How to write an effective job description

An effective job description is essential to ensure the right person is recruited for the job and to the company. Before you start writing, try to come up with seven keywords that apply to your role, and look for similar positions on the web to draw inspiration from. Next, start your position description with a detailed background of the company and team/business unit, then move into the specifics of the role.

Define the position objectives and responsibilities

Position descriptions should include objectives that clearly explain the purpose of the job. Outline the responsibilities and duties grouped together in key areas and list (preferably bullet points) both ongoing and daily duties in order of importance. Explain the role using terms that are familiar to the candidates you are targeting so (no jargon or abbreviations) as to clearly demonstrate the depth of accountability and authority of the position.

Introduce associated roles and relationships

An understanding about the workplace relationships the role is required to develop provides extra context on the breadth of the position. Outline how the position interacts with other people in the business and the levels of authority the people in the relationship have. Also detail lines of internal and external communication and any other relationship management required by the position.

Outline the position qualifications

For the best chance of attracting the right candidate, it is important to choose a clear and understandable job title and to list the criteria that they must have to be considered for the job. This includes specifications for education, experience, knowledge, technical skills and any transferable skills. By linking these to the responsibilities of the position, job seekers can determine if they have the necessary qualifications, experience and skills to complete the required tasks. Make sure your vacancy text does not discriminate on age, race, gender, languages, place of residence etc.

Identify the logistics of the job

It is useful to detail the practical aspects of the job to further help candidates assess their suitability for the role. Include the positions location, equipment or systems used, term of employment, department the position is part of and performance review procedures. Most important: try to include salary and bonus/incentive details (or at least estimates) as candidates tend to browse through vacancies with their own interest in mind (what’s in it for me?!).

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