If you are part of the hiring committee of an enterprise, you will need to, at some point, write a job description. A job description is a detailed look into what a particular advertised job entails. The prospective candidate should be able to read the description and get an idea of the required skills, responsibilities and requirements of the particular job.
It’s essential to write a good job description, so you have the right people applying for the role. This can save you a lot of time later in the hiring process!
Tips for writing a job description
Look at example job descriptions first, there are sample job descriptions for nearly every job imaginable. Select the one that is most appropriate, tailor it accordingly by considering your target audience and the type of candidates that you wish to attract.
Another option is to look on other UK job sites to learn what your competitors have done in the past; this may provide inspiration.
If you prefer to start your job description from scratch, you can use a job description template that will help you create unique content.
Before you start writing your job description, make sure that you take notes and have a good idea of what is expected before you begin. Think about your recruitment campaign and consider your employer brand, who your audience is, where you are going to advertise the job and what message you are sharing about your company.
The title and opening sentence are the most crucial part of your job description. You only have a few words for it, but you want to make sure that it strikes the right balance of attracting the people you want to apply and not wasting an unsuitable candidate’s time.
Your title should include the job level (e.g. senior, junior, entry-level) and the proper job title (e.g. brand manager, physiotherapist, secretary). Your opening sentence should state whether the job is full or part-time and what qualifications you expect the candidate to have.
Write a comprehensive list of all of the responsibilities
Longer and more detailed is better here! You can include a range of duties in this part of the description – everything from making presentations to hiring a team could be included.
It’s best to write this list out in a separate document at first. Think about literally everything that this candidate will be doing on a daily basis and make a note of it all. If the role is currently occupied by another employee, it might help to ask them what they consider their responsibilities to be.
Detail essential and preferred qualifications and skills
It will help if you have two lists here. Firstly, the essential list. If your candidate absolutely needs to have a degree in economics and impressive social skills, write these down.
Then, there’s a preferred list. You will still consider candidates who don’t have these qualifications but may favour applicants who do. This list often includes things like knowledge of a foreign language or previous experience in a similar role.
Make sure all of the other job details are clear
Ensure that it is clear where and on what basis the applicant will be working (for example, part-time or full-time and in the office or at home), and that there is a rough start date.
Ask your colleagues to check it
Getting a second opinion will help you to refine your job description and ensure there are no errors.