How to Write a Job Description [VIDEO]

by Laura Messerschmitt on December 16, 2010
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Now that you’ve decided to hire an employee, perhaps you are wondering what you should put in the job description so that you can get the best employee possible.  In this payroll video series installment, courtesy of Intuit Online Payroll, Rhonda Abrams discusses just that!

Transcript

Rhonda Abrams: All right, the key to getting the best employees is to write the best job description. Most of us don’t think that much about crafting a job description, but it really helps you both focus what you’re looking for and helps the right person choose you.

Now the first time I was looking for somebody––it was an administrative assistant––my job description said things like that I had a dog-friendly office, and I was looking for someone who would have job responsibilities from the sublime to the ridiculous.

That sort of told them that they would have great days doing wonderful things and also doing some grunt work. And when I finally interviewed someone, they said it that phrase that made them apply for my job. And subsequently, I’ve had people tell me that certain phrases in the job description were the things that made my job stand out from others.

So having a personality in your job description, as well as being very specific about what you’re looking for, helps create the match between you and just the right candidate.

What makes you special? Think about it. Do you have a dog-friendly office? Do you have different responsibilities throughout the course of the day? Are you a creative place to work? Think about what makes you special and be sure to include that in your job description.

So let’s take a look at how to craft a great, effective job description. When a candidate reads a well-crafted job description, they should be clear about what the position involves. This clarity should help them figure out if the job suits their interests, skills and background. A well-crafted job description helps you attract the candidates you want, but as importantly, it helps you weed out the candidates you don’t want and that saves you time.

So think about your business. Is there anything specific about you or your office that you want to make sure they know? What are the specific jobs they’re going to have and the specific skills and experience they must have?

Then, when you go to write your job description, take the time to think about exactly the type of person you’re looking for and what they’ll be doing for you. Envision the daily tasks and activities your new hire will have to perform. What are the must-have skills and what are the I’d like to have skills?

Which critical aspects of the job would benefit from specific past experience? Which personal traits, if any, are critical to the job? Do you need an outgoing and friendly employee for a customer service job? A specifically detailed person for someone who’s going to be dealing maybe with your paperwork? Creative for a marketing position? And know if you’d be willing to provide on the job training for a candidate with the right attitude and personality.

Make sure your job description emphasizes the things that are most important to you.
Here’s a checklist of the elements you’ll want to include in your job description. And remember, when a candidate reads a well crafted job description, they should be clear about what the position involves. This clarity should help them figure out whether the job suits their interests, skills and background. A well-crafted job description helps you attract the candidates you want and weed out the ones you don’t want.

For more help in learning how to craft a detailed job description, you can get a free copy of my new book, “Hire Your First Employee”, compliments of Intuit. Just go to FirstEmployee.Intuit.com.

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