HR & People | 6Min Read

What is a Job Description & How to Write it Effectively?

Written by
What Have We Covered?

Writing job descriptions is an incredibly important task for recruiters and hiring managers. It is written to attract the most suitable candidates. So, companies receive job applications based on the job description. Hence, we can conclude that the quality of applications is associated with the job description, right? 

Moreover, the job description is one of the ways to connect with potential candidates. If you are a recruitment agency or an organisation looking to recruit top talent, the best way to do so is to attract the right candidate by crafting a compelling job description. One of the most important for a job position and encourages them to apply is a great job description. 

In this blog, we have covered everything you need to create an effective job description, which is crucial for recruitment marketing and brings the best talent. Check out the blog to learn how to write an effective job description. 

What is a Job Description?

A job description is a drafted narrative that explains the general tasks, responsibilities, daily duties and skills of a particular position. It contains overall information concerning the open position. So by reading the job description, candidates can determine whether they are an ideal match or not. 

This information is published with job advertisements on any sites and job boards. In short, the job description is a small summary of the open job position. Often, The word ‘job specification’ is used as a synonym for the job description; however, they both serve different purposes. Let’s understand how. 

What is Job Specification?

A job specification is basically a list of recommended qualities for a person to qualify for and succeed in a particular open position. It is incredibly important because it determines which skills candidates will utilise in a role rather than which tasks they will do. 

Hiring managers have a responsibility to write the job specification that encourages potential candidates to apply for a job. Frequently, human resource professionals and recruiters use the job specification to understand the qualification, skills, and education hiring managers seek to fill an open position. Hence, an effective job specification can help a company source and hire the most qualified candidates. 

Difference Between Job Specification and Job Description

Usually, the job description contains information about the job, such as job title, location, working conditions, and who will be the reporting person. In comparison, the job specification contains details that need to do the job, like educational qualifications, training experience, skills etc.   

 The job description states the daily tasks and responsibilities of the job. On the other hand, job specification provides outlines of what the employee must be capable of doing in order to succeed in the job. 

 The purpose of both is typically different. The purpose of a job specification is to make sure that candidates know what are the criteria in background and skills when applying for a job. It also helps the recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate candidates by matching the requirement of the open role demands. In contrast, the purpose of the job description is to tell candidates what tasks they will perform if they get hired. 

 Now that we are clear on the meaning and difference between job description and job specification, let’s now deep dive into job description ideas, importance, and how to write it with job description examples. 

Importance of Job Descriptions

Job description initial as well an essential part of improving the hiring process. Candidates and good recruiters also need a job description to know the exact requirement of an employer. So he/she can move forward with the highest matching candidates. In many more ways, job description plays a vital role. Let's see how and why the job description is important.

Job description ensures that you are hiring the right candidate

A good job description goes far till the end of the recruitment and onboarding process. Through a good job description, candidates cannot only relate themselves to the position, but employers can also get the best talent from the talent pool. Better and deep descriptive job descriptions improve the quality of applications. And this directly creates an impact on employee retention rate and turnover rate.

Job description ensures that the expectation is set and met

The meaningful job description provides a proper set of employer expectations for the candidate. Furthermore, for the employer, this is another way to communicate with their potential candidates. When employees get to know the exact understanding of their roles and expectations, then they try hard to match the expectation.

The Job description provides employee accountability

A clear job description helps the employer maintain accountability when it comes to the candidate's performance and evaluation. When a job description is not well written, it's become difficult to be accountable to the rejected candidates based on performance.

Consequently, the job description helps the recruiter and human resource department to streamline the overall process of hiring from the very beginning.

Details of Job Description Recruiters Must include

The job description includes every single detail concerning the job position. The details are largely divided into five areas. And these are the five majors and must include a section of the job description.

Job description survey

1. Job title: The topmost reflected part of a job description. The job title embraces things like job nature and ranking order. It should also be generic enough for the recruitment process and in accordance with related jobs in the same industry.

2. Duties: Responsibilities and duties linked with the position should be included in the numeric form. Employees get a rounded understanding of how they would expect to handle the entire task.

3. Skills and competencies: The skill section should be added separately. And this section includes the activities learned during the previous experience and qualifications. 

4. Relationship: This area includes the reporting line, which will assist the employee and candidates in seeing an organisation's power structure. From here, candidates easily find out where they fit.

5. Salary: Salary should be mentioned in the form of a range. The numeric salary value attracts more and more candidates.

