What is a Job Description?

Why do you need a job description?

Hi, I’m Donna Obstfeld from DOHR.

I’m going to be introducing you to our pack of 52 top tips over the next few weeks. I’m going to aim to deliver one top tip a day. As you can see, it does look like a normal pack of cards, all the four suites are represented and all the numbers that you all know, love and recognise.

We’re going to start off working through recruitment because that’s where somebody’s life cycle starts within an organisation and the ace of diamonds is job descriptions.

So, under job descriptions, our top tip is to have a job description which accurately describes the job to be done. Identify the key deliverables, the skills, and experience required to do the job, and the personal attributes the ideal candidate will need to succeed in the role. This forms the basis of your advert and your interview questions. If you take that a step further, it also goes onto your performance management, because if you don’t know what somebody should be doing, it’s very hard to manage their performance or to measure it against the outputs that they’re giving you.

Job descriptions are a really, really important tool in your toolkit and a lot of business owners are actually scared to give people job descriptions, because it feels like it will be a noose around the neck. They don’t want people who are going to be jobsworths, but as long as people understand that the job description is there as a guideline, that their performance is measured on their overall deliverables and employers do like to have that little phrase and any other jobs reasonably required of you by your line manager. A job description can be really, really empowering.

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The Interviewer's Toolkit

For more assistance with writing job descriptions and recruitment, check out our interviewer’s toolkit