Write An Awesome Job Description in Ten Easy Steps

When looking to hire a new employee your first step should be to set up criteria of who would be the best fit for the position. You may think that you know exactly what you need from this new hire, but developing a formal job description will help to better understand who you are looking for so you can find the ideal person for the role. A well written job description will even make your hiring process easier by encouraging applicants who are not a good fit to opt out of the process.

  1. Job Title
    Choose a clear, concise title for the position. If the job title is too long or unclear it should be changed to something less obscure. “Chief Wizard of Light Bulb Moments” may look cool on your website, but it will probably be overlooked by qualified candidates searching for “Creative Director.” Applicants should have a good understanding of the job opportunity from the title.
  2. Summary
    This is an opportunity to talk a little bit about your company. Develop your value proposition and exactly what your business does. Craft this summary to give the ideal candidate an idea of what it would be like to work for your company.
  3. Responsibilities
    This should be a high-level overview of the job’s main responsibilities. By listing responsibilities, you are helping the job seeker to know if they are a good candidate for the position or not.
  4. Requirements & Preferences
    Spell out the skills that matter most. Include the top three to four skills that candidates will be required to have in order to do the job effectively. Be specific about the skills needed for the role. Preferences can be the “nice to haves” and can provide you with some flexibility on determining the right candidates to interview and hire.
  5. Education Requirements
    Explicitly state any education, training, or certifications that are required for the position. What if you find the perfect candidate but they lack a specific certification? If your company can provide training to help the right candidate reach these requirements, you should state the areas in which you are flexible.
  6. Day-to-Day Duties
    Describe as accurately as possible the day-to-day duties of the position as it exists today. Let the candidate know what they could expect on day one and moving forward.
  7. Benefits
    Include primary benefits (healthcare, 401K) as well as secondary benefits unique to your company (flexible work hours, child care support, etc.). These can help set your company apart from the competition and can give a glimpse into your company culture as well.
  8. Include Compensation
    “Salary commensurate with experience’ won’t generate the same interest as a specific salary range or figure. You may need to do your homework to determine the going salary for the position you are looking to fill in your market area. (Not sure? We can help with that!)
  9. Bring the Job to Life
    As you write the job description, keep the ideal candidate in mind. Provide enough information and description to allow them to visualize themselves in the position. Keep the focus on the duties and responsibilities of the position, as opposed to the personal characteristics of the person performing the job. Always keep the description gender-neutral and absent of any language that could exclude any groups. Include personal characteristics that would help a candidate succeed. Anyone can be “hardworking” but what you want is a hard worker that can perform the necessary duties.
  10. Define Success
    Clearly define what will be considered success in this role. What will be expected of the person in this role to be successful, will there be benchmarks to reach or goals to be obtained by a specific date? Be able to explain to potential new hires what standard they will be held to as they look to be a part of the team. To really make the job description shine you may consider adding some details on how the candidate can advance in six months to a year within the organization.

An engaging, in depth, detailed job description will go a long way to help you attract the talent you need to grow and sustain your company. As an added benefit, a good job description can enhance the company’s brand and reputation with potential customers by showcasing the company culture and quality of staff that makes up the organization.

If your company is looking to make a new hire or if your organization needs assistance with regard to your employees in any way, Exodus HR is here to help. We would love to talk to you about your specific HR needs!