Job descriptions are crucial. And it becomes appealing when the abovementioned sections are included in the draft without forgetting.

How to Write Job Descriptions to Attract More Talent? 

If you are an organisation with an open position, then the job description should be on point. The job description should be easy to dissolve. Moreover, written with the purpose of selling jobs and employer branding strategies too. Thus, it should be drafted in a good manner.  So, here are some tips for writing a great job description:

Short Job Description Survey

1. Perform job analysis and define essential functions 

This first step includes tasks like collecting, examining and interpreting the data of the daily task candidate requires to do. In this step, the hiring manager understands which tasks are being performed and how tasks will be executed by having employees fill out the worksheets or questionnaires and gathering the feedback data. 

 Afterwards, employees currently in that position document and review the results and submit them to the hiring managers. It helps the hiring managers to properly understand the skills, knowledge, abilities, physical characteristics, environmental factors and credentials/experience of the position. 

2. Be clear with the pay close job title 

Usually, people tend to search for a job by the job title. So, as a recruiter, you must use clear and precise job titles when putting up a job posting. Instead of using a creative job title, stick to the simple titles that are universally understood and save up that creativity for the other parts of the job description.

3. Be transparent about the responsibilities 

When reading a job description, one of the things that a candidate wants to know is the roles and responsibilities involved in the job position. So, you must be transparent about the responsibilities when you write the job description. You can list the duties in bullet points so it quickly catches the candidate's eye. 

4. Tell them about the company 

Make a point to add a little information about your company in the job description. Not all job hunters may know about your company, so telling them about your organisation can give them insight into the company culture, your missions and goals and other important information that may make your company more appealing. This can also lead them to choose your company over a competitor when a similar job position is offered. 

5. Avoid superlatives

When writing a job description, you may be tempted to use superlatives like best, world-class, pioneers, rock stars, or perfectionists to make the job position more attractive, but that may lead to a candidate not applying for the job position. The reason could be that such words can make the job look more intimidating, and the candidate may shy away from it. Use words that explain the job position as it is and not too demanding.

6. Formatting matters 

Many people do not consider the format of the text they put in a job posting as they do not consider it important. If your text is not well-formatted, it may look too cluttered, and a candidate may miss out on some important information that would have led them to apply for the job. To get more traffic to your job postings, make sure that the job description is 150 or more words long.

7. Include salary, perks, and benefits

The one thing that every job seeker wants to know is the salary and the benefits that a company offers for the job position. So, you must mention the salary and benefits like paid leaves, medical insurance, payday loans, pension, travel reimbursement, or any other benefits that your company offers. If the salary is not fixed, you can always present the job position with a salary range. 

8. Create urgency for the position

A secret weapon to gain a higher number of job applicants is by creating an urgency for a job position. Even if you are not in immediate need of new employees, a sense of urgency can make an applicant immediately. This urgency can be created by providing a joining date.

Pro tip: Ensure that your job description is written for people, not for robots. It must sound human and use a more conversational tone, which is more likely to engage candidates and keep their interest in the open role. 

Job Descriptions Template for Recruiters & Hiring Managers 

The following are the template of job descriptions for a different roles. Check those job description examples out and learn how to effectively write them to win and hire top talent in the fiercely competitive market. 

  1. Senior Accountant Job Description Template

  2. Businesses Analyst Job Description Template

  3. HR Manager Job Description Template

  4. Office Administrator Job Description Template

  5. PHP Developer Job Description Template

  6. Warehouse Associate Job Description Template

  7. Team Leader Job Description Template

  8. Recruiting Coordinator Job Description Template

  9. Supply Chain Manager Job Description Template

  10. Front End Developer Job Description Template

  11. Senior Java Developer Job Description Template

  12. Customer Service Job Description Template

Summary on Crafting Effective Job Descriptions

In the current time, traditional job descriptions don’t work because the generic kind of job description could apply to any company, and such descriptions focus more on the company, not on the candidates, which might be problematic. 

Hence, in order to create an effective job description, hiring managers and recruiters need to perform a job analysis, determine essential functions, concisely organise the data, and then prepare the job description. Your job postings must be more appealing and unique than the others to hold their interest and apply for the job.

Happy Creating Perfect Job Description!  

Join Our Award-Winning AI Recruitment Software

Demos are a great, fast way to learn about iSmartRecruit.
Connect with us now to learn more!

30 minutes to explore the software.
30 minutes to explore the software.

An ATS + CRM that helps you work smarter

Discover how you can scale your hiring process with our AI Recruitment Software!