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How to write effective job descriptions

Brad Taylor, Director of People at CIPD shares top tips for writing effective job descriptions.

What is a job description?

When you’re looking for the best candidate to join your team, one of the most important things you can do is create a clear job description.

A job description is a written document which gives an overview of the role. It will also include details of the duties and responsibilities it involves. In the video above, Brad Taylor discusses how an effective job description can help a manager find the best person for their team.

A job description will help someone decide whether they have the right experience and skills to apply for the role. It will help line managers and employees to have a clear and shared understanding of what the job involves. And it will also make sure that the new role is positioned appropriately in comparison to other similar roles in the company.

If HR support is available in your organisation it may be useful to seek their advice before advertising a new role. An HR professional can help you refine your job description. They can also help to make sure that it is as flexible and adaptable as possible.

Top tips for writing a job description

Here are some of Brad’s top tips for writing effective job descriptions:

  1. Keep it simple and avoid being too prescriptive as this might put some applicants off.
  2. Seek input from your HR colleagues, other managers and stakeholders in your company.
  3. Make sure the job description is clear about accountabilities for the role.
  4. Be clear on the skills you need.
  5. Think about how other similar roles are positioned within the company.
Think about the job description for your own role or a role within your team. How many of these tips are present in them? Can you think of any ways to improve them?
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