by Janet Attard
Last updated on Saturday 11 July 2020
Find out how to write a job description that attracts the right candidates for the position you have opened. Job descriptions are also important to help employees understand their responsibilities and evaluate employee performance. Here’s what to include and how to write it.

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A convincing job description is essential to attracting the right people to apply for starting a small business job. Your job ad will compete with many others, so you need to be careful to write the job description so it can be found by suitable candidates who are looking for positions like you.

What is a job description?

A job description is a brief explanation of what the job you want to fill requires. It describes what responsibilities are associated with the job along with specific activities and skills that will be needed. The job specifications you will include will be used not only to publish a job opening, but also to help employees understand their responsibilities and evaluate job performance.

What should be included in the job description?

To some extent, what is included in the description depends on the nature of the job, the level of work and the size of the company. A large company looking to occupy a high-level IT position in a large city will likely want to include more detail to convince the right candidate than a small boutique looking for a salesperson. In general, however, here’s what to consider including:

  • Job title
  • Department (if the company is large enough to have departments)
  • Main responsibilities
  • Qualifications needed to do the job satisfactorily
  • To whom (eg sales manager, senior vice president, warehouse manager) the employee will refer
  • That the job is full-time, part-time or temporary
  • Hours of work, especially if not standard
  • Income bracket
  • Position
  • Benefits
  • Other working conditions

Write the job description

Before attempting to write a job description, you need to do an accurate job work analysis. This way you will focus on the needs of the job you want to do, rather than the type of person you think you want to hire.


When writing the job description, we recommend that you briefly summarize the key responsibilities, activities, and qualifications needed for the job you listed in Job Analysis. You should include any special needs, such as the fact that the job includes shift work, lifting, the ability to create videos for social media, etc. If competition for the type of employee you are looking for is stiff, you may want to include information about the benefits of working in your facility such as flexible hours, holidays, etc.

If you are a small local business that competes with great talent for talent, include all the benefits that you may be able to provide that large companies may not have flexible working hours or the possibility of teleworking all the time.

You will use the job description to create the job vacancy text on the online job sites. Therefore, the job description and title should be written using the words that a job seeker with the right qualifications would use to look for a job. For example, if you need an administrative assistant to help you with your purchases, we recommend that you include “administrative assistant” and “purchase” in the job description and title.

Don’t try to be smart or funny when writing the description. It should be written so that you and anyone involved in the recruiting and hiring process will know the specifics and expectations of the job well. It should also help jobseekers understand if they are qualified to do the job and how the job could pile up against their expectations.

If you are replacing an employee instead of taking on a new position and you already have a job description you have on file, make sure the old description still describes the type of person you need to fill the job.

When writing the job description, pay close attention to the job qualifications you list. To avoid allegations of discrimination, make sure the qualifications you listed are really necessary to do the job you describe. Remember, in the United States it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, nationality / country of birth, gender, age, religion and physical or mental disability.

In addition to being used to hire candidates, a good job description helps you stay on track in the hiring process. Will the web developer you hire be able to plan, design and program a showcase for an auto parts store? Will they have to be proficient in specific programming languages ​​like C #, VB.Net and SQL? Will they have to do the job with little supervision or help from you? Or will they be responsible for less intensive activities that require only basic HTML and CSS skills? Will they have to interact extensively with customers over the phone or in person? Or will they work with a supervisor or project manager who will be the intermediary with the client?

Does the location of the warehouse you have opened require an extended position? Will they have to be able to operate any special type of equipment? Read and write in English? Do you expect me to lift heavy objects?

Regardless of the job opening, go back and look at your job analysis to make sure that the key skills and abilities you have listed end up as part of the description of your written job.

When the hiring process goes to the interview phase, the job description will become even more useful. It will serve to keep the interview focused on the tasks to be performed and on how to get answers that allow you to make decisions on which candidate best suits your real needs. It helps to fence the wandering and keeps the important conversation on course.

In summary

A candidate with a contagious smile who shares your passion for sailing might be very nice and fun to talk to at lunchtime, but is he really the right person for the job? Comparing their skills and experience with the requirements listed in the job description will help you make the right decision.

© 2020 Attard Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Cannot be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.


About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning Company know-how small business website and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office is the answer book for small businesses and of Company know-how: an operational guide for domestic and micro-sized activities with limited budgets. Follow Janet on chirping and go LinkedIn

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