Writing a good job description

Hiring is one of the most important activity for any manager. And the first task in the hiring process, is to write a job description. A  “Job Description” is a narrative that describes the different aspects of the job such as responsibility, functions, skills etc. But in practice a typical Job Description (or JD) contains disproportionately more text on the skills required rather than the nature of work itself.

A well written Job Description will give potential candidates a very good idea of what they can expect in the new opprtunity. Organize your job description into easy-to-understand sections such as:

  1. Summary - Give an overview of the purpose, the job location and the technologies involved. Describe the product/project briefly.
  2. Tasks and Responsibilities - Describe, if possible, in specific terms the different tasks to be performed and the associated responsibilities. Highlight some key expectations while performing the duties.
  3. Benefits - Help potential candidates visualize the benefits in terms of opportunities, growth etc. It will be worthwhile to describe what success means for this job.
  4. Requirements - Clearly list of the skills and abilities required in order to be considered for the job. Describe the technical skills and the expertise required as accurately as possible. Requirements should appear at the end because candidates will get a better idea how these requirements relate to the tasks and responsibilities described earlier.

Here is one of my favorite job descriptions. I stumbled upon it accidentally and forgot to  save the URL. So I am unable to give due credit to the creator of this job description. The best part about this Job Description is the breakup of activities and even the proportion of time expected for each activity. I also liked the usage of simple language and short sentences. This job description could have been better if the product/project was better highlighted.

A really good Job Description