It is no secret that a properly written job description is the first step towards organizational excellence. Not only does it explicitly spell out the responsibilities and expectations from a prospective employee, it also lays out what the employee can expect from the post.
A basic job description has the following parts:
- A short paragraph describing the company and the values that should be demonstrated by all employees
- Brief summary of the post
- Key responsibilities of the position
- A description of experience, knowledge, and skills that are required
- Other requirements (Location, Time, Physicals, etc.)
Be specific, a vaguely written and general job description will attract too many applicants, which makes short-listing nigh impossible. Done right, a job description pre-screens applicants, making the HR person’s job relatively easier.
When writing a job description, be clear and concise. Avoid overly long paragraphs, remember:less is more. In this day and age, less prospective applicants will hang around and try to read everything. If you want them to read further, provide links; this makes your online job posting look neater and less intimidating.
Jargon. Use it only when necessary; applicants find them annoying, confusing, or intimidating. Reduce misunderstanding, keep it simple and clean.
Set their expectations. Employees perform better if they know what you want from them. Remember: Not everyone is a self-starter and a lot of people need to be told what to work on. A proper job description provides new hires with a reference until they get used to their positions.
Update. Often. The world is changing at a furious pace and if one does not change along with it, one will be left in the dust. Winning job descriptions get updated yearly or as required. Different technologies and techniques are being developed and new hires need new skills and abilities to take advantage of the advancements.