Writing an effective job description

Two female professionals writing an effective job description

Developing a range of job description templates for roles at different levels of seniority can provide hiring managers with guidelines that will ensure consistency across the business as a company grows.

It can be taken as a given that a role should have a detailed job description to provide information on the skills and responsibilities required. 

But many businesses don't take a consistent approach across the business, with job descriptions written ad-hoc as and when required.

Putting in place a standardised approach to creating and approving job descriptions in your business will not only help improve your recruitment processes but will also give you the building blocks for performance reviews and setting performance targets (sometimes called key performance indicators or KPIs).

Creating standardised job descriptions for your business

Start by creating a number of templates to cover the key roles at all levels of seniority, and use these as the base plate for any future job descriptions.

  1. Identify core roles across your business, across all levels of seniority
  2. Review existing job descriptions for core roles - are they consistent?
  3. Create a standardised template that all job descriptions should follow
  4. Update existing job descriptions in line with new template
  5. Write job descriptions for any core roles that do not have a documented job description
  6. Use job description template for any future roles

Involve all potential stakeholders

Small and medium-sized businesses typically have an advantage over larger organisations in being able to involve all potential stakeholders in determining the criteria. This flexibility allows businesses to create detailed job descriptions with the input of all people in the business. 

Include people who are doing a similar job, so you can ensure that job descriptions are consistent across the business. 

Individual employees can have a big impact in small and medium-sized businesses, which is why planning well for recruitment from the start is vital โ€“ beginning with creating an effective job description for your roles and a standardised approach across your business. 

Job description checklist

  • Engage with all relevant stakeholders when creating the description โ€“ including line managers, HR and other staff doing the same role
  • List the salary and benefits of the role
  • Outline the potential for progression and promotion
  • Explain where the role is positioned within the business
  • Include soft skills and qualities needed to excel
  • Develop a range of templates for roles at different levels and departments and make them available to hiring managers

A detailed job description for each role in your business which provides detailed information on the skills and responsibilities required and follows a standardised approach will improve your internal recruitment processes and will help you find the best person for your business.

Request your copy of the Robert Walters Guide to Recruitment for Small and Medium Businesses to access the complete recruitment roadmap.

A group of professionals in an office

Hiring advice