The Job Description: What it is and how to create a successful one
What is a job description?
A job description is, as its name suggests, a document that contains the details of a job which is being advertised. The details that appear there should be enough for anyone to understand the position being discussed in as much detail as possible.
Having a good job description means doing it from the highest positions to the lowest. In this way, it makes it much easier to understand what the overall structure of the company is.
What is a job description for?
The job description has several uses: firstly, it is used to see if there is duplication of functions. When we begin to see a breakdown of the different positions we have in the company and describe them, we may discover that one position is doing the same as another or that someone has an overload of functions.
Second, it helps us to know if we have any onboarding needs. If we see that our team has too many assigned functions, we can consider creating a new position to free them up a bit.
Third, the job description is used to start creating a job offer . When we seek to incorporate a new person, we must be clear in the description of the job offer because it is the first image that person will have of our company.
In addition, thanks to the job description, our team will always know what their tasks are, how their position is related to that of others, the requirements of the rest of the positions (if you are looking for a promotion it is very useful to know the details of the position to which one aspires) and also to be clear about the salary bands which exist within the company.
Finally, having an updated job description allows us to act faster and better in unexpected situations. We will be faster when it comes to reorganizing the workforce or hiring a new member in situations such as a team member leaving, retirement or before the summer or Christmas vacation period.
How do you create a job description?
Not all job descriptions are the same, they vary from one company to another because each one has different characteristics from the others. Therefore, we are going to try to give some general guidelines to understand what the structure to follow should be.
- Job title as specific as possible.
- Job description consisting of:
- Functions: at this point we must be as direct and clear as possible to avoid confusion or ambiguity that makes two positions overlap.
- Place of work: this section must make clear the possibility of remote working or whether or not the person in question must travel frequently, in addition to where they are going to work in the company’s facilities.
- Working day: within the working day we must include the hours, shifts and, also, the corresponding vacations (for example, companies that have their busiest time in summer and cannot take vacations at that time) or how much time in advance notification should be made to secure vacation days.
- Location of the position within the company: it would be convenient to include the organization chart and then include these sections:
- Department, supervisor and direct reports, if they exist.
- Salary band, salary and other benefits: a justification of the salary band of the role must be included and we could even provide a short description of how to move up in salary level if we consider it appropriate. In addition, here we will include if there are any variables or if, for example, you can enjoy remote working at one salary level or another.
- Competencies and skills required for the position.
- Training required.
- Previous professional experience.
This structure, as we have said, varies depending on the company we are talking about and can be reduced or expanded according to the needs we have. The important thing is to detail the position and to do it as clearly as possible. Important: the way our job descriptions are presented will speak to our company culture .
Thus, a good job description will help us to avoid duplicate functions, to know who we should ask if we have any doubts and what we need to look for if we want to incorporate a new member.