The road to finding, hiring and retaining good employees is not an easy one. But it all starts with a good job description.
A well-written position description can help you target top talent, and reduces the risk of role ambiguity. So, it’s important to learn how to get it right.
Use our checklist (+ position description template) to guide you on your way to crafting the perfect job description!
JD Checklist + Position Description Template
Start with a clear job title
This step is probably the most important.
Nowadays, some employers feel compelled to get super creative with their position titles. But this might not be the best way to attract the perfect candidate or keep your employees happy.
Non-traditional job titles like “Data Storyteller,” “Innovation alchemist” and “Engineering Guru” can certainly make a relatively unexciting role seem more appealing. However, they are not searchable, and mean nothing to a job seeker. That means you may miss out on truly qualified candidates if you’re planning to hire.
What’s more, research shows that 70% of office workers would take a better job title over a bump in salary. That shows that many employees define themselves – their self esteem and their status – on their job title. So, creating a professional-sounding and comprehensible headline can really make a difference to ensuring your employees feel valued.
The bottom line? Be sure to keep your job titles clear and concise. And use industry or job-related keywords that are searchable, understandable and accurately describe the position.
Avoid jargon and fluff
A great job description should describe the skills needed to perform the role and outline where the job fits within the company. It can also underpin employment contracts and may be used to performance manage.
However, people tend to scan over position descriptions and they may be passed between departments. So keep your writing clear, concise and jargon-free so that it can be easily understood by everybody. If in doubt, get someone less familiar with the role to read over your description before issuing it.
Open with a job summary
A job summary is a short, clear statement that provides an overarching idea of:
- the most important functions and responsibilities of the role
- the business and expectations
Employees like to understand what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated – and a job summary should tell them just that!
We know people tend to skim through job descriptions, so, as a rule of thumb, stick to 4-5 sentences.
Outline key responsibilities and duties
All job descriptions need to provide a list of the key responsibilities and duties. The length of this section will vary (it really depends on the job), but all should have the following in common:
- Format: Information should be presented in a bulleted list to make it clear and easy-to-read
- Brevity: Resist the urge to waffle on. Your list should be detailed and specific in nature, but also to the point.
- Transparency: Core responsibilities and day-to-day duties should be clearly highlighted so that the person in the role understand business expectations.
If you’re writing a position description on behalf of the hiring manager, make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to position requirements. Role confusion (or role ambiguity) is directly associated with employee and organisational performance. So, it helps to get it right.
Highlight required skills, knowledge and experience
The key word here is ‘required.’ Specify the educational level, experience, certifications and technical skills that are necessary to do the role. But don’t get too get carried away with ‘nice-to-haves.’
Include employment terms
Define whether the role is full-time, part-time, contract or casual. If it’s for a contract role, you should also mention whether there is a view to permanent employment and whether the rate is fixed or hourly.
Download Position Description Template
Looking to hire top talent?
At Trojan, we are industry specialists who bring an intimate understanding of your market. Contact us today to find out how we can help you source the right person for your job.