Find out why and how to write an effective job description. As a bonus, we offer you a free template to copy or download to create your own job descriptions.
As a recruiter, before starting to look for candidates, it is essential to define your recruitment needs. This involves understanding the reason for the need, analysing the environment and the tasks of the position, and finally defining the profile of the candidate sought.
Defining a position and drawing up a job description are therefore key stages in the recruitment process, as well as in determining the tasks to be carried out by the employee throughout his or her time with the company.
This article will explain the usefulness of a job description in recruitment and teach you how to write it effectively and accurately.
The definition of a job description
The job description is an essential tool for clarifying the responsibilities of each employee within a company. It enables employees to understand the tasks they will have to carry out on a daily basis.
Managers can also use this sheet to ensure that employees are carrying out the tasks they have defined, particularly during annual appraisals. Find out what questions to avoid at a job interview.
The importance of a job description for recruiters
In the recruitment process, the job description is an essential tool for defining a candidate’s ideal profile. It enables the recruiter to understand the responsibilities and skills required for the position, as well as those that may be less of a priority.
This job description is used to communicate with applicants through job offers and at job interviews.
What other uses are there for a job description ?
Drawing up a job description has several important objectives in the management of a company. Firstly, it gives employees a clear understanding of the responsibilities and expectations of their position.
In addition, it serves as a benchmark for assessing employee performance by checking whether the required tasks and assignments are being carried out correctly. In addition, the job description can be used as a basis for comparing salaries and managing employee skills development.
The ideal time to draw up a job description
The job description is an essential tool when it comes to recruitment. This is the first stage in the process, and enables us to clearly define the responsibilities, tasks and skills required for the position to be filled. It also helps to define the ideal profile of the candidate you are looking for.
Does it have to be included in a job advert ?
The job description is not compulsory, but it is appreciated by Human Resources and managers. In fact, it can be used to monitor the careers of employees and the state of the team in place, what skills are lacking, etc
And the advantage is that a clear job description can serve as the basis for a good job advert.
The essential elements of a job description during a recruitment process
To help the recruiter find the ideal candidate, the job description should include the following elements:
- Job title
- The department or service to which the future employee will be attached.
- Reporting relationships: who is the line manager for this position and will there be other staff to supervise ?
- Functional relationships: with whom or what department the employee may work inside and outside the company ? Will it have customers, suppliers or subcontractors with whom it will have to work externally ?
- Duties, objectives and responsibilities of the position: the main tasks of the position detailed with the estimated time for each task.
- Opportunities for career development.
- Difficulties and specificities of the job: are there any particular time constraints ? Specific features of the working environment ?
- Skills required for the position.
This job description will identify the essential skills that the candidate must have, but also those that will be considered as secondary and can be acquired by the future employee if necessary.
You can find a more complete example at the end of the article.
When you’re a recruiter, it’s important to working with the operational team that expressed the recruitment need to draw up the job description.
Who should draw up the job description ?
Drafting the job description is generally the responsibility of the Human Resources department. But to ensure accuracy, it is essential to work in collaboration with the line manager of the position to be filled.
Once you have expressed your recruitment needs, the line manager has the best knowledge of the position and can provide all the necessary details, such as the essential search criteria and the main tasks to be carried out.
Who is responsible for validation ?
It is essential to have the job description validated by the line manager who expressed the recruitment need to ensure that it is correctly defined.
Is it necessary to sign it ? Who has to sign it ?
Signing the job description is not compulsory, but it can be useful in certain situations, such as during an annual appraisal interview.
To get off to a good start, it’s important to talk to the future employee’s line manager and draw up a list of the tasks, activities and duties to be carried out.
It is also advisable to have the job description reread by the line manager in order to make any changes and to agree on the importance of the skills required for the job.
