One of the biggest sticking points for people managing a recruitment campaign is the paperwork and creating the job description.
- What is a job description?
- How much detail is enough?
- How do I know what to include and what to leave out?
- How can I get people to apply?
One of the most important points to remember during your recruitment campaign is that it’s vitally important that you don’t mislead your applicants, ending up with the perfect person you want – but who doesn’t want the job you actually have to offer. Unless you have a clear job description available at the start then you risk the whole campaign being waste of everyone’s time. Worse, you will be back where you started!!
So the job description is important, it helps you to clearly outline the job, what they do and what is expected of them. It is like reading a summary of a movie before deciding whether you will watch it or not. You need to know what it is about. Job applicants expect the same and that is where the job description comes in.
The amount of detail you include in your job description will depend very much on your business and the actual job you need to fill (common sense – eh?). My suggestion is avoid old fashioned style of listing 10-15 generic points of the job. Instead take time to really THINK about the job and then identify the three or four main areas of importance.
For example for an Office Receptionist / Administrator post,:
- Meet and greet visitors to the office
- Manage switchboard and “admin” email account
- Administrative support to x department
- Team / general duties
Once you have your “headline” areas then break it down further (you can use bullets for this bit).
So taking the above as our example you might include the following tasks:
Meet and Greet Visitors to the Office
- Meet and greet all visitors
- Notify their contact of their arrival
- Offer / make tea or coffee for visitor
- Ensure H&S records, sign-in books, visitor passes are issued
- Ensure telephone system is switched over to voicemail during office closures
- Maintain the reception area in welcoming, tidy manner
Manage Switchboard & Admin Email
- Ensure all calls are answered with the company greeting “Good Morning, ABC Ltd, Louise speaking, how may I help you?”
- Direct all calls to the correct person
- Take messages or offer to put caller through to voicemail
- Check the “admin” email account throughout the day
- Acknowledge all emails received and forward to the relevant person for follow up.
By taking this approach you are then able to really convey a sense of the actual job to potential applicants. Importantly you are also allowing yourself to fully understand the role and what is important in your head. Really every job should be able to categorised in this way.
So what else do you include and in what order? Simply put your job description should have the following elements:
- Job title
- Reporting procedures (i.e. line manager or line responsibilities)
- Main purpose of the job (this is one sentence summarising the job role)
- Main duties of the job (use the headings and breakdown method above to lay this out)
- Include KPIs / targets (if relevant to your role e.g. sales targets, turnover etc)
So don’t be afraid of job descriptions, sit down now and draft it out. You will thank yourself later!
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Have a great week!
Until next time
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