How to Write Amazing Job Descriptions

By Maria Forbes
January 21, 2021

Well-written job descriptions are an essential part of hiring the right new employees.  A job description can convey the type of candidate you are looking to hire, however, some are more effective than others.  In this post, you will gain insight into writing amazing job descriptions that attract the right candidates for long term associations.

Start by Trading-in a Job Description for a Role Description

A job description is a summary, it outlines the knowledge and skill requirements and interactive or relational responsibilities of a position.  Most companies use job descriptions to recruit for, and ultimately fill open positions.  We ask you to think differently in order to attract the best applicants.  As we help our entrepreneurial leaders convert job holders into business contributors, the information within a traditional job description is used to create what is really needed, a role description.  In the small business environment every role has an influence on business growth and sustainability.  Role descriptions illustrate more than knowledge and skills qualifications, they also communicate alignment of responsibilities and unique strengths that can be applied to company growth.

Be Complete

Most job descriptions are a specific description of duties and relationships required to satisfy a position.  A description of the exact skills that are required for success in the open position should include both hard skills; technical and industry specific, and soft skills, interpersonal or relational.  Knowledge and skills based descriptions will attract a larger audience of applicants.  Some may possess the necessary skills and qualifications, but to reach target applicants, we need to provide information that illustrates more than knowledge and skills.  A role description communicates knowledge and skills, cultural and relational preferences, as well as conative or innate strengths that can be applied and which will enable success in a role.  By including all three parts of the mind in a role description, we are giving potential candidates the best opportunity to determine whether a role is right for them.  Through a complete three-part role description you will cast a smaller net that attracts the perfect candidates.

Include Unique Contributions to Company Growth

You should describe the day-to-day responsibilities of a role, accompanied by how the role makes a specific contribution to company growth and sustainability.  This may include expectations for client relationship management performance, operational goals that contribute to growth targets, and more.  An applicant can envision how their career can develop over time.  Increased participation in company growth and sustainability provide a path to personal and professional development; they will know what is expected and what is possible, two motivators for long-term working relationships.

Watch the Length

Be conscious of the length when writing a role description.  If it’s too short, it may fail to full reflect the requirements for success in the role and attract a narrow group of candidates with missing attributes.  If it’s too long, candidates may not read it thoroughly.  While there’s no universal rule on length, most role descriptions contain about 400 to 700 words.  Following a similar length for your role descriptions will ensure that they will hold the attention of applicants.

Reveal Compensation and Benefits

Finally, you should communicate the compensation and benefits for a position. Most candidates want to know the starting compensation and by including opportunities for increase, such as bonus and other incentives, candidates will have accurate decision making information. If your company offers other benefits, you should list them as well.  Benefits can be helpful in attracting and retaining your best talent.  Variable compensation consists of paid vacation, insurance, profit sharing, paid overtime, and more.  Reveal both the compensation and benefits in the job description.

Every role helps to build business value

Every member influences your client relationships, every role is impactful to revenue, and every one must be on board with your growth plan, every year.  Think about roles and contributions when you are planning for a new or open position.  Your team is more than knowledge and skills, they are your best competitive advantage.

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