Practical advice for writing an effective job description
It is important to pay attention to the structure and content of this job description. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
- Use action verbs to describe the activities, tasks and skills required for the job
- Avoid sentences that are too complex: anyone reading the information sheet needs to be able to understand it quickly
- Think about all the questions you would ask yourself if you wanted to apply
- Don’t go into too much detail
- If you need any specific accreditations or permits, please let us know
Can a job description be changed ?
The job description can be modified during the recruitment process if the search for a candidate becomes difficult. It is therefore important to review whether certain tasks or skills can be optional.
What’s more, the job description can be modified during an employee’s period of employment with the company. For example, if an employee is given new responsibilities but their job title remains the same, the job description will have to be updated to include these new responsibilities.
Sample job description
Here’s a job description template that you can easily fill in, by following this link, you can access its google spreadsheet version which you can download or duplicate for your own needs.
|Job title||Enter the name of the position to be filled, for example “Software Development Engineer”|
|Department / Service||Specify the department or service within the company to which the post is attached.|
|Job location||Mention the location where the post holder will be working, this could be an office or a specific site.|
|Main mission||Describe in a few words the main task or responsibility of the post.|
|Responsibilities||List the tasks and activities that the incumbent will be expected to perform.|
|Resources and prerogatives||Specify the room for manoeuvre and autonomy available to the post holder.|
|Skills required||Specify the technical and cross-disciplinary skills required for this position.|
|Training and qualifications||Indicate the level of education required and any qualifications required.|
|Professional experience||Indicate the number of years of professional experience required for the position.|
|Personal qualities||List the personality traits or personal qualities you would like to see in this position.|
|Internal and external relations||Explain which teams or departments the post holder will be interacting with, as well as any external contacts.|
|Working environment||Specify the working conditions, such as the physical environment, working hours, etc|
|Remuneration and benefits||If possible, give a salary range and mention the benefits associated with the position.|
|Opportunity for development||If applicable, indicate the possible promotions for this position.|
|Recruitment process||Indicate the stages of the recruitment process for this position, including any interviews and tests.|
|Application deadline||Set a deadline by which applications must be submitted.|
Here’s an example of a job description for a supermarket floor manager. As you can see, it’s important to be clear and concise :
|Job title||Department Manager in a supermarket|
|Department / Service||Department management in a supermarket|
|Job location||Supermarket located in [ville/lieu]|
|Main mission||Ensure the operational management of the department, optimise sales and guarantee customer satisfaction.|
|Responsibilities||Manage stocks and merchandise orders.Organise the presentation and enhancement of products in the department.Define prices in collaboration with management and in line with commercial strategies.Manage department staff and participate in recruitment.Ensure the cleanliness and safety of the department.|
|Resources and prerogatives||Benefit from autonomy in the management of the department’s supplies.Take decisions concerning the presentation and promotion of products.Monthly portfolio o[montant]to promote the department|
|Skills required||Excellent management and organisational skills, ability to manage a team and develop staff skills, good knowledge of the market and the department’s products, customer service and problem-solving skills.|
|Training and qualifications||2 to 5 years’ higher education in commerce, management or equivalent with significant experience in store management or management.|
|Professional experience||Minimum 3 years’ experience as a department manager or similar position.|
|Personal qualities||Leadership and ability to motivate a team.excellent communication and customer relations skills.rigour and organisational skills.adaptability and responsiveness.|
|Internal and external relations||Interact with other department managers and management departments; work with suppliers and sales representatives.|
|Working environment||Working in supermarkets, sometimes with shifts or at weekends, with regular interaction with customers and colleagues.|
|Remuneration and benefits||Remuneration is set between [fourchette salariale].Company benefits [définir]|
|Development opportunities||Obtaining responsibility for additional departments in the event of exceptional results, buyer positions may be opened up|
|Recruitment process||Shortlisted on the basis of CV and covering letter, individual interviews with management and human resources managers.|
|Application deadline||Les candidatures doivent être soumises avant le [date limite]|
We hope that this article will help you to set up your job descriptions more effectively so that you can recruit more effectively !