document that communicates the role and responsibilities of a position to potential candidates. It also acts as a guide for new employees, so they understand their new role. 

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through:

  • What is a job description, and
  • How to write the perfect job description.

What is a Job Description? 

Primarily, a job description serves to set clear expectations for employers, employees, and candidates. By defining the role and responsibilities of a position, it helps employers articulate what they’re looking for in a candidate. It also helps define clear areas of responsibility for a new employee. This clarity ensures that the right skills and qualifications are sought, ultimately attracting qualified candidates, who are interested in and capable of fulfilling the job requirements.

A job description acts as a guideline against which applicants can be assessed, allowing for a standardised approach to candidate selection. This saves time and effort by filtering out unqualified applicants and focusing on those who align closely with the job’s requirements.

By clearly outlining the roles, responsibilities, and expectations associated with a position, it fosters transparency between employers and employees. Employers can use the job description as a reference point for employees during performance evaluations, ensuring that both parties are on the same page.

In addition to facilitating communication, a job description guides employee development. It provides a roadmap for identifying opportunities for growth and advancement within the business. Outlining the required skills and qualifications assists in creating targeted training programs and development initiatives. This enables employees to understand the competencies they need to develop within the company. It also helps them explore the career paths available to them, contributing to their professional growth and overall job satisfaction.

To clarify; a good job description, as a minimum, should: 

  • Include a list of responsibilities and duties, 
  • List the minimum qualifications required to do the job and
  • Outline the experience required to complete tasks within the role.

How to Write a Job Description

In the following section, we’ll walk you through the process of writing a compelling job description that not only attracts the right talent but also sets clear expectations for candidates and new employees.

Provide a Brief Job Summary

Begin the job description with a brief summary that captures the essence of the position. This summary should include an overview of the company and its values. It should also provide a snapshot of the job’s main responsibilities and the team the candidate will be working with.

Outline Key Responsibilities and Tasks

Provide a comprehensive list of the specific duties and responsibilities associated with the role. Start with the most critical tasks and prioritise them accordingly. Use bullet points or numbered lists to make the information easily scannable. For example: 

  • Generate weekly reports on gross profit
  • Order stock in accordance with bookings and predicted sales
  • Ensure staff training is up-to-date and ongoing
  • Create fortnightly rotas, four weeks in advance
  • Ensure all compliance and Health & Safety procedures are adhered to
  • Redesign the menu for seasonal periods
  • Liaise with the marketing team to advertise events

In today’s fast-paced world, many candidates skim through job descriptions to quickly assess if a role aligns with their skills and interests. Bullet points make it easier for candidates to locate specific information they’re looking for, such as qualifications or required experience. This improves the accessibility and usability of the job description for a wider range of candidates.

Define Minimum Required Qualifications

Defining minimum required qualifications in job descriptions is super important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows employers to set clear standards and expectations for potential candidates. By clearly stating the minimum qualifications needed to perform the job effectively, employers ensure that applicants have the necessary skills, education, and experience required for the role.

Defining the minimum required qualifications also promotes fairness and equality in the hiring process. It helps establish a level playing field for all candidates by ensuring that the selection is based on objective criteria rather than unconscious recruitment biases. It’s important to clearly state the required qualifications, as well as educational background, relevant work experience, technical proficiencies, and any specific certifications or licenses required. 

Distinguish between “essential” and “desirable” qualifications to give candidates a clear understanding of what is essential to the role and what would be considered an additional benefit. This promotes equal opportunities and helps mitigate any potential biases or discrimination in the hiring process.

Let’s say you’re hiring a social media intern; it’s essential that they have an interest in social media. However, it would be desirable if they knew how to schedule and design social posts too. An additional benefit would be if they knew how to use a certain piece of software, like Canva or InDesign. 

And remember: Keep your lists as concise as possible.

Whilst it’s tempting to list every single job requirement under the sun, including too many can hinder your job description and deter potential candidates.

Emphasise Company Culture

Emphasising company culture in a job description is vital for attracting candidates who align with the values and environment of the business. Share information about the work environment, team dynamics, and any unique perks or benefits your company offers.

When candidates have a clear understanding of the company’s culture, they can assess if they would be a good fit. By highlighting the company’s values, mission, and work environment in the job description, employers can attract candidates who share those values and are genuinely interested in being part of a culture that resonates with them.

Discussing company culture will attract candidates who align with your company’s values and are excited about the opportunity.

A recent study revealed that 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture at work is the most important factor for success in any workplace. Keep that number in mind when approaching this section of your job description – it’s super important!

Proofread and Revise the Job Description

Before finalising the job description, proofread it thoroughly to ensure it is free of any grammatical errors and that the information is accurate and up to date. Check it three times and ask someone else to look at it – getting a fresh perspective always helps! 

Proofreading helps you reduce the likelihood of mistakes and ensures you’re happy with the information before it gets sent to a candidate. 

By following the steps in this article, you can create a comprehensive and engaging job description that accurately represents the position and helps you find the best talent for your team. And remember, a well-written job description not only saves time in the hiring process but also sets the foundation for a successful and productive employment relationship.

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