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How to Write a Job Description

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You want to recruit a talented employee, but you have to play the elbow because the job market is difficult? You may also ask: When was the last time you read and reworked all of your job descriptions?

The job description is at the heart of your hiring strategy; it must therefore be carefully written and revised from time to time. If done right, the rest of the recruitment process - from CV study to candidate selection, interviewing and salary negotiation - will be easier to follow. On the other hand, a poorly written description may prolong and complicate the process, while increasing the chances of making a mistake.

When collecting information to write or update a job description, consider seeking advice, if necessary, from key employees who will work with the successful candidate. They will be able to give you valuable advice, since they know the workings of the service involved and the entire company.

In addition to helping you find the right person, a brief but thoughtful description will increase your chances of seeing the new employee succeed. Well informed, the recruit will be able to evolve in a clear framework and will know the expectations of its manager from the beginning. 

Essential elements of a good job description

By reproducing the same job description, you'll probably not be able to attract the candidates you're looking for. This document should never be the same; it should be modified according to the specific needs of the position to be filled. Here is what a description should contain:

Job Title (and Job Code, if applicable) - Here, the correctness is in order. Some out-of-the-ordinary titles can attract candidates without adequately informing them. Choose a title that job seekers will use in their search and understand immediately. It must be short; keep it to "Accounting Clerk", even though the position actually has a longer title such as "Accounting Clerk and Occasional Copy Technician / Trainee Manager, 34GH8S9".

- Hooking: A strong hitch is a good way to make contact with candidates and to interest them in the prospects of this job. A captivating introduction will also encourage potential candidates to continue reading.
- Portrait of the company and culture: Talk about the company. To attract the best candidates, you must pique their curiosity and get them interested in the company, even dreaming of working there. Highlight the company's strengths, state its mission, paint a picture of its culture and draw a representative portrait of the work climate.
- vAffected Service: The finest job seekers will want to know the service that's recruiting into the business. This is useful information to personalize a cover letter and CV, learn about the job and decide if you fit well in the job. The candidate shouldn't have to look for this information in the job description. Appointing the department concerned will make it as easy to submit the application as it's to evaluate.
- Hierarchical structure: Clearly indicate the position of the position in the hierarchical structure of the company. Name the title of the immediate superior and the titles of future colleagues of the new employee. If it's a managerial position, specify the number of immediate subordinates.
- Job Summary: Here we are at the heart of the job description. In a few sentences, summarize the responsibilities, duties and role of the position in the organization. Briefly describe management's expectations of the employee, list short- and long-term goals, and explain what constitutes exceptional work in these roles. Be as clear as possible, so that the candidate understands the responsibilities of the position and the conditions for success. Do you lack space? Present the contents of this section as an enumeration; it will be easier to assimilate.
- Key Duties and Responsibilities: This is where you specify the responsibilities listed in the Job Summary section. Help the candidate to project himself in the exercise of his functions. Give an estimate of the percentage of time spent on each task (for a total of one hundred percent) and the frequency of each task (daily, weekly or quarterly task). If you give so many details, make sure they are true to reality; to do this, consult the team in place. 
- Remuneration: There are pros and cons to revealing the salary range in a job description, but candidates should know in advance what to expect. If you don't mention a salary scale, at least take the time to prepare one based on the training and experience required. Consider the overall level of compensation in the branch, department, company and region. If you prefer to keep the secret, argue that you're offering a competitive salary. (Always, always research the market pay trends for the position you're looking for, and you want to offer a salary that's the same as or better than what your competitors are offering.) Take advantage of this to highlight the benefits, because for the majority of job seekers,
- Workplace and Attendance: Be sure to specify the location of the office where the employee will work. Nowadays, the reorganization of work schedules - variable hours, telecommuting, job sharing and others - is becoming more and more popular. Does your company offer this flexibility? This is a nice selling point. If, on the other hand, the manager requires that his employees be properly installed at their office from 8 am to 5 pm, specify it.
- Focus: No job offer contains an exhaustive list of job duties, and that's fine. Be sure to mention that responsibilities may be reviewed from time to time as needed.
- Qualifications: To qualify for the position, what knowledge, skills, training, skills and relevant experiences do you need? Which languages ​​should be mastered? Here, the more specific you are, the more candidates who will submit their applications will be qualified. However, make sure that the qualifications listed are absolutely necessary. If they are only assets, you could discourage the ideal aspirant.
- Education and Professional Training: State the required degrees, credentials and licenses for employment. If experience is sufficient to compensate for one of these requirements, specify it with the required equivalency.
- Qualities and Attributes: In addition to technical skills, training and experience, think about the interpersonal skills and abilities that would promote exceptional employee performance. Do you want the recruit to show initiative? Does she have a sense of exceptional customer service and excellent communication skills? Don't exaggerate, all the same, because an excess of virtues will discourage the candidates. Instead, list the four or five qualities that you value among the best employees who already hold these positions in the company, and explain how they are essential to the job. If you're looking for a talented customer, respectful of compliance rules or who isn't afraid of work, say so.

The conclusion of the job description

Whatever elements you choose to include, write the job description in clear language. Avoid trade jargon that may be clear to insiders, but vague for others. Clear and concise language will be appreciated by job seekers and will reduce the risk of misunderstanding during the recruitment process.

Another equally important point: be honest. A description that exaggerates or understates the duties of the position, including hours and the pace of work, can lead to bad hiring or resentment in the recruit. Indeed, an inaccurate or unreasonable job offer can distort expectations and attract bad people. Mistakes in hiring are often the result of descriptions that don't accurately reflect the reality of a job. Be sure to paint a positive and current picture of the job. Resist the temptation to embellish the reality of long hours, hectic work or other aspects of employment. When written well, the descriptions leave no doubt about the duties of the position.

Informed job seekers will apply only if they meet the criteria mentioned and are comfortable with the tasks described. Therefore, by writing a precise and realistic job description, you're less likely to hire a person who will not like - worse, who will not be able to - the requested tasks. What's more, a good job offer can help the most competent people to detail their know-how, which will allow you to see their compatibility with the desired qualities.

When evaluating candidates, compare each CV to the job description and look for similarities. The people whose application meets the majority of your criteria will be those to be interviewed. By serving as a point of comparison for all candidates, the description will help you to make a screening composed of people with a high potential for success.

And here's one last piece of advice: teaming up with a specialized staffing agency gives you access to recruiting specialists who aren't only available to help you write an excellent job description, but can also do the job of recruitment for you. Above all, you'll have access to a large pool of talented candidates that you may not have found on your own.

See also: How to Apply for a Job

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