Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

The Importance Of Effective Job Descriptions

The most important bridge from job seeker to job candidate is the job description. It must be given the proper time and effort to assure you spend your time looking at candidates that are exactly what you need. The job description potential employees see and respond to should be the guideline for what you expect from their job performance.

An effective job description is so much more than a list of tasks that you expect to be accomplished. An effective job description is essentially a blueprint for future success at your company. The job description can also be referred to from time to time to make sure employees are performing their designated tasks and aren’t being asked to perform too much.

When putting together your job description you need to start with the basics. The basics of a job description tell the qualifications both professionally, educationally, and technically needed to perform the job, as well as the tasks the future employee will be expected to perform, and usually where that employee will fall in the chain of command.

However, those are just the basics and an effective job description should contain much more than just the bare-bones outline of the position. An effective job description also tells the candidate about your company. Today’s top employees are more tech-savvy than ever and looking for companies where they can be creative and leverage their knowledge. Today’s job seekers don’t just want to know the who, what and where of a possible job, they also want to know what the company culture is like.

While giving concrete tasks a future employee might be expected to perform will save everyone a lot of confusion down the line, you shouldn’t undervalue company culture. With the economy making it harder for employees to jump from job to job, candidates are thinking much more seriously about how they’ll fit into the workplace. Recruiting someone whose personality and goals will fit the company can be just as important as hiring a candidate with flawless qualifications. To do this, make sure that the job description gives a feel for what your company is really like on a day to day basis. Is the culture laid-back or more formal? Where is your company going and what values will it take to get there? These are all important questions job seekers have that can be answered before an interview.

Flexibility in a job description is also key. Throughout the course of the future employee’s career, things are likely to change and tasks and objectives will be reevaluated. Don’t make the job description so rigid that it leaves no wiggle room. No one wants to hear “that’s not in my job description” down the line. Leave room for growth, for both the employee and the company.

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Finally, in today’s rapidly changing world, new technology can’t be ignored. To have an effective job description, embracing new technology as early as the job description shows candidates that your company is always adapting and innovative. For instance, the New York Times has a dedicated Twitterfeed specifically for recruiting. Using social media and video technologies like (video interviewing and profile videos) for the purpose of recruiting, show that companies are paying attention to the newest tools available.

Effective job descriptions tell future employees not just what they’ll be doing, but where they’ll be doing it, and how the work environment will mesh with their unique personalities. Companies that give a good picture of their corporate culture will get employees that fit and more importantly, stay with the company.

What do you think is most important for an effective job description?

 IMAGE Courtesy of Flickr

Heather Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Spark Hire. She writers career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets, and is the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships: The Truth About Getting from Classroom to Cubicle (2011), and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010). Connect with Heather and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.