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  • Writer's pictureMOSH JD

Why do Job Descriptions Matter?

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Over 72 percent of hiring managers state they provide clear job descriptions, but only 36 percent of job applicants agree. There's a disconnect between what HR professionals and candidates think.


That's a large gap in perception that could be hurting your recruiting and retention efforts.

People reviewing a job description

Job descriptions can often make or break the selection process's success. They're typically the first touchpoint between candidates and your company and can determine their first impression influencing the candidate's decision whether they'll apply.


If concise, compelling, and engaging, job descriptions can land you top talent. On the other hand, if they're incoherent and too long, you might struggle to attract qualified job applicants or dissuade them from sending their resumes.


However, there's often a disconnect between what HR professionals and candidates think. - Over 72 percent of hiring managers state they provide clear job descriptions, but only 36 percent of job applicants agree. It's clear that as HR professionals we tend to overestimate how effectively our job descriptions accurately portray requirements for a position.


That could slow down the selection process and cause companies to lose stellar talent. Here's why HR professionals should be careful about developing a job description effectively.


Top 4 Reasons Job Descriptions are Crucial


1 . They Help Boost Employee Satisfaction and Retention


Poorly written job descriptions that don't portray the job's responsibilities and daily tasks accurately can convince a candidate they would enjoy the job, even when that's not the case. Employees who believed an opportunity matched their expectations due to a deceiving job description could end up unhappy and disengaged.

However, a detailed and correct job description attracts workers excited about performing the job, resulting in higher satisfaction and retention rates.


2. They Help Attract the Right Employee


Identifying competencies and skills necessary for the job role are among the essential goals of job descriptions. They ensure that job seekers understand whether the job requires being good at handling environmental pressures or possessing specific abilities and knowledge.

Hence, a top-notch job description lets the candidate know whether they meet the criteria. But it also tells them whether the job aligns with their requirements and expectations.


"Over 72 percent of hiring managers state they provide clear job descriptions, but only 36 percent of job applicants agree. " – G2.com

3. They Protect Companies After Terminations


Even though developing a job description effectively helps identify the most compatible candidate, the selection process depends on multiple factors. Hiring an incompatible job applicant may still happen.


But a stellar job description can work as backup documentation that comes in handy in cases of poor employee performance. If you clearly outlined the company's expectations, it would be easier to identify where the worker's input doesn't meet the criteria.

These insights can also support other documents indicating poor performance and results (e.g., one-on-one meetings and performance reviews).


4. They Serve as the Initial Communication Tool


It is practical to have job descriptions - they serve as initial communication tools with job seekers, letting them know what a job role encompasses and what duties they would hold. They can also highlight performance standards and workplace rules of a job.


Clear communication is essential for ensuring candidates know what's expected of them and what they get from working with your company.


Candidates and employees just want clear expectations


According to Finances Online, 53 percent of job hunters want recruiters to explain expectations in the job description clearly. That helps them understand whether they're the right person for a job and if a vacancy meets their standards and ambitions.


Top-notch job descriptions help weed out incompatible candidates and attract those who could perform well in the job role. Because of that, it's vital to be concise, on-point, and forthright about the requirements and opportunities in the company when developing a job description.

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