Gone are the days when one could grab an old job description and repost it years later. Just like everything else in the world, jobs are fast evolving, and our job descriptions need to keep up with that! Writing a job description that's accurate, eye-catching, and inclusive can be challenging, so here are our tips to get you started.
To make your job description accurate, perform a job analysis. A job analysis is the process of identifying key aspects of a job and being able to describe them. This helps us to not only identify the important responsibilities of a job, but also the characteristics, skills, knowledge, and education that someone in this role needs. It also gives us more insight into the working environment and the tools used on the job. There are many methods and ways that one can perform a job analysis including, observing the job, interviewing the job incumbent, having the job incumbent log their daily work, or having them create a list of critical incidents that occur on the job. Use the method that works best for you and your company, and keep in mind that using a combination of a few of them is always most effective!
After completing a job analysis, you should have all the information necessary to write the job description. Now, we must make the job description appealing to others. To cover the basics, a job description should be visually appealing, meaning that it should have a clean, organized structure. There should also be a company logo or header to the job description. A company summary should always be included in the job description to give candidates an inside look at who they’d be working for. This description should not be a simple explanation of what the company does. Instead, it should tell a candidate why they would want to work there. What’s the best part about your company? What would be appealing to you if you were an interested job seeker? You can also include a separate section in the job description that highlights other strong aspects of your company. This could include a diversity statement, a culture statement, a benefits statement, etc. This will set your company apart from others and make it more appealing to applicants.
Lastly, inclusivity is important when it comes to job descriptions because we want as many applicants as possible. Job description language plays a big part in determining who applies to the job. Sometimes, we can subconsciously use language that can turn away candidates of certain demographics. For example, terms such as assertive and competitive are associated with male stereotypes and could turn away female applicants. When using adjectives, try to avoid words that can be tied to stereotypes. This is easier said than done since there’s no written rule book on biased terms. Have another person, preferably from a different demographic, review the job description to eliminate biased terminology. Another way to keep your job description inclusive is to focus on skills rather than personality traits. For example, instead of writing that the candidate should be sociable or outgoing, you could say that they must have strong communication skills. Including skills over traits can lead to a more diverse pool of applicants. Be sure to review the job description once complete to catch any language misuse and have another set of eyes look over it, as they might see something that you don’t!
Expert Bonus Tip: Artificial Intelligence is a useful tool for job descriptions! While we don’t recommend using AI to write job descriptions for you, they can be useful for identifying any biased language and over-complicated terms or sentences. This is a great tool to use as a final check before sending your job description off to job sites.