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How to write job description

How to write job description

Having trouble finding the right fit for a particular role? Have you onboarded several people in the recent past and most of them have stated that the role did not turn out to be as expected? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then the first thing to ask oneself is - When was the last time you updated the job description which has been posted on multiple job portals. If the answer is you don’t remember or a long time back - then here lies the root cause of your problems.


A job description or JD as it is famous in common parlance not only describes the roles and responsibilities but is a window to the company’s culture. Consider it as a one-pager document where you not just have to define what the role entails but have to give enough information to a prospective candidate in terms of who you are and what you do. The thing which gets missed out most often is that that one A4 page can also scream out your company’s culture.

Writing accurate job descriptions might be time-consuming but at the end of the day the, if done correctly, results it garners are unmatchable.

So what is the starting point?

 

Connect with the Hiring Manager

The ideal way to start writing a job description is to connect with the person for whom you are going to hire candidates. None but the manager will have the clearest idea about the roles and responsibilities. If the JD is being created for a new role even before filling in the details, the first thing to be considered is to do a job analysis.

A job analysis is the systematic process of identifying and describing the important aspects of a job and the characteristics a worker needs to do it well. It identifies the job’s important tasks and working conditions as well as the tools and technologies people doing the job use. It also helps understand what an employee needs to do to perform a job well.

 

Connect with the Employees


If the job description is being prepared for a replacement position, connect with the employees who are currently working on the role. Direct interviews or asking the employees to fill a questionnaire to describe their job-related duties & responsibilities is an effective way to build a job description.

 

Once you have enough information about the role and the position, start writing the job description. There is no standard format for writing a job description but I am bucketing it into must-haves and good to have.

 

But, What about the Culture?

Remember, how we mentioned in the beginning that a JD can play a huge part in portraying the culture of the firm to the prospective candidates, well, we weren’t lying. Have a look at some of the Job advertisements and job post below:

 

 

 

 

 

Observed Anything?

 

When an employee sees a job description, it is more often than not the first and probably the only document that he is going to see before he is selected for the role. And thus, as a firm, all you have is this one page to make a mark in the candidate’s mind.

 

While there are some conventional job description formats that you can easily download from the internet, remember that this one page is your space. Everything from the words, to the colours, to the background images, to the format of the JD, you can tweak everything. Aesthetics form a large part of people’s perceptions. When you have just a single page to make an impression, anything that’s not conventional says volumes about how your firm does not hesitate in taking risks.

 

But yes, as appealing as a trendy job description might look like, every format and every detail should largely follow your company’s culture.

 

Must-have elements of a job description

  1. About the Organization
  2. Department and Designation of the job
  3. Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Experience & Educational qualification(better clarity on this saves both the applicant and recruiters time)
  5. Location 

Good to Have

  1. Technical and functional skills required
  2. Compensation range
  3. Working conditions


Points to Remember

Make the description attractive enough to attract the attention of the candidate

Bad Starting Line: We are looking for ABC position to work with XYZ company

Good Starting Line: Are you passionate about what you do? Are you looking to work with a motivated, high energy team?

We are hiring for an ABC role in our team……

  1. Avoid using vague language while writing the JD. Be as explicit as possible so that the candidates are clear about what they are applying for.
  2. Use language which is easy for job seekers to understand and determine if they are qualified for the role or not.
  3. Throw in few benefits provided by the organization
  4. Asking for too much - remember even superheroes have one key skill - don’t put all requirements one role dependent

 

Review your job description, get it vetted by at least two people before you hit the enter button and make your job post live.

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