Writing Job Descriptions

Dec 22, 2011 | Employees

Starting out right with new employees requires some good planning and documentation. It’s important to put your vision on paper to avoid any misunderstandings down the road. You will be amazed at how creating a job description really helps you to learn more about what you want for the future of your business.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
These are basic qualities that the new employee should possess. You, as the manager, define these. They could include:

Knowledge of computer software, including: PowerPoint, Excel.
Skilled at performing multiple tasks simultaneously.
Ability to relate to people and make them feel comfortable.

These requirements are the essential ones that are often overlooked when hiring because employers are more task-focused.

Credentials and Experience
Here is where you list the level of educational and professional experience you would like the candidate to have. You may want to be flexible in this area so as not to disqualify potentially good employees. Allow for additional experience to make up for the lack of an educational degree. This may not be possible if you are hiring for a highly technical job that requires specific skills.

Special Requirements
Anything that may not have been covered up until this point should go here. For example:

Frequent travel required
Some use of personal vehicle
Job includes some evening and weekend hours
Ability to lift 15 lbs or more

For new positions, you will want to include this information. It is wise to put a salary range so that if turnover occurs, you are not locked into a specific amount.

After you have completed the job description, set it aside for a day or two. Coming back to it after a few days may allow you to make revisions that you could not have done at the first sitting. It is also a good idea to have someone else look it over and offer input (consider a co-worker familiar with the job responsibilities, a friend, your spouse).

If you are low on time and do not feel confident doing this task on your own, there is software available that can help you create a job description. For more information, click here.

A copy of the Job Description should go into the employee’s file, once he or she is hired.