Importance of Well-written Job Descriptions

When seeking to hire a candidate at your firm, it’s critical that
you create a well-written job description. This key document
establishes the criteria by which hiring managers should evaluate
candidates. As the basis for the job advertisement, it also serves as a
way to attract the specific talent you need and discourage those not
qualified from applying. After an individual is hired, the job
description serves as a tool for setting expectations and establishing
objective measures for performance appraisals.
                                 

Though
it can be tempting to dust off and recycle an existing version, taking
the time to craft a new job description is well worth the effort.
Whether you’re looking to replace someone who has left or you’re
creating a new role entirely, developing the job description is an
opportunity to think critically about your hiring needs. It should not
only identify the key job functions, it should also sell your firm to
potential hires. Following are the key elements of an effective job
description:

                                 

Responsibilities.
This section should list specific, ongoing job duties of a position.
These may be in either bullet points or full sentences, and should be
presented in order of importance. Be specific about responsibilities,
and include the frequency with which each task will be performed. This
will help eliminate candidates who are either not qualified for or not
interested in the job. Once you have a list, you may want to ask for a
second set of eyes to evaluate whether the job is doable. While credit
managers perform many roles these days, you don’t want the applicants
to be intimidated by an overwhelming number of responsibilities—or
worse, be unable to keep up once they are hired.

                                 

Skills and attributes.
This section should establish the criteria by which hiring managers
will evaluate the candidates. List the technical and financial
knowledge required, as well as the soft skills you desire. Be specific.
For instance, rather than simply stating that a candidate should have
"management abilities," list the exact requirements: "must be able to
oversee a team of five entry-level credit management professionals and
provide feedback on their job performance."

                               

Education and experience.
While these aspects of an applicant are certainly important, don’t set
your expectations so high that you eliminate candidates who may not
have exactly the credentials you seek, yet are perfectly capable of
doing the job. Be sure that this category is a reflection of the true
requirements, rather than just your preferences. The credentials you
establish should be those that have direct bearing on the ability to
perform the duties of the position.

                               

Source: Robert Half International

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