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The Most Important Sections of a Job Description Template

Updated: Jan 27

Templates can help create consistent job descriptions within job families, facilitating simplicity when updating & creating job descriptions while ensuring critical information is always captured.


Person typing job description on laptop

A good job description accurately reflects the duties, responsibilities, skills, and/or competencies required for a position, producing a realistic picture of the job and best fit candidate. When well-written, job descriptions set the foundation for talent recruitment, development, and retention. A clear and concise job description will help you stand out among your competitors and attract the most suitable candidates for the position.


In this blog we discuss how to setup effective job descriptions templates at your organization and review some of the most important sections to include in your templates.


A job description template is a standardized document used by organizations to outline the key details of a job position. It typically includes sections for the job title, summary of the role, responsibilities and duties, required qualifications and skills, working conditions, and any other relevant information. This template serves as a foundation for creating specific job descriptions and ensuring consistency and completeness across different roles within the organization.


How to Setup Job Description Templates


All job descriptions are not the same and may not follow the same format; while the company bio and mission statement may stay the same for all positions, other sections of the job description should be uniquely tailored to the position. For instance, a job description for an entry-level position may focus on the passion and mentality of the ideal candidate. At the same time, a highly specialized role will detail the skills, certifications, and qualifications candidates should possess. By setting up job description templates by job family organizations can design a template that ensures mandatory sections are captured and completed when job descriptions are updated or designed.


Here is a step by step guide to design job description templates:


1. Organize your Jobs into Job Families

"Job families" refer to a grouping of jobs that are related in terms of their role, responsibilities and requirements. These jobs usually share common skills, knowledge, and other attributes. The concept of job families allows for a more organized and structured approach to managing different types of jobs within the same or similar fields. This categorization can help in creating clearer career paths and in understanding the progression or transfer opportunities within a company. When it comes to job description templates- having jobs organized by job families will help HR achieve job description consistency by attaching like jobs to the same template.


2. Determine Organizational Job Description Architecture

If you are in the process of designing job description templates now may be a good time to consider your job description architecture. Organizations are shifting to new approaches that focus less on qualifications/education and more on skills and competencies. These methods are proving to be more successful in attracting and hiring qualified candidates who can adapt to the role based on the overall skills required to be successful.


Regardless of the approach, it's important to understand in the job description template design the key sections that will be required. This may include skills, qualifications, duties, responsibilities, and more. Once a general framework is understood based on organizational hiring philosophy, we can dive deeper to define templates based on job families.


3. Perform a Job Analysis & Identify Essential Functions, Skills, and Competencies

While all job families will follow organizational job description architecture, each family should be further evaluated and understood so that templates can be customized for the best fit. For example, some roles that are highly technical may require specific certifications and require a section in the template to capture those requirements while other positions may not have a certifications section at all.


4. Design your Job Description Templates

Once the analysis is complete, create your job description templates. If using job description software like Mosh JD these templates can be saved and assigned to specific families to ensure all team members creating or updating job descriptions follow the template for consistent formatting and to ensure key information is not missed.

 

Important Sections to have in a Job Description Template

Since job descriptions are the first contact with potential candidates in the recruitment process, you need to set clear expectations, inform them about the position and company, and address the unanswered questions. The following sample template demonstrates the most important information to include in a job description.


Job Title

Use formal industry titles that candidates typically search for, such as “Office Manager” or “Sales Associate.” According to LinkedIn 36% of candidates are searching for roles based on common titles for the role. Keywords are important in job posts. Additionally, avoid unusual titles such as “The Office Handyman” or “Marketing Ninja" as they may confuse candidates looking to understand what the role entails. Also, when creating new titles, consult your job description catalog to avoid needless redundancy in your catalog.


Reports To

The [job title] reports to [position they will be reporting to] is a simple component but helpful for candidates to understand whom they will be working with regularly.


Company’s Basic Information

Pitch your company in two to four sentences to inform the candidates of who you are and the kind of culture they will be working in. 71% of candidates say it's very important to get a feel for your culture in the job description. This section communicates your values, purpose, and what makes the company a good fit for the candidate. Keep this section short and enticing - you want to create excitement about your organization in the fewest words possible.


Job Overview/Expectations and Summary of Role

Give an overview of the job in three to four sentences, how it fits into the organization, what success looks like, duration, and general work conditions. Indicate whether the job is full-time, part-time, contract, on-site, remote, or hybrid. Include any travel requirements, physical requirements, or weekend commitments. A clear description will discourage less-qualified candidates from applying, saving you time in reviewing applications.


Responsibilities and Duties

Highlight the essential duties of the position based on importance. You may not have to mention every single task, but make sure you clearly communicate your expectations. Bullet points work well in this section, keeping them between 8 and 14 points. Start your sentences with verbs, write in complete sentences, use gender-neutral language, use the present tense, and use relevant keywords to help candidates find the posting.


Qualifications

If you are working with a traditional job description or a technical role, include a section for qualifications and educational experience required for the position. Be specific on the required level of education, experience, personal characteristics, licenses, certifications, and physical abilities.


Required Skills/Competencies

Including the required skills or competencies ensures that applicants have a clear understanding of the competencies and expertise needed for the role, which helps in attracting suitable candidates. For employers, it streamlines the recruitment process by filtering out unqualified applicants early on, saving time and resources. This clarity in expectations aids in setting the foundation for employee success, as candidates are better matched to the role's demands, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity. Skills & competency based approaches are proving to have significant positive impacts on hiring. Read more here.


Compensation

Transparency helps in attracting candidates who are comfortable with the offered salary range, reducing the likelihood of later negotiations or disappointments. It also demonstrates the employer's openness and fairness in financial dealings, which can enhance the organization's reputation. Furthermore, detailing the compensation package, including any additional benefits, can make the position more appealing to potential candidates, thus attracting a wider and more qualified pool of applicants. More and more candidates are demanding to see compensation and salary ranges in the JD- and as much as 25% or more say it's key in their decision to apply.


Call to Action - Job Post

Ask potential employees to respond to the posting by filling out an application. You can specify the email address where they will send their documents or include a direct link for the application. Add specific dates for deadlines, invitations to interviews, or possible start dates. Don't forget to include a call to action when posting on internal job boards as well. There likely are qualified candidates for the role right at your company.


Utilize Job Description Templates for Consistent and Accurate Job Descriptions


By utilizing templates, your leadership team can ensure consistency across job families and job descriptions that convey key components of your role and company. With all stakeholders on the same page as JD design, your team will be most effective and efficient in your recruiting and employee development efforts.


Visit https://www.moshjd.com for access to free templates and to easily create custom JD templates right in the cloud!

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