Jessica Miller-Merrell | , , ,| By
As part of our Workology series on How to Write a Job Description, we’ve covered the basics of what a job description is and what it’s used for, as well as whether or not you should use a job description template and what to include. In this post, I’ll provide a template you can use when writing a job description.
Job descriptions are an important part of my Talent Brand Audit and is something I’ve been offering recruiting clients as part of my services under Workology and Xceptional HR Consulting. Writing and updating job descriptions and postings can also be the most difficult part of a recruiter and HR’s job. Note that while job posts are essentially talent brand marketing, job descriptions are meant for internal use. They should be the basis for your job posting, but the description is going to be longer and more detailed than what a listing includes. Job descriptions must contain all the important information about the role. They should be standardized. And finally, they should be thoroughly proofread and approved by key stakeholders, including HR, senior management, and in some cases, your legal department.
Because the best (and most compliant) job descriptions are consistent and standardized as much as possible, having a template is key to streamlining the process. You can use it as a checklist for your hiring managers and HR team, as well as a living document where you’ll update your “about” section to highlight your employer brand on a regular basis.
Recommended Job Description Template
Two to four descriptive sentence about your company.
Include just the highlights – what your company is known for, especially in your city or region.
Paragraph with information about the position.
This is where you’ll include the city and state location, along with the job title. Bold your key words, including the job title, city and state so they stand out. Include two to four sentences with a topline summary of the position, such as director of community engagement responsible for corporate giving and public relations, for example.
A typical day as JOB TITLE includes:
- A bulleted list of three to five key responsibilities.
- This shouldn’t be a laundry list of everything the position involves.
- Use strong action verbs and quantify expectations where possible.
- Use keywords that help with search optimization on your career site.
What you’ll like most about working in DEPARTMENT NAME:
- A list that includes things like why someone would consider working for your department or company over your competitors.
- What your current team loves about their roles, company, culture.
- A fact about your team that you’d like a candidate to know.
We’re looking for candidates who:
- List degree, education, experience and other required qualifications.
- Describe your dream candidate.
- Continue to use keywords to help with search optimization.
- Keep it short, no more than four items.
- Your “nice to have,” not “required to have.”
- List 2-3 skills that a top candidate might bring to the table.
What we offer our employees:
- List your top 3-4 benefits, perks, training or development programs, advancement opportunities.
- This is another opportunity to sell what makes your company the best choice for your candidates. Nap rooms? Catered lunches? Management training?
- It also helps to highlight your company culture. If you offer remote working, it says something different to your potential candidates than “weekly social happy hours.” Is this role for an introvert or an extrovert?
This is your “what makes us great” statement. You’ll include your company’s interesting story, an award or two, your established presence in the community, how fast you’re growing, what you’re committed to, what you believe. This is the same statement you’d write if someone asked for your employer brand statement.
Insert Special EEOC information
And finally, when developing your job description and posting information, don’t forget to include your EEOC information. This is especially important if your company is a federal contractor and has additional guidelines and hiring requirements as outlined by the OFCCP
Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities.Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here. The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
It might seem like a lot at a glance, but once you put one or two in this format, you can see how the bulleted items simplify and highlight the most important facets of the position, what makes your company a great one to work for, and your expectations for and from a potential candidate. If you’re worried about including something that might scare potential candidates away, such as “must have analytical skills and exceptional judgment,” consider whether or not what you’re asking for can be taught on the job. Analytics can be taught, an aptitude for analytics cannot, nor can good judgment. Leave it in, and consider it a candidate screening tool. This is why the template includes required skills and preferred skills. If you’re expecting an employee who understands KPIs and reporting, but you don’t include analytical skills in your requirements, don’t blame the employee for being surprised.
Basing your requirements and preferred skills on previous employees in the role for which you’re hiring is a great idea, IF that employee was a high performer. If you use your job description to highlight what you’re looking for because a previous employee fell short, it’s more transparent to job seekers than you’d think – and they’re likely to imagine themselves as that former employee and you as an irrational employer.
I hope this is helpful for you and your company! This content was developed as part of Workology’s LEARN series for HR professionals. See more about LEARN.