“A job description is more than just a list of responsibilities,” says Samantha Spano, senior marketing manager at Pittsburgh-based recruiting solutions provider JazzHR. “It lets potential employees know what’s expected of them, tells them where their role fits into the organization, and is a valuable performance management tool.”
Select the right title.
It needs to be self-explanatory and accurately indicate what the job entails. Choose the wrong words and you might turn off the best candidates. “Using terms like rock star or superstar can potentially cause more experienced job seekers to overlook your role,” Spano says. Also, using the word manager when there are no actual management responsibilities could discourage candidates when the role doesn’t align with expectations.
Be descriptive with duties.
These should be short and to the point but have a clear action and purpose. For example, rather than saying the person will be in charge of invoicing, say something like “responsible for creating and sending out monthly invoices to clients to aid accounts payable with bill collection.” It’s all about setting clear and straightforward expectations with measurable outcomes. Another way to do this: “Give an indication of what percentage of the employee’s time should be dedicated to each task,” Spano says.
Sketch out the desired skills.
List defined skill sets that successful candidates will need to do the job well. These are markers of experience, such as knowing how to use Photoshop, being able to use the latest payroll software, or being fluent in Spanish.
Come up with competencies.
Think about soft skills—attributes that will help the employee do the best job. “They can include things such as the ability to lead a team, communicate, and work well with others.”
Clarify working relationships.
Making reporting lines clear eliminates confusion about responsibilities and accountability. If an employee is expected to work closely with other departments or employees, this should be clarified too. “You might even want to consider including an up-to-date organizational chart that depicts relationships between roles and areas of responsibility.”