How To Create Job Descriptions That Don’t Suck

By Nicole Boyer

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A well-documented file gives a clear view of the scope of work and leads to qualitative candidates, oriented on the raised requirement.  By indicating your request on a paper it marks the first selective recruitment process before the interview. You attract the attention of the needed applicants and you will generate skilled people, capable to handle the job and why not to expand your expectation. The way on how to achieve the great job description is to think in detail what an applicant need to know and what you need from them. You need a professional writer or at least guidance to handle the writing process.

The four basic parts are:

         Position Details
         Job Duties
         Performance Standard
         Job Factor

Those four factors include the core of the description. Let’s go through them and explain each point in detail

Position Details open the job description by giving shortly and simply the main requirements. This section describes the general information about the announcement job – the current or requested classification, working title, pay range, exemption status, department responsible; contact number and data and job description. All those description and many others, depending on the job announcement, should have in short description what each of them contains. For example the working title for a job should be based on the main role and function of the job.  Try to avoid miss-orientation, by creating a working title into describing both the level of responsibilities and the scope of the job. Keep it short and simple, for example instead of Assistant to the Director of X Department – change it to Administrative Assistant.

It is good to use an external source which can do that for you. There are plenty of best websites that are great writing experts who can write concisely, accurately by completing describing the duties and responsibilities of a job. As a summary the job description should contain 1-3 paragraphs, explain in details the functions, duties, education and experience, and other added information like scheduling, travel, etc. In this section you should pay attention, is the foundation of the job description.

The job duties should be well written and organized. In order to make it easy to write the job duties, keep in mind to think of its Key Accountabilities or main function of the job title. Here you need to mention the main 3 – 5 main action that the candidate should possess. After you do that, try to generate specific job duties associated to the key accountabilities. To make it easier, try to write for each of the main action maxes four specific duties that are related to them. As well, if it is needed you may brainstorm a list of all the required duties to perform the job. You may arrange them as a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. All these actions should be a derivate from the main max five duties. Those duty statements it is suggested to start with an action verb in order to give the great result.  Not to forget to mention, if your company deals with different clients, that requires different daily services you may need each candidate to perform a specific time to each task. You may either separate each task into percentages or into hours. For example, if you have an architect/design company and you are dealing with 3 projects, you may need your employer to perform 2 hours work for each of those projects in order to give daily results for each of them.

The next section is the performance standards. This section is covered by the supervisor, hiring the manager or the general administrator. This section should mainly mark the fact that the main duties are going to be supervised or approved by the pointed department supervisor.

To continue with the third section, the Job Factors will outline the knowledge and skills required on the job announcement. Where there are described the required skills, abilities, education level, etc. Those factors should be decided by the supervisor or the administrative manager, in order to make the job flow. Don’t forget that you should focus mainly if he/she fulfills the job requirements, and not specific skills or one skill.

The last but not least, format the file. Try to write the job description in a way that can be readable, simple, with bullets, and concise.  Avoid the mistakes; it is good if you have a layer in your company to consult firstly with legal department before you publish the announcement. If you have your logo, Panton, Font than don’t forget to format accordingly to your company’s format code.

Some final details, which are we may mention are the use a factual and impersonal style; base the job description on the department’s needs; use complete sentences; be carefully when using terms like “may” and “occasionally”, when you have in mind that the task mentioned in the job description should be complete.  As well in the job standards is good to mention where the job should be reported, it is good to avoid name, better mention the titles, the idea is to report to the responsible department not to a specific person by name and surname. Remember to use logical sequence in describing the duties and responsibilities, in order to avoid conflicts and vague perception of the duties.

To avoid an undesired result that could lead to a failure job description, keep out the step by step to do list, or to do a task. It is really difficult to follow a specific work line. There are times that are impossible to follow step by step a work, especially when you deal with unknown issues that may need another kind of methodologies to finish properly the task. Try not to mention minor and occasional task, which are not unique to a specific job, you wouldn’t need it and don’t use the narrative form when you are writing a job description.

A job description should be written by a professional, who has at least an academic writing experience. If you bring in your job description qualitative requirements it will easily attract selective applicant that may fit accordingly to your requirements.

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