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Why you need to get your job description right

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Job descriptions should create value for both the employer and potential candidates. While they are especially applicable when recruiting new staff, job descriptions have a continuous purpose throughout the employment cycle so getting them right is crucial.
What are the main goals of a job description?

Candidate attraction

The job description needs to draw a response from the best internal and external candidates. The job spec will need to define the skills and competencies required to perform the role, but it needs to do so in an enticing manner.

Forms the foundation for the interview

The job description creates a foundation to base the future interview questions on. It needs to be clear to both the employer and the candidate, what the main points of discussion will be in the interview.

Makes the hierarchy clear

The job description states the title which in turn explains where the job fits within the overall company hierarchy. It's important to make this distinction from the outset so the right level of candidates apply.

Act as a performance management tool

It's a valuable reference point regarding the responsibilities and required level of performance of the employee. This proves useful, especially when trying to determine the eligibility of a promotion or pay rise.

Training and development

When an employee doesn't meet the requirements or expectations of their role, the job spec can be referred to as a tool to determine the areas that need further development.

Provides structure

Each job description contributes to the employment structure of a company. This way, you can guarantee that all necessary duties, responsibilities and activities are covered within an organisation.

Acts as a basis for compensation

It enables compensation plans to be structured logically and fairly, ensuring that they reflect adequate levels of responsibility and qualifications. You should appropriate salary structure with pay grades defined for various seniority levels corresponding with monetary ranges of positions at a particular level.

Sets expectations

A clear job description allows the employee to understand the responsibilities and duties that are expected of them in their day to day role.

A good job description is much more than simply a list of tasks and responsibilities. It should give the candidate a clear picture of the position's requirements and priorities, but also give the employer a benchmark to measure performance against. Should disciplinary action or dispute arise, a job summary provides an essential point of reference. The more precise you make your job description up front, the more useful it will be in the future.