The A to Z of Developing a Job Description: Tip & tricks experts
Published on November 4th, 2022
“There are plenty more fish in the sea” is a rather common idiom that’s used all around, but when it comes to the job market, we can’t just settle with the abundant. The mounting numbers of mishires have pushed hirers to stay more alert than ever. The need to be better at handpicking is a necessity now more than ever. And speaking of necessities, a job description is the first step of the filtration process. The Importance of job descriptions is severely underestimated by hirers. Just like a resume acts as an overview of a candidate’s professional life, a job description is an opportunity to give the best first impression of the company. Many companies squander this opportunity or even worse, add to the mishires because of not clearly specifying what is expected of an employee! According to HR Dive, 72% of hiring managers believe they have clear job descriptions, but only 36% of the candidates nod affirmatively.
So, just to start off and understand what creating a job description is all about, here’s a crisp definition straight out of Merriam-Webster to give you an idea: “an orderly record of the essential activities involved in the performance of a task that is abstracted from a job analysis and used in classifying and evaluating jobs and in the selection and placement of employees” If a job description write-up gets you to scratch your chin, here’s an elaborate guide to help you create the perfect one. With that statement, let’s ask the obvious question and kick things off.
Why put so much effort into a job description? : Reaffirming the importance of job description creation
As a professional talent acquisition agent, writing a good job description is synonymous with learning the ABC of the English language. Moreover, to get the required candidate pool effectively creating a job description won’t just attract candidates, but pull in the right ones from the lot. How does that help? You won’t be spending a Saturday evening sifting through pointless paper piles. Now, it's time to focus on how to get this done. Here’s the best answer you can get to the question, “What to include in a job description?"
Job description tips for level-0 newbies and level-50 intermediates.
We have something for everyone! Yes, it's possible to level up to 100, but it's a matter of persistence and practice. Each segment of this article is divided into two. We have ‘bare basics’, to get those eager novice JD writers started, for those of you who want to up the JD writing Antee, you should definitely check the ‘Fine-tuned’ section under each topic.
According to Indeed, job descriptions between 700 and 2,000 characters are more likely to attract applicants by 30%! So, dust out that special quill set. It's time to train your mind in the subtly artful nuanced penmanship of perfectly creating job descriptions. And honestly, it's not at all complicated as we just put it out.
Here’s a small checklist of each section required for the perfect job description:
- Job Title
- Job Summary
- Responsibilities and Duties
- Qualifications and Skills
Job title: The first thing they see!
Job description tip 1: The bare basic job title
That’s right! This is what you are looking for and this is the first thing that they(candidates) see! When writing the job titles keep these three ‘s’s in mind: simple, specific, and straightforward. (just like this explanation) The specific aspects of the job title are given in a different section. Read ahead to fine-tune your Job description titles. If you are new to this, skip the ‘fine mastery’ section for now.
Job description tip 2: The fine-tuned job title
If you were asked to choose between the following two job titles for a job description of an educator, which one would you choose? Your first option is ‘9th-grade school teacher' and the second one is ‘senior school teacher’. which one would be your preferred choice? If you choose ‘senior school teacher’, you have won yourself a trip to… the next part of the article on Job summary! Seriously, don’t read the next paragraph.
In case you chose ‘9th-grade school teacher’, it would be great if you read ahead. Of course, being specific is key, but being over-specific might do more harm than good. Apart from making the title look chunkier, the title may not fall under the keywords that job hunters are looking for. The specifics of the job should be placed under the ‘responsibilities and duties’ section of the job description. The title is merely a phrase that points toward the general category of the post. Sometimes it’s best to let some air off the ego balloon, especially while learning something new. Now, onward to the next section of your job description.
Job Summary: What‘s the story you want them to hear?
Job description tip 3: The bare basic job summary
By ‘story’, we don’t mean that the Job summary for your job description should be a history lesson or a word woven from golden threads of thoughts. While developing a job description all that’s needed are a few concise lines that gives the candidate a fine imprint of what the company is all about. A concisely developed job summary is all that’s expected while developing job descriptions and it can leave a lasting impression. This sets the foundation of how a candidate perceives the job and presents the tone of the company he or she is about to join. Be sure to provide a job location as this will optimise your job posting and push it higher up the search results.
Job description tip 4: The fine-tuned job summary
To get more brownie points, you can add specifics reflecting the company culture and why the candidate would enjoy working with you. Depending on the post and company they are applying for, feel free to sprinkle a few quirks and jabs. A grin from a candidate reading an interesting job description could pull them in your direction. Ensure that the job description, especially language is inclusive and highlights the positive working environment and culture as well. Keep the job description employee-centric. Try to add aspects where you explain how the employees contribute to the company’s mission.
