What is a Job Description?
A job description is a document intended to provide job applicants with an outline of the main duties and responsibilities of the role for which they are applying.
The description is usually drawn up by the individual in the organisation responsible for overseeing the selection process for the role, often with the help of the company’s HR department and/or an external recruiter.
Why is a Job Description Important?
A job description is an essential part of the job application process as, with the right information, it should help applicants to determine whether the role is in line with their skill set and whether it is a job they actually want to do.
From the organisation’s perspective, the job description is vital in ensuring that the applications received for the position closely match the needs of the role itself.
It helps HR departments and external recruiters to streamline the selection process and receive a high concentration of candidates who are suitable for interview or further selection.
A job description helps to streamline the selection process.
What are the Main Uses of a Job Description?
There are many benefits to an effective job description.
Here are just some of its key uses:
- To provide the employee with the expectations that are required of them in the role
- To provide enough detail to help the candidate assess if they are suitable for the position
- To support the recruitment team during the selection process
- To help formulate questions for the interview process
- To allow the prospective employee to determine their role or standing within the structure of the organisation
- To assist in forming a legally binding contract of employment
- To help set goals and target for the employee upon joining
- To aid in the evaluation of the employee’s job performance
- To help formulate training and development plans
What is Typically Included in a Job Description?
A well rounded job description should clearly identify the purpose of the role as well as the key tasks to be performed and the main accountability of the position.
The document will also usually also include a brief background and overview of the organisation, as well as the name or position of the employee the successful candidate will be reporting to.
In addition, you can also expect to find an explanation of the kind of candidate the organisation is looking for. This might include their professional experience and achievements, skill set, educational background and qualifications, as well as any desired personality traits.
The description will also include practical information, such as where the job is based, whether it’s full or part-time and, in most cases, the intended salary.