Why do I need this? That’s what the Agency is for, isn’t it?
Well possibly. Agencies are adept at writing job advertisements, based on a job description and a person specification. So the Agency will ask you for a job description, or at least ask you to describe what should be committed to a document.
Well, a good job description is a significant help in writing a job advertisement that will maximise the chances of attracting high quality candidates with the right skills and experience.
A poorly written job description will result in a vague job advertisement that can result a flood of responses from unsuitable applicants, or worse still, having no applications at all.
In addition to assist in writing and placing job advertisements, a well written job description is useful in a number of other ways:
- It gives shortlisted applicants full details of the job they are applying for.
- It helps an interviewer understand the job they are recruiting for.
- It provides an indication to applicants of what would be expected of them in the role.
- It gives Hiring Managers a clear indication as to what they should be asking their staff to do.
- It helps to form a company record of the different jobs within the organisation.
The main points to bear in mind whilst writing your job description are as follows:
- Describe the function and requirements of the job, not the function and requirements of the current jobholder.
- The job description should be clear, objective and accurate. Don’t be unrealistic and make it a wish list of every task that may come in useful.
- Limit the job description to no more than two pages long.
A good Scientific job description should include the following:
- Title of the job
- The purpose of the job
- Where the role sits within the team, department and wider business
- Who the role reports to, and other key interactions
- Any supervisory duties
- Key areas of responsibility and the deliverables expected
- Short, medium and long-term objectives
- Prospects for progression and promotion
- Details of key job functions and requirements of the role
- Required education and training
- Hours of work, breaks.
- Location and travel requirements
- Salary range and benefits available
- Convey the organisation’s culture and identity
Please note that, in conjunction with a Job Description, a Person Specification should be used to specify skills, experience and other personal attributes for the ideal candidate.