Resource Centre Employer’s Corner How To Write An Effective Job Description

How To Write An Effective Job Description

A job description is important as it gives job seekers a breakdown of what you are looking for and what their duties and responsibilities will entail.


A Good Job Description, A Good Hire

A job description is important as it gives job seekers a breakdown of what you are looking for and what their duties and responsibilities will entail. However, most employers simply copy and paste job descriptions online or from previous recruitment drives. What this does is push away talented job seekers or get you a flood of unqualified job seekers applying for the advertised role. A good job description should be a brief summary of a person’s duties and responsibilities and makes it easy for both the recruiter and job seeker to merge their needs.

Additionally, once you have recruited a person, the job description is still important as this dictates their roles and you will, therefore, make reference to it when evaluating the performance of an employee. Thus, in order to attract the right candidates, you need to have the right job description. Here is how to go about it.

  1. Get the Right Title

Job title

The job title is essentially what attracts job seekers to your posting. So, make it catchy but honest. It should also reflect the level of seniority and should be one that is easily recognisable within the industry. The job title should not exaggerate the importance of the role as this will only get you overqualified candidates and waste both your time and that of the potential employee. On the other hand, most job seekers will use common job titles when searching for jobs online so when you have the right job title, your posting will easily appear on search results. Finally, a job title should be self-explanatory, for example, ‘Accounts Assistant’ is better than ‘Account Payables Officer.’

  1. Key Duties and Responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities

This is the most important part of the job description. Give a list of the core duties and responsibilities that the employee would be expected to take charge of upon resumption. Make this list as customized as possible because it should be a reflection of what the ideal candidate will be doing on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, it is from this list that the candidate’s KPIs are set. The list should be honest, as you do not want to have a contract having different roles to those advertised. Remember, things such as salary negotiation will be pegged on the job description. Ideally, this should be done in conjunction with the head of the department as they know exactly what gap needs to be filled.

  1. Job Level

Level of seniority

Some job descriptions have this as a feature. This is especially important for big companies where a job title and description could be similar to that of a managerial position in a smaller company, but which is quite junior in the big company. Therefore, be clear on the job level where applicable.

  1. Reporting Roles and Relationships

Reporting lines

It is good to state whether the job has people reporting to it or how many people the person will be reporting to. This way, it is clear on the position of the job within the company as well as close working relationships around the role. It is important to state the relationships the person will have with others as this is a reflection of the scope of the job. Additionally, it is an indication of the size of the department, especially if you are seeking to fill a senior position.

  1. Salary Range

Expected salary

This is a trend that is catching up. A salary range gives the ideal candidates a clear picture of what is to be expected. This way, you will not have people with salary expectations outside your budget applying for the job. Most people get disappointed when they realise that the salary being offered is below what they are willing to take and so, the recruitment process will be a waste of both your time and theirs. In order to attract the right candidates, give a salary range on the job description so that those who are not willing to take the offer do not bother applying for the job. According to a market insights report by BrighterMonday and Data Fintech, salary is one of the most important considerations for people when applying for a job so it is important to be clear from the onset.

  1.  Key Skills and Qualifications

Important skills

This is another important part of the job description. State what skills are absolutely important and which ones are desirable. With the right description, you will get a person who has the right qualifications and it will only attract those who are qualified to apply. Be as specific as possible as this helps candidates decide whether to apply for the job or not.

       7. Company Brief

Company description

Finally, it is important to give a brief description of your company as many people may not necessarily know much about your it. While it is important for candidates to know about your company, it is for your own benefit to give them a sneak peek of what the company is all about as some details may be hard for them to find. Include details such as location, company size, and accolades achieved so far. Such information helps job seekers decide whether they really want to work for the company or not.

As competition for talent increases, it is important for recruitment managers to put their best feet forward. Generic job descriptions turn off candidates. A report published by BrighterMonday and Data Fintech shows that some jobs such as office administration are increasingly gaining competition and little efforts such as writing an outstanding job description might set you apart from the competition.

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Njeri Karanja
Notification Bell