Step 2: Hiring from Scratch: Write a good Job description!

By Tayo Leigh

 11 Mar 2015     Comments

An effective job description is invaluable for both hiring and managing your employees. Candidates on SHORTLIST Nigeria can view your job descriptions (job campaign) when you SHORTLIST them. It's important to spend some time writing an appealing summary of the role and your company profile to really sell the position.

For new managers, writing a job description for the first time may be daunting. To help you, we've summarised the essential components of a well written job description.

What is the purpose of a job description?

It should:

  • Attract the right candidate
  • Describe the main areas of the role
  • Provide a basis for performance management & goal setting
  • Provide a basis for training & development, job evaluation and career planning
  • Help establish the appropriate compensation

The objective is to communicate an accurate picture of what the role involves. If you give a false impression, you risk wasting time and resources and ultimately ending up with an unsuitable candidate.

A Job Description should include:

* Job title and position summary
* Department
* Qualifications (Skills, Knowledge and Experience)
* Duties and Responsibilities
* Who the person reports to
* Term of employment    
* Company overview

Think about...

  • What is the purpose and responsibility of the job?
  • What are the tasks involved?
  • What skills and qualifications would a candidate need to perform well?
  • How much previous experience is essential to the job?
  • What attributes would enable a superior performance?

Getting Started

• Use clear and concise language.

• Don't use inflated job titles and terms to exaggerate the status of the job.

• Make sure the skills and knowledge required directly relate to the duties and responsibilities listed.

• Be careful not to describe personal attributes that are not job related.

Worried your job description doesn't look appealing?

To sell the role to potential employees, make sure to include a positive description of the organisation. Summarise the company objectives and describe the values. This is the place to be creative and use language that inspires the reader to want to be a part of your organisation.

If you are to use the job description for performance management, then it needs to be specific rather than generalised. Really check that you have covered all the essential components of the role and give some thought to what qualities would constitute outstanding performance.

So in conclusion, the key to an effective job description is to:

  • Properly analyse the position you are going to fill and make sure you have thought about and include all aspects of the job.

  • Use a checklist of main areas to include as we listed above.

Click here to read about the next step, Step 3: Great Sources of Talent
If you haven't seen Step 1 before, read here for better understanding Step 1 Hiring From Scratch - When to Hire

To find experienced Nigerian professionals access our free talent database.


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