Question:

What information should we include in a job description?

Answer:

A job description (JD) is an important tool for defining and communicating the functions and responsibilities associated with a particular position in an organization. It also serves the very important function of compelling the hiring manager to specify and document the requirements and skills needed for prospects to perform the job. The goal of a JD is to set correct and accurate expectations for perspective employees so that they are clear about what they will be doing in their role. Below is a list of sections that should be addressed in a JD:

  • Description of the job function – specify what the person will be responsible for doing, managing and overseeing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. List the people who this person will report to and, if applicable, who reports to this function. Include the departments and functions this person must interact with and influence to get their job done.
  • Position responsibilities and core requirements – bulleted list of the job’s core requirements and responsibilities and the skills required to achieve each of them. This section includes educational and vocational criteria, computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Tableau, Visio, etc.) and certificates, communication skills (verbal, written, language), etc. 
  • Work environment – if this is an in-office position, it will provide the location of the office. If it’s for a work-at-home position, it will specify the requirements for the employee, such as if the employee must supply their own PC or laptop, the type and speed of Internet connection, number of working hours required or the specific schedule, and the type of work area the individual requires, such as a space without any ambient noises.
  • Salary information – how much the person will be paid and how frequently, e.g., weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, as well as any other financial incentives such as monthly, quarterly or annual bonuses, etc.
  • Other – this section may give some information about the characteristics of an ideal candidate, such as team player, self-starter, someone who enjoys detailed work, etc.
  • Application process – description of the various steps in the application process and the job’s starting date.