What do you write in a job description?
As your business grows, there will be an increasing need to create new roles and hire new employees. A job description will be an essential document for defining the responsibilities of the role, outlining the kind of applicant you’re searching for, and setting out your aims for how this new employee will fit into your existing operations as a business.
So, what are the key elements to include in your formal job description?
What to include in a job description
There are two core aims of a job description:
- To help the employer identify the right person for the role, and
- To help applicants decide if this is the right job to apply for.
The outline of the role provides a formal description of what’s expected from the new applicant and may also help in the reallocation of work to existing staff. It’s also an essential document for a new applicant to refer to, so they fully understand their responsibilities.
To convey all the necessary job and company information, there are certain key elements to include in any job description. You want to give the best possible overview of the role.
Key elements to include:
Who you are as a business:
A background on the company is essential so you can outline your brand, your mission and what the company does. You should explain why you’re looking for this new role and how the position supports your operations – all of which helps to attract the right applicants.
A job title for the role:
The job title should indicate the nature of the role and will help an applicant know what’s expected. Look at similar roles online within your sector for ideas.
Who does the role report to:
It’s important to explain where the role sits in your company structure and who the successful applicant will report to. This gives a good overview of the main company hierarchy. If the role includes supervision of other team members, or management responsibilities, then mention this too.
Hours to be worked:
Is this a full-time or part-time role? You should also explain if there will be travel, weekend work, outdoor or any physical activity involved. Also include how you would develop the role for any differently abled applicants who might be interested in the position.
The purpose of the role:
Craft a succinct and concise paragraph that explains the exact purpose of the role, and what the person will be expected to achieve. This is a crucial part of the job description, so make sure it’s unambiguous and makes no assumptions about any applicant’s knowledge of your business. Keep it simple and clear.
The core responsibilities:
List out the key areas of the role and the person’s main responsibilities. Do this as a bullet-point list and make sure you give clear descriptions of each responsibility. Explain any technical or industry-specific requirements but try to keep jargon to a minimum. Plain English is always the best approach.
The salary range:
The salary is an extremely important piece of information for many applicants, so make it clear what the pay will be, if this is pro-rata and if this is a weekly, monthly salary. Also explain what company benefits are included, such as a company pension, health care, medical insurance or any other employee perks.
Who should apply:
Give an overview of who should apply for the role, what experience is needed and what the important personality traits will be for a successful applicant. Explain whether you will be providing support and/or training, or if the applicant needs a certain level of experience in a similar role.
Be very clear about who any interested applicants should contact, what to send (CV, covering email, references etc.) and where to email these details. Also, make it clear what the deadline is for applications and when applicants will get a reply (or if only successful applicants will be contacted etc.)