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Guidelines for Accurate Job Descriptions

May 03, 2017 | Leave a Comment

accurate job descriptions

As a job description is often the introduction of prospective employees to your company, it is an essential piece of the hiring process. A well-written job description starts the employer-employee relationship off on the right foot.

If your descriptions haven’t been updated in a while, revisit them to check for accuracy and to determine if there is information that is omitted that may be preventing qualified candidates from applying to work for your organization.

What should be included?

An effective job description should provide two pieces of info: what the person is supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it.

The description itself should be broken out into four different sections:

  • Position overview: Always include is a brief description of the position. Think of what you would tell people about the job and your organization when you’re describing the position at a cocktail party. A quick overview will be enough to pique the interest of ideal candidates. Not including any information about the position may be a deterrent for those candidates to apply.
  • Essential functions of the job: This section covers what the person applying for the position is required to do day-in and day-out. Will the person be required to maintain regular attendance, communicate with people regularly, or speak in front of large audiences? As an employer, this listing the essential functions of the job can help protect you throughout the hiring process.

    For employers who are unsure if the job description meets the necessary duties, because other tasks may come up or it is a new position, placing “Other duties may be assigned” is perfectly acceptable.

  • Qualifications: Qualifications include education and experience required for the position, as well as any technical skills or certifications. This section should also let your applicants know if they need to pass a background test or a drug test as a part of your hiring process. If this job requires driving, note that a valid driver’s license and a reliable vehicle will be necessary.

    While most employers consider qualifications sections to include experience in the industry and other achievements, this section is also a place to list soft skills necessary for the job. “Works well in a team environment” and “able to work with a diverse group of people” may be necessary depending on your company’s culture.

  • Physical requirements: Do applicants need to bend, stoop, stand, or lift 20 pounds? This information is important to applicants when they apply to the job. Physical requirements may also include sitting at a desk for long periods of time in office environments. Some companies opt to keep this information in a separate file, accessible to applicants who reach out to the HR department.

There are several other sections that, while not required for an effective job description, may increase the potential candidates reaching out to apply.  These sections include: salary and FLSA status. These bonus sections may help qualified potential candidates through the application process.

Posted in Blog, Human Resources

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