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Article: 3 job description mistakes to avoid

Written by Craig Cameron on September 8th, 2016.      0 comments

Written by Craig Cameron on 8th September, 2016.

For many business leaders, the recruitment process starts when the first applications come in. However, the exercise is usually launched long before this point and ultimately starts with the relevant department communicating with HR to finalise the details of the role.
This can include where the job should be advertised as well as key details around its description. If an enterprise wants candidates with the right skill set, experience and knowledge, then the job description is going to have to reflect these thoughts. Too often, this critical document falls short - leaving the HR department with scores of individuals that are simply not right for the role.
Detailed below are three mistakes to avoid when creating job descriptions:
 
  1. Copying an old description
If someone has left a position after five years and you are looking for a straight replacement, this isn't an excuse to pull out the old job description and relist it. While some of the elements might be the same, many of the core duties and responsibilities may have changed as technology and the like advance. 
Additionally, after five years, the job may have evolved to match its incumbent.  What the job has become may have to be considered against what the job should be.
To avoid misrepresenting the position, the business will need to review the role and confirm the key list of factors that a new candidate will need to exhibit.
 
  1. Not identifying a role’s seniority (or lack of)                                     
Job titles can’t always be relied on to indicate the height or depth that a role occupies in an organisation.  Stating whether or not the role has direct reports and who it reports to is more definitive.  Including a relevant organisational chart, too, can provide an effective snapshot.
For a job description to demonstrate the level of seniority accurately, every bit of relevant detail helps.  If you want to encourage candidates to only apply for the roles they’re qualified for, it is essential to show how managerial (or not) a role is.
 
  1. Not stating ideal experience and education
Wright State University has cited the importance of stating how much experience is required from a candidate and the same rule applies universally. Whether this refers to the number of years in the industry, their qualifications or a mixture of both, businesses will quickly find that they have a number of people who are unsuitable for the job applying for the position if the ideal experience and education are not specified.
Even worse, those people who they do desire might not even apply due to the ambiguous wording.


If you would like assistance ensuring that your job descriptions accurately describe the job itself, get in touch with the expert team at Strategic Pay.
 
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