HR Basics: How to Write a High Performance Job Description

Determined to find just the right people to fill your open positions?

The process starts long before the interview, and as an HR professional, much of that weight is on your shoulders. By writing accurate, concise job descriptions, you’re more likely to attract prospective employees who are perfect for the position.

The U.S. Small Business Association offers a few valuable tips for those setting out to write job descriptions. In addition, here are a few ideas to help create a great job description.

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  1. Include specific duties. If a data-entry job involves 25 percent filing, 10 percent answering phones, and 65 percent typing up reports, say so. By breaking up tasks in percentages, would-be applicants will know what to expect before they come in for an interview.
  2. Include a job objective or overall purpose statement. Applicants want to know where they will fit in the big picture. It’s also helpful to include information about the chain of relationships within your company; who will they be working with, and who should they expect to answer to?
  3. Be concise. You don’t have to write an essay here. Try to be as efficient as possible in your use of words, and cut out redundancies while including all necessary information. A recent post on Mashable emphasizes the importance of using direct, specific language in your description, as well; “sometimes” and “often” are worth leaving out.
  4. Include a salary range. Rather than just sticking a price tag on your description, Recruitloop.com suggests listing a salary range consistent with similar positions at other companies. This gives you a little wiggle room to work with individual applicants and adjust the salary to their experience.

This was originally published on the Genesis HR Solutions blog

Patty Hilger is Vice President of Human Resources and Operations at Genesis HR Solutions. She focuses on the continuous improvement of strategic and tactical operations and processes within the organization.

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