In the ever-evolving realm of hiring, the line between a job description and a job post has become more intricate than ever. To attract top-tier talent, you need more than just a string of bullet points. In this blog, we delve into the realms of job descriptions and job posts and discern their nuances. We will also unveil how a thorough and thoughtful approach can yield positive impacts on hiring, retention, and employee satisfaction.
What is a Job Description?
The job description is often viewed as a checklist of skills and qualifications, a wish list if you may, but it is much more than that. It serves as a foundational document that outlines the scope, responsibilities, and expectations of a role. While not required by any laws, a properly written job description sets the hiring process up for success It should include:
All job tasks expected of the candidate
Competencies needed for the role
Performance expectations of a potential employee
The organizational impact of the role
Physical and mental requirements
A feeling for the company culture and how employees are expected to fit in it
Why are Job Descriptions Important?
Again, while not required by law, it’s important to have a job description be accurate and comprehensive. Here are a couple reasons why:
Job descriptions ensure clear expectations. When writing a job description, you must take an honest look at the role and ensure all aspects are being documented properly. Employees who sign an incomplete or inaccurate job description have a disadvantage. These employees don’t have an accurate gauge of what their day-to-day will look like, likely leading to poor performance. Also, they may also feel deceived and are more likely to leave your organization out of frustration.
Job descriptions are a resource when it comes to employee management and training. Without clearly defined, written expectations, employees may not know what standards they are to be held to and may not perform to their expectations. When a job description accurately depicts the tasks and expectations of a role, managers can use it to evaluate whether an employee, new or tenured, is falling short of company expectations. When performance issues can be identified quickly, they can also be remedied quickly. If a performance issue cannot be remedied, a job description can be used as backup documentation to prove poor performance.
What is a Job Posting?
Job descriptions are different from and should not be used interchangeably with job postings. Surprised? Making the mistake of viewing job descriptions and job postings as interchangeable can cost you valuable time and money in the hiring process.
Consider a job posting as a marketing tool for your organization’s job descriptions. It’s an opportunity to paint a picture of the needs, culture, and values of your organization. It’s a chance to tell a story that resonates with attractive candidates and repel those who aren’t a good fit.
Written in the voice of your organization, the job posting should be clear and concise and include a call to action. The most important skills and requirements should be listed first, and it should convey important information such as:
An explanation of specific duties
A brief description of the organization
A feeling/impression of the company culture
A description of benefits/perks that may entice candidates to apply
A day in the life of somebody in that role
What a candidate truly needs to possess skill-wise to be successful in this role
A high-level snapshot of your organization’s culture so the candidate can determine whether they picture themselves successful in this role (and with your organization)
Well-written job postings are important because they offer a first impression of your organization to job seekers. A job seeker should be able to read the job posting and immediately think, “I can see myself here,” or “This is not the opportunity for me.”
Also, note that your organization’s state/city, or the state/city where you are hiring, may require including salary ranges in job postings. Make sure to follow local, state, and federal laws regarding job posting compliance.
Job Descriptions vs. Job Postings
Now that you know the objectives of a job description vs. a job posting, you can prepare each while keeping the differences in mind. Job descriptions spell out the skills, attributes, and knowledge needed to perform well in a role. They are very thorough and should be at least a page long. A job posting should have a shorter length and be seen as a marketing tool to attract the right candidate(s) to apply to your open position. Job descriptions lay the groundwork, and job postings bring them to life.
Need assistance with your hiring process?
In the quest to build fantastic teams and attract extraordinary talent, it’s important that your job descriptions and postings are thorough, authentic, and well-crafted. And remember, creating a job description and a job posting is just a portion of the candidates’ hiring journey. It extends to the interview process, perhaps skills assessment, and beyond, hopefully resulting an in offer and stellar onboarding experience.