5 key elements of an effective job description

5 key elements of an effective job description

 15 Jan 2018

It is essential to compile in-depth job descriptions for your business; not just for the purpose of recruiting candidates, but job descriptions will also be used throughout the duration of the new recruit’s employment. At any stage, an employee may ask to see their job description, they may be also be used during performance reviews or even in disciplinaries; if you are not satisfied with an employee’s performance. If you are not quite sure where to begin with creating a job description, these are five elements that should always be included.


Job title and hours of work

The job title can make all the difference in whether a candidate wants to apply for the job or not, so it is important to state this on the job description. It is a good idea to stick to generic job titles, which are common throughout the industry, as this will make it easier for candidates to relate. The working hours – rather than just full time or part time, are also essential on the job description, as candidates need to know whether or not they are available within the hours you need them.



You need to be careful that you include all the responsibilities which make up the job. If you don’t, you may find that you have disgruntled employees on your hands; if they are asked to do something they weren’t aware of. For example, if travelling once a month is necessary as part of the role, make sure this is clear. As much as possible, try and detail every task the employee will be involved in, as this will make it easier to recruit the right person and also avoid any confusion further down the line, when they are employed.



It is also important to state the essential criteria – those qualifications, experience and skills which the candidate must have in order to be progressed. For instance, if they need a specific engineering qualification or driving license, make sure this is specified. If they must be proficient in certain software, state this as part of the essential criteria on the job description. You could find yourself in at a tribunal, if you refuse a candidate based on criteria which is not mentioned on the job description. It really is that important.



It is also worth noting some desirable criteria on the job description, as this can make the screening of applications much easier, especially if you are inundated with applications. Desirable criteria is not necessary, but generally candidates who tick these boxes will be preferred over other candidates.



Salary and Benefits

If you want to improve your candidate pool, especially in a competitive industry, make sure the salary and benefits you are offering is clear on the job description. Candidates are more likely to apply for your job, if they are enticed with what you are offering. The benefits may include, flexible working, training, career development – anything which will make the role and/or your company sound appealing to job seekers.


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