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#hiringproblems: Who Should Write Job Descriptions?

Posted by Optimize | May 1, 2017 6:05:00 PM

Writing job descriptions doesn’t sound like the most enthralling office task, but how important is a good job description in sourcing the right kind of talent for your next hire? The short answer, they’re very important. A good job description can help speed up the hiring process and help you find the perfect candidate.

A great description can entice an applicant to apply for your role. What’s the job title? What perks does your company offer? Do you want to include a little about your company, and why it’s an amazing place to work? What’s the salary range for the role? What are the everyday responsibilities? What are the work hours, and office culture like? Is the office willing to train the right person or does this person need to be able to hit the ground running from day one? All of these are important considerations when writing the job description.

But who should write job descriptions? Should it be the HR team or the person who does the job itself or somewhere in between? Here are some helpful tips on who should write these job descriptions.


The Human Resources Team

Although most workplaces have their HR teams writing  job descriptions, the question we ask is, is this run-of-the-mill writing the best option when attracting candidates? HR and hiring managers will know how to write job descriptions and have insight into what features you really need to include. However, having your HR team write job descriptions can be tricky because they might not have any connection to the role. Depending on your company, the HR team may be located in a separate office entirely, and may never see the team in action - and, so, they don’t know the kind of dynamic you want to keep. If HR is outsourced to a larger company, the personnel may not fully know what the office does, and, therefore, don’t know the specific needs of your company when you’re seeking a new team member.  


The Manager

From one point of view, managers are one of the best people to write job descriptions. As they manage the team, they know exactly what skills and qualities they need from a new employee. However, while managers are probably best suited for the responsibility,  they are most likely busy and in a rush; therefore, they may not be able to devote enough time to the task to make the job description truly stand out. This lackluster description may lead qualified candidates to lose interest in the position.


It’s a great idea for the manager to have input into the final product, but perhaps it’s not best that he or she be tasked entirely with the job.


The Person Who Does the Job

Often the person who actually does the job (or a similar role) has little to no input when writing job descriptions, but who better to list the tasks of the role than the individual him- or herself?  


This employee can decide what skills are needed to complete the job (and what skills landed them the job in the first place). He or she can also decide which skills are desirable and what skills are trainable (i.e. what skills will that person be willing to train the new colleague?). Since this employee will likely be working closely with the new hire, having their input can be invaluable.


A Group Project

Perhaps the most comprehensive strategy to writing job descriptions would be to create a group project. A few people in the office can collaborate on writing job descriptions--maybe a team made of the HR team, the manager, and a couple of people who do the job and some who will work with the new hire too.


Making this tasks a group project can give employees motivation, and give them something else to add to their CV. It will make them feel part of the office, and part of a more important structure overall. The more skills people in the office pick up, the more each person can alleviate future tasks if need be - i.e. if the manager isn’t there for a week, panic won’t ensue because everyone in the office knows how to do bits of his or her job.

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You may want to try a combination of the four ideas - or come up with some of your own - to write a killer job description that attracts great talent. If your company can’t write a cohesive, attractive job description, then your hiring process will take longer and have a greater cost on your company. And most importantly, you will miss out on finding the right candidate.


Once you have some attractive CVs, how should you invite them to interview?

Check out our email templates below for some innovative ideas on what to say. Our email templates have pre-written emails to help you invite candidates to interview, send out onboarding and welcome letters, reject candidates en masse, offer a candidate the job, and much more. All you have to do is download, edit, and send.

Download your free templates now:

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Topics: Hiring

Written by Optimize

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