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Five Essential Elements of Job Postings

Let me guess, you have a position that you need filled yesterday? Your first instinct is to start recruiting, right? But what exactly are you recruiting for? What skills and education requirements are you looking for? What does this candidate need to be successful in this new career? What are you advertising that will intrigue candidates to apply for your position instead of your competitors? Identify the answers to those questions before you start the job posting process.

A clear, transparent, and most importantly, well-branded job description is the first step to attracting top talent. Consider these five essential elements when you are creating your job description. These will help you, as an employer, be confident in your selection process, and also help the potential team member determine if the company and position you are advertising is a good match for them.

  1. Start by advertising the culture of the organization. Present the mission statement, values and other culture components that will keep top talent interested in reviewing the remainder of the position description. Show the candidate community why they want to work for your organization instead of your competitor.

  2. Clearly identify the title, location, department, classification, and hours of the position. This will prevent any miscommunication about their pay type, who they report to, who reports to them, the conditions of their work environment, and their schedule expectations.

  3. Summarize the job objective. What is the purpose of this position? Define general responsibilities and key tasks of their role. Identify the relationship they will have with customers, co-workers and vendors.

  4. Outline their tasks and responsibilities. Be transparent about the expectations of the job they will be performing, including the results they are responsible for driving. This will allow you to create interview questions that are specific to these tasks. You can ask for examples of how they have done these tasks in the past and specifics on the responsibilities being asked of them. This gives the candidate a clear idea of their qualification requirements, and will help you eliminate anyone that may be over or under qualified.

  5. List out the KSA’s needed to be successful in this role. What are the minimum knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the tasks and responsibilities of the position? Include physical requirements, education levels and experience needed of the job as well. This will help you decide a lot quicker who is eligible for an interview and who isn’t. If they don’t have these minimum KSA’s then they probably aren’t qualified for the role.

Creating a clear, attractive, and defined job description is necessary for making good selection decisions and for performance metrics down the road. A team member has a much better chance of succeeding early on in their role if the requirements of the position are as clear and transparent as possible.

Don’t hesitate to write a clearly defined job description for fear that it will hinder your ability to promote, change duties or add additional responsibilities to your team member’s position. It’s recommended, if a team member’s role will be changing more than 20%, simply revise their job description and provide them a copy. A 20% change in a team member’s role that isn’t discussed with them prior, could be the difference between a successful team member and an unsuccessful team member. This can negatively affect your retention efforts. Furthermore, their position pay type may change along with the duties, leaving you at-risk for miss-classification of a team member. The job description should be used as a communication tool that holds both parties accountable for the functions of the role being advertised and being accepted.

Job descriptions, although talked about, are often highly underutilized. More than 50% of employees nationwide agree that they don’t clearly know their position expectations. Do you think this lack of clarity could be contributing to your team’s turnover metrics? I can assure you, if you start with and manage with a solid job description, you’ll increase the chances of having a productive and satisfied team member that will add value to your newly or already established team long-term.


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