Writing job descriptions is an art. A correct job description brings in the right employee. As today the focus is on multi-tasking or multiple skills, companies with good job descriptions have a shortened recruitment cycle. A good job description is well thought out but not written from boilerplates.
What is job description?
Job description specifies job requirements and acts as a screening tool. Therefore, manpower requirement and planning is dependent on job descriptions. Information about duties, responsibilities, Key Result Areas (KRA’s), qualifications and compensation information are detailed as part of job description.
Duties: Clearly outlining the duties is crucial for a good job description. Duties need to be specific to both short-term issues and long-term challenges of the position. Short-term priority issues need to be addressed during the first few days. Long-term challenges relate to where the hiring manager wants to be in months down the road.
Qualifications: Qualifications are the principal screening elements. These fall into two areas – must haves and nice to haves. Must haves are absolute requirements and without them the person is screened out. Nice to haves are like the icing on the cake.
Compensation information: Generally,this area is skipped in job descriptions. When stated, however, will attract a wider range of qualified individuals. The most important thing is, for the right person, compensation can always be adjusted, titles changed and duties expanded.
The why's of job description
It is essential to provide guidance to people as to what to do and how to do it. Job description enables people in organisations to know who does what and who knows what. Above all, it provides information about the technical skill requirements and “nature” of the person best suited for the job.
How to write a good job description?
Be crystal clear: The crucial question is, "What is the purpose of the job?" It highlights:
- Management’s expectations from the employee.
- Role of the job-holder.
- Employee's contribution towards the achievement of company goals.
- Relationships between different jobs and activities of the organisation.
Source of information: Best-written job descriptions are those written by or with the person in the job. He is the best person to know about the job and thus will be able to complete his own work profile. In case the employees are not articulate enough to write the details, help them with formal and informal interviews and questionnaires. Encourage them to choose the titles.
Assess the skills and abilities: It requires complete analysis of the work structure on the following lines:
- Man management.
- Commercial activities.
- Written or spoken communication skills.
- Analytical skills.
List the tasks: They should be arranged in an order based on the importance, frequency and processes.
Analyse the job: Should be analysed on the following accounts:
- Decision-making authority.
- Time frame to make decisions.
- Number of units under control.
- Definition and distinction between the staff and line functions.
- Levels of authority.
- Whom to report to.
Write the job description: It should contain the title and department, location, responsibility and major functional relationships.
E-recruitment is the in thing now. The workforce, too are looking for opportunities on the Net. Writing job descriptions for the Net is radically different from writing for the regular media. Here are few tips that will help you attract the best talent to your company. An effective job description format online includes:
Position heading: It is the text that catches the job-seeker’s attention. The text must goad them into going further and hence needs to have a punch in it.
Company statement: It is essential to create excitement and interest about your company.
Position summary: It enhances the interest level about the position along with providing additional information.
Salary and benefits summary: It provides the salary range associated with the position as well as a profile of company benefits.
Qualifications: Need to be stated clearly. If unclear, the job-seeker may think the position is below his expertise and may not apply.