How To Write A Job Description



JDB Prevue incorporates advanced techniques derived from our validation process. We’ll come to those later, but first, let’s review the elements that comprise an effective Job Description:

Or view this short video showing how the JDB Prevue system works


Your first discussions with your colleagues and key employees should be around:

  • Preferred Education Level
  • Preferred Experience Level
  • Salary / Pay Range
  • Any special training or expertise required?

Slice and Dice – make more detailed and specific lists of the following:

  • Core tasks  - critical to getting the job done
  • Trained, operational skills the candidate will be expected to possess.
  • Other skills, not necessarily the subject of training, the candidate will need, to perform well
  • Working habits and styles the person will need to demonstrate.
  • Social attributes the candidate will need, to perform well

The Prevue Job Description Builder addresses all of these elements, as well as linking them to our proven Pre-Employment Tests. Once the elements of the job description are in place, you can refine it with our edit/save function to meet your specific needs. In no time you’ll be producing effective, professional job descriptions.

Job Description Techniques

The correct techniques to apply to Job Description depend greatly on how the need for it has arisen. Typically, there are three circumstances in which the need to write a job description arises:

  • The position exists already, but has been inadequately described in the past, or has developed in ways that make the existing description obsolete - you’re updating your records.
  • The position is a new one, and you have resources, either within your company or elsewhere, for obtaining the specifics of the job.
  • The position is new but you lack resources for formulating a Job Description.


1. Position Exists Already

If you’re the direct supervisor/manager for this position, then editing the job description from the Prevue JDB is very straightforward. If you’re not the manager, you’ll want to bring in either:

  • The direct manager for this position and/or
  • A top-performing employee who either currently performs a similar role or is being promoted out of the position.

Have each person review the job description and make edits and suggestions where they see fit. Have them do this separately, and then review the results collaboratively.

2. New Position, Have Resources

Many companies do similar things, but each has a unique culture, comprising the values of those driving it, the characters, strengths and weaknesses of its key employees, and much more besides. Being aware of your own company culture, and conveying it effectively to outsiders, is essential to effective recruitment.

Have your advisers complete the steps outlined in 1. above, and present you with their results, in the form of a draft job description. Review their advice to make sure it agrees with your own expectations.

Next, look for opportunities within your text to place words or phrases that capture something specific to your company – its products, its culture, and so on. Avoid jargon, but don’t be afraid to aspire!

3. New Position, No Resources

The key to recruiting and retaining an excellent employee in a new position is to convey as much as possible in the Job Description about the culture of the organisation they will be joining. Sit down with whoever will be managing the position you are recruiting for and with any employees in key related positions, and reach a firm consensus on at least the following:

  1. Overall expectations of the job
  2. The purpose of the position within the company – how will the recruit produce outcomes for the company?
  3. A statement of planned outcomes with a timeline - what you intend this position will accomplish in  Year 1, 2, etc., out to perhaps 5 years.

Using a checklist, make sure all the elements above are clearly embodied in your job description.

Lastly, remember that when a new position arises in a flourishing business, it’s quite unusual for its precise nature to be clear at the outset, even to the most percipient manager. Be clear, both in the Job Description and later at the interview stage, that the job is new and may be expected to develop and change. A well-suited candidate will rise to this prospect, and may be expected, if hired, to contribute actively to the maturing of his own job.

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