5 Tips For Writing A Killer Job Description 5th March 2018

Now is the time for detail, lots of it.

Writing a job description can be boring and difficult. Fortunately, like most things that are boring and difficult, the rewards are worth it!

You must invest time and effort into writing a job spec that makes it absolutely crystal clear what the job entails. 2 reasons:

1.       It is only fair to the people applying to you that they know what they are applying for; and,

2.       It gives people enough information that they can form intelligent questions.

Good candidates ask good questions. Great candidates ask great questions. 

Give them the opportunity to ask great questions by giving them sufficient detail to engage their curiosity.

A killer job spec follows this format:

1.       The purpose of the role

The beginning of the job specification must describe the reason for this role within your organisation.

What is the core responsibility of the person(s) in this role?

It should not be long, 50 to 100 words is ample, and it should distil all of the tasks down to the core responsibilities. Imagine someone gave you 30 seconds to answer the question; what is this person responsible for?

Write that down.

2.       A description of the role

This is the part where you can expand on the core responsibilities of the role and describe the environment in which they will work.

You could describe the people they will work with, where they will work, the people they will serve on behalf of your company and the opportunity to progress within the company.

Use brave language. Instead of “responsible for managing client relationships” try “responsible for guaranteeing excellent service to existing client relationships”. It places more emphasis on the core job outcomes and should get the right person excited about the opportunity.  

Be sure to infuse your values into this element of the job description. The only way to build a great team is to ensure they share the company’s values; anything else is an uphill struggle.

3.       The job specifics

In bullet format describe each and every responsibility that is associated with the role that they are applying for.

Use short, sharp sentences. Do not leave important parts out but get as much as you can into short bursts of valuable information.

It is natural to focus on the main duties involved and leave out the seemingly lesser important parts. However, if an employee spends even 10% of their time doing something they hate that “wasn’t in the job description”; well, you know the rest!

This is the difficult part. But, it is also the part where you can make some surprising discoveries!

4.       The package specifics

The package specifics should include:

·         Salary

·         Bonus or commissions

·         Healthcare

·         Pension

·         Hours

·         Parking arrangements (if there are any)

You would be amazed at how many job offers get held up or rejected because of a seemingly small detail! Get as much detail in as possible to avoid these difficulties.  

5.       The Key Performance Indicators

A job description must include the key performance indicators (KPIs) that the employee is responsible for achieving.

In essence, achieving the KPIs is the job.

Employees gain great clarity from knowing what their KPIs are, so it is vitally important that prospective hires know this information before they apply.

KPIs bring the job role to life for candidates and show them that your company is serious about its performance. Including them at this stage achieves the dual purpose of attracting the candidates who will relish that challenge, whilst discouraging candidates who will not.

If your job specification had key performance indicators it would be to ensure the right people apply and that the wrong people do not! It should continue the work done by the job advert by acting as a natural filter for applications.  

Read more from our Recruitment 2.0 news series here.