Getting Better Job Descriptions from Department Managers

Ever heard the phrase: “Garbage In, Garbage Out?”

Well, it’s as true for job descriptions as it is for computer programming.  The higher the quality of information you put into your job descriptions, the higher the quality of candidates your search efforts will ultimately yield. 

As a national recruitment and staffing service, PrideStaff understands the challenges you face as an HR professional.  One of your key human resource functions is to hire the best candidates – and select the right vendors to assist you with that hiring.  To help you in these efforts, we’ve compiled a list of tips for getting better job descriptions from your department heads:

Remind department managers what is at stake.  Explain that in order to recruit the best-matched candidates, you must put sufficient effort into crafting a great job description that will attract them.  The time managers invest now in providing you with the right information will pay off later in a hire that:

  • Performs his job well.
  • Matches your culture.
  • Has long-term goals that are aligned with your company’s.

To boot, a thorough job description can also be used as a tool to evaluate the new employee’s performance, making reviews even easier for department heads.

Tell managers exactly what you need.  If you provide no guidance, you’re likely to receive a bulleted list of job responsibilities – and not much else.  To hire successfully, and work successfully with staffing vendors like PrideStaff, you need more complete information.  So make it easy for managers to give it to you!  Create a job description submission form they can use that requires the following elements:

  • Title of the position, department and to whom the candidate will report.
  • Summary – a brief description of the job’s overall purpose and an overview of the position’s main responsibilities.
  • Key areas of responsibility – a list of the essential functions of the position (six to 10 bullets, depending on the job).  These include job functions, tasks and required expectations.  Ask managers to use concise, descriptive terms, to write in active voice and to describe the position as it exists now (not what it may evolve into six months down the road).
  • Skills and qualifications – a list of all mandatory, as well as preferred, qualifications.  These could include education, certifications, discrete job skills, years of experience, “soft” skills, licenses and other technical proficiencies.
  • Physical and mental demands of the work environment – to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ask managers to describe the type, frequency and duration of physical and mental demands, as well as the environmental conditions of the job.
  • Location – where the job is located, whether or not travel is necessary (and if so, what percentage of the time a candidate can expect to be on the road).
  • Type of employment – clearly state whether the position is temporary, temp-to-hire, contract, freelance or direct hire.  Additionally, list whether the position is full- or part-time.
  • Salary and work hours – these are optional items you may or may not want to include in the description.

Create Better Job Descriptions  and Get Better Results with PrideStaff

Using our exclusive On Target fulfillment process, PrideStaff helps you evaluate and hone the essential skills required for each open position.  We benchmark the performance levels of your current staff, and then customize a screening process to ensure we refer only the best and most qualified candidates. 

Whether your needs are temporary or direct, simple or complex, trust PrideStaff to deliver the talented administrative, customer service, information technology, finance, legal support, healthcare or production and distribution staff you need.