Writing a compelling job description can make the difference between attracting a superstar and a not-so-super candidate. You do not have to be an experienced recruiter to write a job description that gets noticed. A terrific job description lets candidates know what will be expected of her from the outset helping to ensure a smooth transition once hired. A well-written job description can also help you be sure you are complying with necessary employment laws. By following a few simple steps, you can create a compelling and compliant job description in a matter of minutes. There are eight typical components of a job description:
- Company name, title of the position and department
- Reporting structure (to whom will the person report)
- Overall responsibility (include if there is managerial responsibility)
- Key areas of responsibility/accountability
- Terms of employment (part-time, full-time or contract )
- Qualifications (necessary skills, education, and experience)
- Requirements (necessary components for the job such as the ability to lift heavy objects or travel a certain percentage of time)
Purchase low-cost job description generation softwareJob description generation software can be an economical way to create focused and legally compliant descriptions. Generate one or one hundred job descriptions in a matter of minutes.
Use free do-it-yourself Web tools to create job descriptionsA handful of Web sites offer job description writing resources that can get you started at no cost.
Search online job boardsPopular Web sites for job seekers contain millions of actual job descriptions that are searchable free of charge. You can search for job postings in your industry and read other companies' job descriptions to get a sense of what to include and how to write a job description that gets noticed.
Hire an employment lawyer or HR consultantIf you want expert advice to help you craft your job descriptions, you can hire an attorney or consultant who knows the ropes.
- Instead of detailing tasks, keep your job descriptions focused on responsibilities and what you would like the individual to accomplish in this position.
- Be specific with your job requirements. It will save you time during the screening process and will keep your focus on qualified candidates.
- Any reference to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin or nationality, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation in your job description is illegal, so avoid them!
- Be sure you are clear regarding the physical requirements of the position. If it requires heavy lifting, you will want to be sure to document that in the description for legal reasons.
- Be careful you understand the different requirements for exempt and non-exempt employees — non-exempt positions are eligible for overtime pay as stipulated by the U.S. Department of Labor regulations.
- You can always have an employment law attorney review your description to be sure it is legally compliant.
- Compare your description to positions posted on the Internet for similar companies. Is your description competitive?