How to write a job description

Ever hired someone that wasn’t right for the role? It may have happened because you didn’t write an effective job description. Hiring the right people for the right roles is the most important part of the recruitment process, and it starts before you even screen CVs.
Attracting top talent is easier when you know exactly what the role is and can convey this in your specification.
A job specification is, in many ways, an extension of a job description. All the necessary details, such as job title, department, key responsibilities etc are included, but job specifications also give a candidate an idea of what personal attributes and past experience is required for the role.
Some of the things to include when you write a job specification are:
  • The title and location of the role
  • What department the job is in/who the role reports to
  • Key responsibilities and objectives
  • Salary range and benefits
  • Desirable soft skills
  • The required education and training
Avoid using any corporate jargon that might make perfect sense to everyone at your organisation, but could be nonsense to an external party.

Company overview

The job specification is often the first impression a candidate gets of your organisation, so the overall message of your finished spec should reflect the identity and culture of your organisation.
A bad job specification can be off-putting; a page of messy text can summon an idea of an unorganised workplace. However, a well formatted, clear and concise spec can portray a good image of your company.

Attract top talent

As well as informing candidates what the role is, your job specification should aim to grab the attention of top talent. What sets your organisation apart from your competitors? What makes your role stand out from similar jobs elsewhere? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself when you write a job specification, because this is what job seekers will want to know.
The remuneration also comes into play here; even small benefits can sway a candidate so they should be in a prominent place.

Long-term thinking

Many job seekers will consider a role more seriously if they think there is room for progression. If you plan on offering training and development opportunities it’s worth implying the possibility of promotion. Strong candidates will be looking for a role that will allow them to develop and an organisation that shows commitment from the outset.
Consider who will be the best person for the role, not the type of person you’d like to hire. While it’s important an employee’s values align with your organisation’s own, it’s also vital that they can perform the role to the highest level of productivity.
If you’re hiring, contact your local Michael Page office to see how we can help with your recruitment process.