Job descriptions are invaluable HR tools which can have a serious impact on not only recruitment, but employee loyalty and retention as well. Therefore, HR professionals should take their time crafting high-quality job descriptions which are clear and fit-for-purpose.
At Paydata, our Job Description Support Service has helped a host of different organisations craft or refine their job descriptions through a variety of means. From staff training courses to writing or reviewing existing descriptions, we can assist with all aspects of this essential documentation.
Leveraging this experience, we have put together a brief guide covering what a job description is, the meaning of job description and what makes these assets so important.
What is the definition of ‘Job Description’?
A job description can be defined as:
“A formal account of an employee’s responsibilities.”
To explain further, a job description lists exactly what a role entails and, when hiring, the skills required to complete this role. From an employer’s point of view, a job description needs to be clear and accurate so that everyone in the organisation is aware of what their role requires of them and what they are expected to do.
From an employee’s perspective, a job description serves as a list of expectations for them to meet or if they seek to progress within the business, exceed.
Why are Job Descriptions important?
Job descriptions can impact employees at every stage of their working career and, if crafted well, save an organisation both time and money.
When recruiting, a clear, detailed and enticing job description is essential for attracting the best talent. Top would-be employees will want to apply for roles which utilise their best skills or cover an area of interest; therefore, HR professionals should ensure that their job descriptions cover the main responsibilities and aspects of the position they are advertising.
From the employer’s perspective, a high-quality job description will help separate the wheat from the chaff. A good description will include the skills required for the role as well as a concise but clear summary of what the right individual will be doing in the advertised position. This information, particularly the skills required, are likely to deter under-qualified or lower-quality talent, ensuring that hiring managers only receive applications from the strongest, most viable applicants.
There is obviously a balance to strike here, as too many requirements will deter even the strongest of applicants. Finding this middle-ground between detail and conciseness is one of the main issues we help our clients work through in our Job Description Support Service.
Job descriptions aren’t just important from a recruitment perspective though, they also play a major role in employee engagement, motivation and achievement. A key factor that impacts employee satisfaction is a clear understanding of their responsibilities and in turn, what they can do to progress their career.
A clear job description is one of the key steps towards providing this as it avoids any confusion in a role’s scope or requirements and ensures that staff know exactly what is expected of them. Furthermore, with the details of the role clearly outlined, it’s much easier for an employee to see how they can go above and beyond what is required of them, demonstrating a dedication to their role which can be rewarded with remuneration, promotion or recognition.
How do you write a good Job Description?
Having covered the importance of a job description, most people’s next question is how to produce a good one. It may seem simple but high-quality job descriptions require attention to detail and careful consideration when writing. Key factors to consider include:
- Job Title – can you get an idea of a role’s responsibilities just by glancing at the title? Is the title professional enough to attract employees?
- Job Summary/Purpose – is there a short, bitesize explanation of the job’s roles and requirements for when people are browsing job boards?
- Job Accountabilities – after being summarised, does the description cover core accountabilities?
- Job Requirements – are the requirements for the position clear? Have you detailed desired soft skills as well as necessary hard and technical skills? Have you included any necessary or desirable experience?
- Company Information – does your job description include information on your company? Does this information cover company culture as well as progression opportunities and chances for future growth?
- Employer Philosophy – does the description emphasise that all demographics can apply, therefore opening up your position for the best quality applicants from all walks of life?
- Spelling and Grammar – as a professional document, every job description should be meticulously checked from a grammar and punctuation perspective.
These considerations cover most of the fundamentals, but just like most things in business, job descriptions need to be advised on a case-by-case basis to ensure they suit your sector and organisation.
Utilise Paydata’s team of HR Experts today
At Paydata, we have helped a host of different organisations in a variety of fields to write, hone and design their job descriptions from the ground up. Our team of HR experts have over 40 years of experience in job description creation and our Job Description Support Service has been designed to offer simple, practical advice which you can implement at your discretion.
Learn more about our services today or get in touch with one of our experts for bespoke advice based on your questions.