The Secret to Writing Effective Job Descriptions

by Evil HR Lady on July 24, 2020

When you’re hiring–especially for a new company where all the positions are new–writing job descriptions can be almost as much fun as a root canal. You sit down to write it, and your mind goes blank–just what does a finance manager do? You have no idea.

Rather than write something ridiculous, you need a guide–but if you’ve never done the job, do you even have a clue what you need? Sure, you can tell candidates that the roles are still developing, and you’re hiring them precisely for their expertise, but there are a lot of different people out there with different knowledge.

So, here’s a two-step process that you can go through to help figure out the job description.

To keep reading, click here: The Secret to Writing Effective Job Descriptions

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Hogg July 24, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Also:

Look at a job board such as Indeed.com for proposed job titles for similar-sized companies, paying particular attention to the hard skills shown.

Contact related professional associations, and ask about trends and best skills. E.g., if you’re looking for an accountant, get in touch with a local chapter of a national accounting association.

Look at university course offerings to see what they’re teaching in the field you’re hiring for, and talk to instructors at the senior and master’s level and to advisors in the relevant career centers.

Contact and interview other small businesses in your general field and ask for their advice and guidance.

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Mr. Cajun2core July 24, 2020 at 4:31 pm

Regardless of whether this is for a new job or for hiring a replacement, the more details the better. I actually remember applying for a job (which I didn’t get) where the job posting listed “What your typical day will look like”. It was the longest job description but it was the best one I have ever seen.

I have been on too many interviews where the job ad was a canned description (for all of the same titles in the company) and come to find out the actual job was very different.

Please make sure the hiring manager has input into the job ad.

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Elizabeth West July 24, 2020 at 7:05 pm

Yes, this!
I see so many posts with vague descriptions like “Must have [general office skills that everyone has].” None of these tell me what I will be doing all day. In addition to that, I have an LD and if a job mentions Excel or processing any kind of numbers, I need to know exactly what the task is to know whether I can do it with or without accommodations.

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Evil HR Lady July 24, 2020 at 8:31 pm

I love the day in the life job posting. This situation, though is for a new start up who literally has no idea what’s day in the life will look like!

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Mr. Cajun2core July 27, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Evil HR Lady – Good point about it being a start-up. I know it is not always possible but when it is, DO IT!

Elizabeth West – Good point about the LD. I would have not thought about that.

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