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Job descriptions can be much more than just a way of recruiting top talent for an organization. They can also codify the company’s ethos into a single written package, letting everyone—including management—know what’s expected from any role. The right job description, when written with an eye on company culture, actually contributes to defining the company itself. Someone who understands and internalizes this will never take company job descriptions for granted again. 

The successful job description caters to two parties: the employee and the employer alike. Most are under the mistaken impression that only the prospective employee will read a job description, but that’s far from the truth. Employers also review these descriptions to know the ins and outs of the role, both to encourage employees to meet expectations and remind them when they’re not meeting that prescribed standard.

Knowing this is your ticket to a stellar job description, and in this guide, we’ll discuss 5 useful tips for doing just that. This guide will not only help you create entirely new descriptions, but also review and improve those existing job descriptions out there in the wild. Here’s what you need to know. 

The Point of a Job Description 

A company’s job descriptions offer a valuable way of projecting the organization’s self-image. For most, job descriptions are actually their introductory impression of what the company’s internal climate must be like. A very formal job description conveys a unique message about the company; an informal description conveys another. This is an application of the company’s brand voice projected, not toward the acquisition of new customers, but to the acquisition of new employees.

In other words, and contrary to surface appearance, job descriptions are very much like the other marketing a company does… except the company itself is the product. Reorienting perspective this way tells us exactly what the job description should accomplish: 

Help Managers Improve Organizational Structure

Writing a job description should be a multi-domain task, bringing in stakeholders from across the organization. Rather than leaving it to one single individual, companies should incorporate feedback from other employees in like positions and the managers who oversee them. That allows for more accurate, targeted job descriptions that can truly prepare candidates to fit into that role like a glove. 

Allowing both employees and immediate management officers to take part in the writing process is an excellent way to implement this. It allows the job description to incorporate a range of professional concerns or interests, which helps candidates better understand the company’s expectations. Plus, the job description can incorporate some more personality while still conveying the company’s brand voice and message. 

Thoroughly Explain the Position to Employees

Providing a comprehensive and unambiguous explanation of the responsibilities and expectations is crucial in job descriptions. Achieving this requires collaboration with experienced employees and managers. Their input guarantees that the job description accurately portrays the daily responsibilities and necessary skills for success.

Adopting a collaborative approach to job description writing helps candidates understand the job and manage expectations. Involving individuals with direct knowledge of the role can uncover details that might otherwise be overlooked. That could mean the usual difficulties encountered, the most fulfilling parts of the job, and advice for achieving success.

Candidates can make better decisions and improve retention and performance by understanding the position thoroughly. Transparently communicating job duties within the organization goes a long way toward fostering a culture of trust and clarity.

Clarify Standards and Expectations for Employees

Setting clear standards and expectations for employees starts with a well-written job description. From the beginning, outlining key responsibilities, metrics, and reporting structures helps ensure employees understand clearly what’s expected of them. Clarity can improve productivity and job satisfaction because employees have a clear sense of direction and purpose.

Understanding what’s expected of them helps employees align their efforts with the organizational goals more efficiently. It boosts individual performance and enhances team success. Updating job descriptions regularly also helps employees stay engaged and aligned with their most important responsibilities.

Fulfill All Legal Requirements for ADA Compliance

Making sure job descriptions comply with the ADA is both legally required and significant for promoting inclusivity at work. Job descriptions need to specify the essential responsibilities of the job clearly, including any physical or mental qualifications an employee might need, most especially. Adhering to ADA guidelines promotes diversity, often attracts more qualified candidates, and minimizes legal risks to the organization.

Job descriptions should mention available disability accommodations. Training hiring managers on ADA compliance and job description writing can attract and retain diverse talent. When companies prioritize inclusivity, they meet legal requirements and strengthen their whole workforce by adding broader perspectives.

In addition to ADA compliance, job descriptions will need to follow a number of other employment laws. These will almost always include: 

  • Civil Rights Acts (Title VII)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Equal Pay Act (EPA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)
  • Executive Order 11246

Be sure to review Resourcing Edge’sInterview & Hiring Webinar if you’d like more information about nondiscriminatory hiring practices. 

Creating a Job Description

Job descriptions shouldn’t be as detailed as possible, but as detailed as necessary. Incorporate feedback and insights from anyone with direct experience in the role, and integrate them organically into the description. Apart from the job title (displayed prominently at the top of the page), the job description should include vital information like: 

  • An introduction to the company.
  • Who the position reports to
  • Location
  • Requirements
  • Essential responsibilities
  • A “Why Your Company” section detailing the culture, benefits, and perks of the position. 
  • A call-to-action encouraging the reader to apply.

5 Things to Do When Creating a Job Description

1. Make it Unique

Jobseekers go through many job postings, so the description must stand out. Shine a spotlight on what distinguishes the company—whether it’s innovative projects, a strong mission, or exceptional workplace culture. Explain the details of the company’s values and the exciting opportunities that the new hire can look forward to.

2. Be Specific

Provide a clear description of the daily tasks, responsibilities, and objectives related to the role. Stay away from using vague language like “supporting our marketing initiatives” or other expressions. People want specificity, and now’s the time to give it to them.

3. Accurately Describe the Company’s Workplace Culture

Begin by outlining the workplace atmosphere—is it fast-paced and high-energy, or laid-back and collaborative? Use descriptive adjectives and specific examples to paint a vivid picture of the everyday reality of the company. If teamwork is valued, mention specific team-building activities that the company regularly engages in.

4. Explain that the Job Position’s Responsibilities Are Flexible

Job flexibility attracts adaptable candidates. The job description lists the primary tasks, but there may be chances to work on different projects or take on more responsibilities if necessary. This is especially attractive to candidates who desire growth and development in their role.

5. Be Accurate and Current to the State of the Company

Make sure the job description accurately represents the company’s current state and the position’s specific requirements. If there have been recent changes in the company, such as restructuring or a pivot in business strategy, it is important to reflect these updates in the job description. This prevents any role-related misunderstandings among candidates.

Who Should Write the Job Description? 

Working alongside a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can bring substantial benefits in the writing and distribution of job descriptions. Employing a PEO means you can rely on their expertise in HR and compliance to create job descriptions that are not just attractive, but also legally sound. PEOs can utilize their expertise to assist in crafting job descriptions that comply with regulations, minimizing legal risks. Furthermore, PEOs can share industry standards and best practices, assisting you in attracting highly skilled professionals even in the most competitive market.

A PEO can also streamline the process of creating job descriptions by offering customized templates and tools. When you team up with a PEO, your job descriptions become comprehensive, well-structured, and in line with your company’s goals and values. This partnership has the potential to improve your hiring results; well-written job descriptions are more likely to attract candidates who are a good fit for your organization.

When it comes to developing high-quality job descriptions, Resourcing Edge is a top partner. Resourcing Edge’s exceptional expertise, gained through years of experience and in-depth industry understanding, allows them to help you create job descriptions that are both compliant and captivating. We can tailor job descriptions to fit your company’s requirements and culture, and our team is dedicated to helping you attract top talent by showcasing your company’s unique appeal.

Working With Resourcing Edge

At Resourcing Edge, we prioritize a personalized approach for each client, resulting in customized job descriptions that accurately capture their company and specific requirements. Our services extend beyond the scope of job description writing. By teaming up with us, your job descriptions will set you apart in the market, attracting the talent to propel your business forward.

OneDigital | Resourcing Edge Team
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