Writing Effective Job Descriptions

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Writing effective job descriptions is part art, part science.  The difference between a good job description and a great job description can mean the difference between recruiting average and exceptional talent.

So to steal a line from author Jim Collins, how do you go from “Good to Great”?  Here are a few essentials to crafting “great” job descriptions:

Start with “the end in mind.”
As you get ready to craft a job description, ask yourself the following questions:
If you could find the perfect person, what would you want that person to truly accomplish in the position? If you need a web developer, for example, how many websites do you hope the person to build in a month/year? If you’re looking for a merchandiser, how many displays do you expect that person to build and set up each week?

From this list you can then work “backwards” to develop the details for your job description.

Be specific.
When specifying the tasks the person will be performing, be sure they are what the employee will actually do; don’t let these become confused with what the person’s qualifications should be. Qualifications are the skills, credentials and experience a person has.

Include priorities.
Don’t just list the tasks of the position. Be sure to include the position’s priorities and be sure to identify them as such.

Specify required vs. desired qualifications.
If you specify certain degrees, credentials or licenses, be sure that they are absolutely necessary to the position. These qualifications should have a direct bearing on a person’s ability to be able to perform the position’s duties and tasks.

Don’t be too specific.
Okay, I know this goes against an earlier tip, so let me clarify…avoid placing several tasks into one job description. Doing so may see you creating a position that very few people could actually perform.

Avoid the general requirements you see in every job posting.
Be specific in your language. For example, instead of “good communication skills,” use “Needs to be able to communicate comfortably with executives and other high-level customers.”

Bonus Tip: Call Pinnacle Staffing
As Winnipeg’s Leading Recruitment Firm, we specialize in helping employers throughout Manitoba recruit and hire top performers.  We cannot only help you craft outstanding job descriptions, but we can directly recruit top performing passive candidates with the specific skills and experience you require.

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