Are you a business owner or someone who is “responsible for all things HR” of a small or medium sized business and want to know how to write a job description?
Perhaps you are hiring your first employee or have a few employees already and feel it’s time to add some structure to their roles.
No matter what the reason, read on to find out how to write a job description in 4 easy steps.
Contact us for a free job description template
Why should you bother having job descriptions?
The job description forms the foundation of most employment or human resources practices within your organisation such as:
When you hire a new employee, the job description will help you identify what the employee will be doing, what type of person you are looking for and what experience, skills and criteria they will require.
It will help you write your vacancy ad, shortlist the candidates against objective criteria and you’ll know what questions to ask in an interview. The applicants will have a clear understanding of the job and your ad will target the right candidates.
Having a clear job description will help you accurately classify a position under an award and benchmark the role in the market to ensure you are providing the correct pay and benefits.
The job description will provide clear direction to your new employee when they start and will help you develop an effective onboarding program and identify their immediate and medium term training needs.
As they become competent in their role, the job description can be used as a benchmark to identify development needs.
You will use the job description, among other things, to measure performance and provide feedback.
In the event that your employee under performs, the job description provides the standard against which to measure performance and create performance improvement plans.
A job description should be a living document. Don’t be afraid to update job descriptions as the company and the role evolves. This should be done in consultation with the employee. “Update” is the key word here, be careful of not making radical changes that alter the core functions of the role, without formal consultation with the employee.
4 easy steps for writing a job description
Writing a job description does not need to be complicated, just follow these 4 easy steps.
Free up your time - we'll write your job descriptions for you - contact us
1. Position details
The position details consist of:
2. Company context
The company overview and values provides context for the person’s job. They will be able to make the clear link of how their job fits into the organisation. Including the values shows that their behaviour is as important as their outputs.
Contact us for a free job description template
3. What the person will be doing
This section consists of the:
It's a good idea to group the responsibilities under a number of headings which could include job specific ones like "administration" and "customer service" and also ones that are common to all jobs like "workplace health and safety".
Be careful not to reduce a job's flexibility by being too specific, for example, talk about CRM systems and processes rather than naming specific spreadsheets or software packages because these may change over time.
Key relationships will include the internal and external stakeholders who they will work with on a regular basis e.g. Finance Manager or Supplier.
4. What skills, experience and qualifications the person needs to do the job
In this section you will list the:
Job descriptions do matter
Job descriptions form the basis of most employment or HR practices. Well written job descriptions will make your life easier when hiring employees, determining pay & benefits, onboarding, training and measuring performance.
About the author
Tracy Ford has over 25 years of experience as an HR Professional working in the Corporate and SME sectors. She specialises in helping Business owners, Leaders and Managers navigate the world of people management and leadership. Often this is “in the moment” when they are dealing with a complex, tricky, or “first time I’ve had to deal with this” issue or situation. Outside of these “in the moment” situations they work together on proactively developing and implementing tools, resources, systems and processes to have at their disposal, so that they can effectively attract, manage, develop and retain great employees.
About Concept HR Services
Concept HR Services helps businesses like yours set up and maintain effective HR systems and processes to attract, manage, develop and retain productive, high performing employees.
HR solutions that are practical, no-nonsense and cost effective that meet the needs of your business, your organisational culture, your leaders and employees.
You may be a small business owner hiring your first employee, a seasoned CEO in a growing business looking to take a more strategic approach to HR management, or an HR Professional looking for help with an upcoming project.
Contact us for a free job description template, help with writing job descriptions or any of your HR outsourcing needs. Call us for a no-obligation discovery call to find out how we can help you.