How to write a good job description.

Writing a good job description.

A good job description is critical to hiring the right people for your organization. It has a direct impact on hirings and retention rates. If you can find the right match for each job or right people in all the right positions, the company’s productivity will be higher and in turn, there will be growth in financial profits. A good job description is a great tool for this purpose. An accurate and good job description is a critical tool that does not cost a lot to create and instead saves you a lot of costs in the form of reduced turnover

Imagine a situation where you are frustrated with your subordinate who seems to not have the right skills for his job. He resigns a few weeks after joining and you are even frustrated since hiring a new one will take you at least a few weeks. When asked about why he is leaving the job, your subordinate tells you that he does not have all the skills needed for the position. He complains that there are several tasks that were not listed in the job description when he had applied. You decide to investigate the issue and therefore contact the human resources department. When you check out the job description, you find out that there are several anomalies and the description does not include all the required skills and knowledge. It does not include an accurate description of the tasks the person will be required to accomplish either. These things have cost the company a lot in the past since the attrition rate has generally remained high and will continue to unless you post accurate and more complete job descriptions.

 A more realistic description is important so that the organizations can hire only the right people. When job descriptions are more realistic, complete, and accurate, the chances of hiring only the people with the right skills and traits are higher. It is because with more accurate job descriptions you can make more focussed hirings.  It will also discourage the people without the right skills or traits or who do not completely match the requirements from applying. While it will reduce the size of the target audience from which you can hire, the people who will be hired are more likely to remain with the company for longer and be more satisfied with their jobs.

Apart from summarizing what the person to be hired will be required to do on a  daily basis, here are some more suggestions for writing more effective and accurate job descriptions.

Writing a good job description

Create a bullet list of job requirements

You want your job description to catch the attention of interested job seekers and be easy to read. For this purpose, you should specify the requirements in the form of a bulleted list so that anyone can easily scan the requirements. A job description cannot be written in the form of an essay and you do not have a lot of space to include too much detailed information either. Therefore, you should first prepare a detailed bullet list that summarizes all the requirements. Anyone who comes across the job description will find it easy to scan the main points without any difficulty. It will also give your job description a neat and clean look.

Use common and understandable industry terms

While you want to attract the experts from your industry, you do not want to sound too complex to avoid losing the interest of potential talent that appreciates simplicity. Therefore, while you should avoid using too complex terms, you should use technical industry terms that directly speak to the potential job seekers from your industry. It also works as a filter and allows you to target talent specifically from your industry. When you use common industry terms in your job description, the chances of attracting experienced professionals is also higher since these people are highly familiar with these terms and will easily recognize an opportunity.

Avoid using organizational jargon.

The use of industry jargon as a part of the job description is fine since it makes your posting more industry-specific. However, you must not use your organization’s internal jargon in your job description. It will make you lose connection with your targeted audience since only internal members will be able to understand your organizational jargon. Therefore, in the place of organizational jargon, you must use common technical terms used industrywide.

Use meaningful job titles.

Instead of using internal job codes that are a part of your HR dictionary, you must use meaningful job titles that your audience finds it easy to connect with. If you use internal job codes, the job description will not be understood by an external audience. Moreover, people outside your HR  team might not be familiar with all these job codes. Instead, it is advisable to use meaningful job titles that are easily understood and highlight the tasks involved as a part of the job. Moreover, organizations sometimes create new positions based on their type of business, organizational structure, and work culture. However, sometimes such positions that are specific to your organization only or found rarely inside other organizations may confuse job seekers and they might not be able to understand the requirements of the position. In such a situation, it might be more useful to use a related and very close job title that is more meaningful and can help the aspirants easily identify the work type.

Include keywords from the list of common online search terms.

Nowadays people mostly carry out their job search online and through internet platforms like Linked In, Monster, or Indeed. Take some time to carry out online searches using Google or another search engine and find out the terms most commonly used by people when they search online for vacancies related to the specific position. When you enter a search term in Google, it will also offer you similar suggestions for search terms. When you hit enter, you will also find a list of related terms at the bottom of the page. Pick these terms and make a list. You can include some of these in your job description to ensure that your job listing is easily discovered by the interested job seekers. This will increase the likelihood of your posting appearing at the top when people search for vacancies through Google or other platforms where you posted the description.

Include a short summary about the business and  useful links.

While writing a job description, it is important that you do not focus on the job solely. Job seekers will also be interested in your organizations. They would want to know about it and its industry position as well as other things like a bit about leadership and culture. It may not be possible to include all the information in the brief job description, you can still include a short summary describing your organization and what it does. You can briefly describe your business, its market position, and a little bit about its leadership. Apart from that, you should include a few useful links. You can add a link to the webpage on your site where you have included detailed information about the job as well as other pages like the about us page and the careers page. While it is generally not possible to include all the information related to your business in the job listing, by providing links in the listing, you will be able to direct the aspirants to the pages where they will find more information that they need.

Highlight the special benefits.

Make sure to highlight the special benefits related to the job in your job description so as to make it more attractive for aspirants. You can highlight the special intangible benefits that are a part of the package. While it is not required to describe the entire package, you must include some information about the most unusual benefits that you are offering with the package. For example, if you offer flexible timings or travel benefits then you should include it in the description to attract potential applicants. Every applicant wants to work for an organization that understands its needs. If there are special benefits, they will likely attract more applications since job satisfaction is one of the most important concerns for job seekers.

Specify the job location.

You should also specify the location of the job in the job description. It is not a good practice to keep candidates in dark about where they are going to be posted after selection. Moreover, you should include the nearest large city, if your business is not located in a  metropolitan or large city. To attract candidates, you should include information about the local community and the quality of life there. This will also help you refine your candidate search and attract only the candidates that are interested in working in the area.

Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.