Accuracy is critical. Writing better job descriptions protects the employer in the event of a claim down the road. The life of a job description goes on long after you hire the candidate. Job descriptions can be crucial evidence during an audit, an investigation or a lawsuit.
Best practices for writing better job descriptions
An innovative job description accomplishes three goals.
- Captures the attention of your dream candidate
- Covers the necessary information
- Legally protects your company
Consequently, it comes down to asking yourself three questions.
1. How can I capture the attention of my dream candidate?
The solution to this common problem is quite easy. Put yourself in that candidate’s shoes and imagine what your ideal prospect wants from a job? Clever job descriptions will make the perfect candidates think you created the position just for them.
If the best person for the position is a millennial, you should stress the aspects of the job that will appeal to that demographic. According to an Intuit infographic, 81 percent of millennials want to be able to set their hours at work. They want to dress comfortably and they don’t like cubicles.
On the other hand, if the person best suited for the job is someone a little older, you should emphasize the family-friendly perks of the position. This age group is in their prime earning years and looking for good family health insurance.
2. What information should I cover in a well-written job description?
You want to streamline the hiring process and target the exact skills and experience you seek. When writing better job descriptions, do not use a template. They lead to boring, generic job descriptions that do not tell the exciting story of your company and the unique position you are trying to fill. If you truly want to find the “perfect candidate” you’ll need to do your part and put the work in.
The four essential components of any well-written job description:
- Explain the role the person will play in the company. The best job candidates desire to understand the role they play in the larger scheme of things so be sure to make it easy for them to do so.
- Describe the responsibilities and challenges of the position.
- Provide brief, positive information about your business.
- Outline the application process, including the name of your contact person.
You will regret it if you skip this:
After you have written a draft, share it with people in the department with the vacancy. Encourage them to share the job listing within their own networks. After all, no one understands the position quite like the people already working in the department.
3. How can a job description protect the company?
Writing better job descriptions protects the employer in the event of a claim down the road. The life of a job description goes on long after you hire the candidate. Job descriptions can be crucial evidence during an audit, an investigation or a lawsuit.
Accuracy is critical. More than 40 percent of people in an 2018 study said their job descriptions were inaccurate even though 97 percent of the surveyed HR managers stressed the importance of accurate job descriptions when recruiting.
When a job description is incomplete or inaccurate, the company may be vulnerable to an Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) claim or a discrimination lawsuit. At a bare minimum, sub-standard job descriptions can result in a culture in which some employees wave the banner of “It’s not my job.”