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How to Write an Effective Job Description

To help our clients, attract treasury staff we often support them in evaluating and generally rewriting their Job Descriptions.

We encounter three major mistakes in the Job Descriptions that we receive. They are;

  • forgetting your target audience
  • making it a shopping list
  • closing the gate

Yes, it is an Audience

It should sell as much as tell. A candidate wants to be tempted, they want to see progression in a role. The job description should describe the role and its day-to-day responsibilities but it is also a promotional brochure for the position itself – you need to sell the dream!

You need to appeal to your audience. Tell them why they should want to work for you. What can you offer them that no one else can? Why is this opportunity too good for them to miss?!

It Is Not a Shopping List

If you want to get the candidates to commit and buy into the position then listing all 20 accountabilities will scare many candidates away.

Why not list the main responsibility areas and then explain / explore exactly what is involved at interview?

Closing the Gate

When writing the job advert many clients create a specification that defines their dream candidate.

We often see person specifications like this;

  • 10 years’ international expertise
  • accounting qualified
  • adaptable
  • analytical
  • comic genius
  • Harvard law degree
  • fire eating juggler
  • global cash management
  • great communicator
  • incredible at dominoes
  • interpersonal skills to rival the greatest stage hypnotist
  • MBA
  • multi-tasker
  • systems literate
  • treasurer extraordinaire
  • virtuoso violinist

When recruiting, you want to maximise the quality and quantity of the response – don’t “close the gate” by restricting your choices. Once candidates have applied you can filter through the responses and identify those who are suited to the role. You can be flexible if you need to be.

Follow these basic steps and you should be well on your way to writing a very clear, concise and engaging Job Description.

If you’re struggling though and need some advice or guidance, we’d be more than happy to help!

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