People still represent an organisation’s most important asset. An organisation’s human capital provides the foundation of competitive advantage and value creation. HR practitioners are constantly faced with major challenges, how they can attract and keep the best talents? How to gain strategic advantage over their competitors by deploying the best talent at all levels of the organisation? It is therefore no surprise that hiring managers strive to create a pool of qualified candidates by attracting people with the right background and skillset which affords them the opportunity to pick and choose the best of the best.
The job description serves as an invaluable document, that is used for Recruiting, Salary levels, Performance Management, training and development etc. It serves as a tool that outlines the entire duties and responsibilities of a specific role, ensuring that individuals with the right background and skill set are matched to the appropriate role within the organization. Job descriptions also help organisations determine the salaries that are suitable for the roles in question. The importance of a job description to a Human Resource person, and by extension an organisation as a whole cannot be over emphasised.
Below, I provide my approach for capturing the salient aspects of a job description in a clear concise structure making sure that what is advertised is comprehensive enough to attract the best of candidates. Do note that before writing a job description you must first conduct a job analysis. This write up assumes that a job analysis has been done. Always remember that the job description should be a concise document which gives a precise picture of the features of each job in terms of tasks, responsibilities and duties.
Every Job description must have a title. The title reflects the type of work, its level, gives a candidate an idea of what the role is about. The title is like a newspaper headline, giving a reader a quick information of the nature of the text below. The title is what a potential job seeker uses in deciding whether to read further about the role or not. The job title gives information about the specific career and title. For example, Senior Retail Manager tells a reader about the role and the level.
THE ROLE PROFILE
The role profile gives an accurate overview of the job, summarising the entire role in short statement. This sums up the entire document in a concise manner. It provides a general overview of the position in question ensuring that the reader understands the entire role profile in that simple statement. Others label the role profile differently, such as the objective, job profile, etc. It basically outlines significant aspects of the entire role, clearly indicating what the important duties are and the relevant skills needed to handle the role.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The duties and responsibilities are the foundation or the central part of any job description. It details the specific duties that needs to be performed in any role and serves as the basis upon which an employee will be accountable for. This section enables potential job seekers to decide whether they have the necessary skills, experience and attributes to perform the role effectively. Each duty and responsibility need to be accurate and concise so that potential job seekers will get a clearer understanding of the role and should be outcome-based.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATION
The experience and qualification of a job description talks about what a prospective employer wants to know about any potential job seeker. It spells out the educational achievements, training and experience that are necessary to perform the job. It serves as a measuring tool in determining which potential job seeker qualifies for the job or not.
REQUIREMENT AND SKILLS
Requirement and skills as generally refers to are the abilities a potential job seeker possess to excel on a particular job. It details the specific skills required for a particular job. The skills or requirement are the things a potential job seeker knows how to do. It defines specific attributes and usually answers the question of “what’ a potential job seeker needs in order to perform a specific job.
The job description is indeed an invaluable document that serves as the basis for determining all sort of things in Human Resources. A well written Job description provides HR practitioners and potential job seekers a clear picture of any position and serves as a useful tool for measuring performance of employees. Indeed, most of the HR approaches depend on the Job Description as the framework within which an organisation’s employees are measured, i.e. Recruiting, Performance Management, Compensation, Bench marking, Compliance and many more.
By Emmanuel Osei
Emmanuel has about 4 years’ experience in human resource management. He has active experience in recruitment and selection having being part of a team of recruiters who have handled different recruitment projects across the country. He is currently an HR Officer in charge of business development at Ghana HR Solutions, Recruitment Company In Ghana. Ghana HR Solutions also provides Payroll, Benchmarking, Training services.
As an HR professional, his areas of expertise include; Recruitment and Selection, Salary Benchmarking, Employee handbook design, Employee retention, Performance Management, Training and development, Employee relations
Emmanuel was part of a team of trainer assistants who were engaged to undertake capacity training for Association of Building Contractors and Civil Engineers of Ghana (ABCCEG) nationwide.