How to write a Job Description
2 October 2014
A well-written job description improves an organisation’s ability to attract and select the most suitable person for the role. You are selling your job to the best candidates just as much as they are selling themselves to you.
In brief, job descriptions should be easy to understand and should provide a clear picture of the specific role and how it fits within the wider organisation. Complicated wording or fussy presentation may discourage the right people from applying and can reflect poorly on your organisation.
It is essential to invest the necessary time and effort from the outset in consulting all relevant stakeholders. This prevents unnecessary changes to the job description further down the line which may negatively impact the hiring process.
- Be clear on what the role is and what type of person is needed to fill it, using the job’s history as well as the organisation’s current needs and long-term objectives.
- Cluster responsibilities into key categories to avoid unnecessary detail and repetition.
- Use specific rather than general language but avoid using jargon.
- Make sure the job described is realistic.
- Keep the presentation simple.
Remember, it is not just a ‘laundry list’ of tasks but a reflection of priorities.
JOB DESCRIPTION TEMPLATE
- Job title: Should be clear and representative of the role.
- Organisation: Provide a brief introduction.
- Department: Where the role fits within the organisation.
- Direct reports: Staff who report directly to the post you are recruiting to.
- Term of employment: Permanent, fixed-term, maternity cover etc.
- Salary and benefits: Specify currency.
- Location: Role location.
- Job summary: Short description of the overall purpose of the job.
- Department purpose: Short description of the overall purpose of the department.
- Main responsibilities: No more than 10 essential objectives, tasks and responsibilities.
- Person specification: Specify broadly the nature of skills, experience, core competencies, educational and professional qualifications and languages required to do the job.
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