Even, the benefits and perks the company is ready to offer and also how the employer contributes to the employee's success. This wins over employees as it shows that the company is involved in their growth as well. Ask current employees to help review the tone, language, and other details of the Job description and see if it reflects the organization. This would definitely help you to get the cream of the crop.
You could discuss the Job descriptions with the new employees to help you understand what is their impression of your description. Update job descriptions every time it is posted. If it's a periodically repeated process, ensure that the compensation range and other requirements are also revised according to industry standard.
Responsibilities and duties: The hook that comes after the bait.
Job description tip 5: The bare basic ‘responsibilities and duties’ section
The analogy is referring to how this section elaborates on the role of the candidates. The section before this one is more like the bait which draws the candidates in and this section is the hook that captures them completely… if you get it done right.
This section comprises a detailed description of the duties which need to be executed by the candidate if selected. The details of the jobs should be given in precise bullet points with as much specificity as possible. For instance, if you are hiring for an “Event Management” role, and the position requires social media expertise to promote events, include this detail to ensure candidates understand the requirements and can determine if they’re qualified.
Job description tip 6 The fine-tuned ‘responsibilities and duties’ section
Mentioning the job details to the point where the day-to-day activities of the candidates are also mentioned would provide a better description of what's needed. If you also include the actual performance matrix used to determine the success rate of the candidate will probably set your ace high in the eyes of the applicants.
Adding the approach of what will be given rather than what should be given is a bonus. In other words, providing the candidate with what will be taught when they are a part of your environment will make your job description more welcoming and inclusive. Another aspect that most job descriptions omit is to think from the eyes of the candidate. Usually, candidates have a very narrow perception of the job at hand, you can help the candidate out by mentioning the larger role they are playing in the system and to who they will be reporting.
Well, although this point may seem ironic as you are reading this article, in your journey of mastering job description writing, instead of copying JD patterns from the internet, make your own. Stand out from the crowd with the help of your creative concoctions. This helps your brand stand out as well. Make it a point to highlight the cool parts of the job. This is more like you are marketing and trying to sell the position well. This approach is sure to give a positive image and attract more applicants.
Here are a few ways you can create the perfect job descriptions specific to your role
- Director Of Marketing and Sales Job Description
- Chief Sales Officer Job Description
- Sales Specialist Job Description
- Sales Executives Job Description
- Sales Lead Job Description
- VP Sales Job Descriptions
- Inside Sales Representative Job Description
- Sales Assistant Job Description
- Sales Consultant Job Description
- Sales Coordinator Job Description
- Sales Engineer Job Description
- Sales Director Job Description
- Sales Representative Job Description
- Retail Sales Associate Job Description
- Sales Manager Job Description
- Sales Associate Job Description
- Crafting an Effective Human Resource Specialist Job Description
- Crafting an Effective Job Description for Human Resource Coordinators
Qualifications and skills: The cherry on top of the cake.
Job description tip 7: The bare basic ‘qualifications and skills’ section
Just like adding a cherry to the cake providing the personality traits, soft skills, and other skill-related expectations to your job descriptions add more clarity to the picture. Adding the basic skills required for the job sets the initial end of the range of specifics for the job.
Job description tip 8: The fine-tuned ‘qualifications and skills’ section
Now, since you are confident enough to write a decent job description, you might want to think of scaling back a little. Adding too many skills to the job descriptions might do more harm than good. As the candidates are already groping in the dark, the overwhelming set of skills required for the job could be dissuasive. Keep the distinction between the necessary skills from the desired skills. The desired skills are just a bonus that could tilt the odds in the candidate's favor, but this does not serve as a complete dealbreaker in the hiring process. How do you segregate the essential skills from the desired skills? Simple, when pushed with a certain problem, which is the minimum set of skills one would require to solve the problem?
Well, for those eager JD novices, don’t wait, just start and get to creating job descriptions on a word doc as soon as you can! If you are eager to level up, after your first draft, read the ‘fine-tune’ sections throughout this article and edit your first draft.
Since you are already here, and you want to level up the way you hire, consider using the skill-based assessment platforms and video-based assessments we have created to reduce mis-hires for your company. Our methods ensure that the candidates get an unbiased assessment that's purely based on their skills. Just get on a quick 15-minute call with our experts and we will help you unravel the best talents out there that could take your company to greater heights.
Thomas M. A.
A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.
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