A job description isn’t a wish list!
A good job description should be informative and interesting; it should sell the role to prospective applicants. When writing your job description here are a list of 7 things to keep in mind:
- Do some market research before you write it. Check out the local candidate pool and tailor your job description accordingly: If all local qualified accountants are paid £40k+ and you only have the budget for £30k, then you need to pitch the job at part-qualified accountants or maybe look for someone qualified who wants to work part time.
- Set the scene: Use the intro of the job description to introduce the business and the team and tell candidates why it is a great time to join and a great place to work.
- Be concise: Only list the 10-15 most important responsibilities and bullet point them to make it more impactful.
- Make sure you differentiate between essential qualifications and nice to have skills, essential skills/qualifications should be listed prominently with desirable sector experience etc listed at the end.
- The personality profile should be concise and realistic. World class communicators won’t want to work in a back office role.
- Don’t use lots of jargon. A few industry specific acronyms can help filter out unsuitable candidates, but too much will put people off.
- Keep any Health & Safety, HR or Legal requirements to a minimum. It’s great to be an equal opportunities employer but you don’t need to include your full charter!
Get someone in the team to read it and see if they recognise the role or ask the current incumbent for feedback if you can. It is very easy to look at the minute when writing job descriptions, but the most successful ones are all encompassing documents that give an introduction to the company and a flavour of what the role will entail. You need to entice people to interview if you want the best candidates, so treat the job description as a sales pitch.