How to Write a Good Description that Finds you Great Talents

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Attracting and retaining talents is one major challenge most startups face on a regular basis.

While there are tons of things you can do to make sure that you hire right, one simple thing most businesses take for granted is the initial stage of the recruitment process – which is writing the right job description.

Job description plays an important role in ensuring that you are hiring the right people to fill the right positions.

It brings into focus the skills and training needed, works to be performed, under which condition it is to be performed, the responsibilities and the kind of manpower needed for the job.

The place of a job description in organizations cannot and should never be undeployed.

Poorly crafted or nonexistence of job description poses a chance of hiring someone without the necessary skills, experiences and personal qualities for the job.

It also becomes very difficult for an employee to know what is expected of him/her and for managers to provide an accurate and effective appraisal.

Again, the problem with a poor or non-existent job description is that all delegated task falls under the “other duties as assigned” umbrella which gives the room for employees to come to work and say “t is not in my job description”.  Meaning that they only need to do task listed there.

To avoid the above mentioned, sometimes working with a recruitment agency can help you write a reasonable and proper job description that allows both the employees and candidates to clearly understand the expectation of the role, its essential duties, along with the required education, credentials and experiences.

Content of a Job Description

A good job description should be based on job analysis and should be brief and factual as possible. The headings under which the job description should be written and notes for guidance on completing  each section are set out below:

Job Title

A job title is a term that describes in a few words or less the position held by an employee. Depending on the job, a job title can describe the level of the position or the responsibilities of the person holding the position. The use of terms such as ‘manager’, ‘assistant manager’ or ‘senior’ to describe job level should be reasonably consistent between functions with regards to the grading of the jobs.

Reporting to

The job title of the manager or person to whom the job holder is directly responsible should be given under this heading.

Overall Purpose

This section should describe as concisely as possible the overall purpose of the job.  The aim should be to convey in one sentence a broad picture of the job. Avoid describing the activities that will be carried out but rather write a summary that clearly distinguishes the role of the job holder and contribution they should make towards achieving the objectives of the company and their own function or unit.

Main Activities, Task or Duties

This is one of the hardest sections to write in a job description. The purpose of this section is to define the job tasks, duties or responsibilities that are to be performed on the job. It’s also the information most vital to your other talent management processes since it defines the criteria that should be used for assessment and development.

This section often ends up being an exceedingly long and detailed list of tasks that is tough to maintain, but even tougher for an employee to remember and apply in their day-to-day work.

So how do you write effective job responsibilities that are useful and manageable, while still capturing all the important details? How do you ensure the employee clearly knows what is expected of them and what they are accountable for?

  • To create the task list for a job, you go through a typical day on the job and write down the tasks that are performed.
  • Define each activity in one sentence, starting with a verb in the active voice, to provide a positive indication of what has to be done and eliminate unnecessary wordings. Example include: assist, complete, create, plan, prepare, implement, test,  liaise with and collaborate with.
  • State briefly the purpose of the activity in terms of outcome, output or standard to be achieved. For example: Work collaboratively with key stakeholders to determine areas of optimization, deconstruct issues and develop solution approach.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

This section covers the technical competencies required to do the job. Knowledge skills and abilities should be expressed in terms of  ‘need to know’ the required knowledge of techniques, processes, procedures, systems and the business generally ( its products, services, and its competitors and customers) and the ‘need to be able to do ‘ the skills required in each area of activities.

An example of a good Job Description Template is given below:

Job Title: HR Executive

Report to: HR Manager

Overall Purpose: To provide recruitment services to the line managers for jobs below the management level.

Main activities:


  • Create and publish job adverts in various portals
  • Network with potential hires through professional groups on social media and during events
  • Collaborate with line managers to set qualification criteria for future employees
  • Screen resumes and job applications
  • Conduct initial phone screens to create shortlists of qualified candidates
  • Interview candidates in-person for a wide range of roles (junior, senior and executive)
  • Track hiring metrics including time-to-hire, time-to-fill, and source of hire
  • Design, distribute and measure the results of candidate experience surveys
  • Train and advise hiring managers on interviewing techniques and assessment methods
  • Conduct preliminary interviews independently or conduct shortlist interviews with line managers that identify candidates who meet the specification
  • Host and participate in job fairs
  • Follow up with candidates throughout the hiring process
  • Maintain a database of potential candidates for future job openings


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Proven experience as a Recruitment Specialist, Recruiter or similar role.
  • Familiar with food industry trends
  • Process Management, Knowledge and Application
  • Strong understanding of the country’s specific labor laws.
  • Minimum of a University Degree or HND in Human Resources Management, Organizational Psychology, Business Administration or relevant field
  • Membership of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management is an added advantage.
  • Minimum of 5 -7 years’ experience practicing Human Resource

That is a sample job description that you can use right away. If you are thinking of hiring for your small business, then start by writing a good job description and you can attract the right talent.

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