What’s it: A job description is a document outlining all the inherent aspects of a job in your company. It includes title, duties, responsibilities, the scope of work, hours worked, salary, to whom to report, and qualifications or skills required. It results from job analysis.
And, job descriptions usually accompany job advertisements when your company hires new employees. In addition to the components above, you may also implicitly include the compensation and benefits you offer for the position.
Why are job descriptions important?
Job descriptions are important because they construct the basis for many aspects of human resource management. For example, your staff in the human resources department use it to recruit and interview new employees and later evaluate their performance when they have been effective in your company.
Through it, you also know what to do for a position and what output or performance should be? It also contains your expectations of your employees in carrying out daily activities. Finally, it lays out what employees in their current position should do, how their work should be done, and why their work is important to you.
You need to communicate it to them, so they understand what you need from them. Then, through it, you establish performance appraisals and related training to support them to work effectively in their roles. And in the end, you can use it as a basis for determining compensation.
In addition, job descriptions also help you in managing resources more effectively. It maps out how positions and jobs within your company relate to each other. And, it is useful to create synergies between them in carrying out strategies and achieving your company’s goals.
How to write a job description?
Creating a job description begins with a job analysis. The goal is to list all the tasks required in a given position.
You examine and collect data and information regarding all positions in your company. For example, you may collect information about job title, duties, responsibilities, the scope of work, hours worked, salary, to whom to report, skills, and expertise required.
In addition, you identify the needs in each position. For example, do you need a new employee in a certain position? Or, do you need to rotate employees from one department to another?
Say you need to hire a new employee. You can use the analysis output as material for creating job descriptions. It is necessary to make candidates easier to understand what you are looking for. Besides, if you make it as good as possible, it can attract their attention, and they are more likely to apply.
The job description usually contains the vacant position you offer, including the job title, duties, and responsibilities. This section explains what candidates in this position actually do and why you need them.
Requirements to apply are another part, including the qualifications and skills you need the candidate to meet. That may include:
- Education, training, or certification relevant to the vacant position.
- Candidate’s experience in another company or in a similar field.
- Skills and abilities include operating software and hardware, communication, negotiation, and presentation.
You might also include the work location where the new employee will be placed and the associated working conditions. You can also include information about your company to grab their attention, where you highlight why they should join your company and how good your company is. For this reason, you might also consider implicitly including the compensation and benefits you offer.
And, broadly speaking, an effective description requires you to explain what you need from candidates, what they will do in your company, and what you have to offer. In addition, you must write it concisely and attractively, so more qualified people are willing to apply.
A job description example
Job descriptions may vary between companies. What’s important is that you highlight your company, what you need from candidates, and what you offer them. Here is a simple example:
Job title: Cost analyst
Structure within the organization:
- Direct supervisor: Head of Accounting and Finance Division
- Indirect supervisor: Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
Summary of position:
We seek the best talent to help our company operate efficiently. We need you to check and analyze expenses in each activity, prepare reports to management for decision making and control, and find ways to make our operations more cost-effective.
This position requires you to be familiar with cost accounting, have strong attention to detail, be open-minded, and have good communication skills.
Scope of work:
- Collecting data and information on cost driver activities across operations
- Analyzing and checking effectiveness and efficiency in each activity
- Estimating production costs and tracking regular cost changes
- Making periodic reports to management along with recommendations for improvement areas
- Monitoring, collecting and analyzing cost data and information across company operations
- Analyzing and comparing actual and budgeted expenses
- Estimating potential cost savings in each activity
- Having skills in accounting
- Having certifications such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is preferred.
- Having more than 3 years of experience as a cost analyst.
- Familiar with accounting software and Microsoft Office
- Having strong analytical skills and good communication and presentation skills.
- Willing to be placed in various branches in several regions.
What to read next
- Job Description: Why It Matters, Examples
- Job Specification: What Is It And Why Is It Important?
- Internal Recruitment: How it Works, Advantages and Disadvantages
- External Recruitment: How it works, Advantages and Disadvantages
- Job Analysis: Its Importance, Methods, and Steps
- Job Advertisement: Contents, How to Create, Factors to Consider
- Recruitment: Its Importance, Types, and Stages