One of the critical features of getting a good selection of candidates applying for your vacancy is the strength of the job description you provide. It might not seem to be the most important factor, but when applying for a job, it helps to understand what you would be doing if successful. If the role is not clearly defined, you could be sifting through under-qualified applicants and more importantly never receive an application from your perfect employee.

What Does a Job Description Cover?

While this might seem an obvious answer, we often find that we rework existing job descriptions to make sure they contain all the information needed. There are five vital elements to consider when we write the perfect job description.

The Job:

  • What is the job title
  • What does the job entail – principal duties, qualifications, skills, person etc
  • Where does the role sit within your organisation

The Document:

  • Is legally binding and forms part of the contract of employment
  • Gives performance management assessment basis
Job Title

It is vital that the job has a title that actually says what the person will be doing. Team member became popular a while back, but this doesn’t give a clear insight. Gender-based language is not used, and you should take inspiration from the industry. Finance Assistant, Night Cleaner, Marketing Manager, etc. all immediately give an indication of what the person might be required to do. The use of the word ‘night’ directly indicates the job has unusual hours.

Job Role

What is the person going to be doing in their day to day working life? It is essential to clearly define the role demonstrating what the ideal candidate will spend their time doing. In order to do the role what qualifications or experiences are considered vital and what are desirable? What skills does the person need to have, do they need to be organised, innovative, hold a full driving licence, etc. The clearly the detail the easier it is for people to decide if they could fit, saving both your time and theirs.

How Does the Role Fit?

You should define the contract terms, whether this is a full or part-time position, a permanent or temporary contract etc., and then the hierarchy and where it sits within your company. This can be done with a chart and a statement. The Finance Assistant reports to the Finance Manager, please see organisational chart for details.

The Job Description Document

This is a legally binding document that forms part of the contract, so there is no room for error. Avoid any reference to race, age, gender, nationality, colour or religion. If you have a role that needs to be a specific consideration that could also be construed as discriminatory, then please speak to our time as they are experts in recruitment law and will be able to explain how this is handled. The Outstaff team have years of experience writing job descriptions and would be delighted to assist you with any or all of the process.