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How to Write
a Winning Job
Description

How to Write a Winning Job Description

A job description is a brief document that outlines the responsibilities and qualifications for a particular role. It’s essential for the hiring process, and makes a good reference point for performance reviews. A well-written job description can help you put the right person in the right job, but where do you start and what do you include?

Sell the job:

Start with a couple of sentences about the role, why it’s important and where it fits in the organization. For example: “Reporting to the Vice President of Sales, the Sales Manager leads a team of three account managers and drives our growth by bringing in new business and keeping existing customers satisfied.”

Keep it high level:

Job descriptions don’t need to include every small task, but they do need to clearly describe the major responsibilities. For example: “Responsible for preparing quarterly inventory reports.” Or “Manages a team of six people, conducts performance reviews and oversees professional development planning.” Six to ten points is usually enough.

Essential qualifications only:

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List the qualifications that are absolutely essential for the job, and leave the nice-to-have skills or experience for the interview. For example: “Must be fluently bilingual” or “Must have demonstrated experience selling to senior executives.” If your list is longer than about ten items, you may be too detailed.

Review and compare:

Ask someone on your team to review the description for you. Chances are, they’ll see something you’ve missed. If you’re absolutely stuck or have never hired for the role before, do a quick search online for similar roles and com

Keep it:

Keep the job descriptions up-to-date as they are also important for comparing pay rates against other jobs, and determining your employee’s training needs.

How to Write a Winning Job Description (PDF version)

The information contained in this HR Tip Sheet is summary in nature and is intended to provide general guidance. It should not be viewed as a replacement for legal or professional advice.

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