"Rob was brilliant. He kept me fully updated and helped me secure the role I was looking for. Aaron Wallis is now the preferred recruitment agency for our business needs."
Samir Dungersi, Candidate
In this section
How To Write An Effective Job Description
It is thought that 25% of employers don't use job descriptions within their business, perhaps considered a tedious HR task or maybe companies feel a verbal instruction during the recruitment process is enough guidance to new recruits. However, a job description is an essential document for every business. For a start, a job description helps to set out the role so that both the employer and employee know exactly what is expected.
Why Job Descriptions Are Essential
Job descriptions can;
- Set out the employer expectations of the employee
- Help to measure job performance
- Ensure pay and grading systems are fair.
- Be used as a reference in a dispute
- Be used to structure interview questions
- Give clear accountability and help employees understand their commitment.
Using Job Descriptions To Attract The Right Candidates
An effective and compelling job specification is the key to finding great candidates. Having a mundane and one-size-fits-all document will not catch the reader's eye and will not sell your business as a great place to work. On the other hand, there is no point glamorising the job to the point of excess; recruiting can be a costly task, and you don't want candidates to leave because they have been lied to about the role.
Another issue for attracting the right candidates is the level of information. Too detailed and candidates may be deterred from applying, not enough information and the job will not grasp their attention and their imagination. You want candidates to believe that your role has been made especially for them.
Should I Use A Person Specification Or Job Description?
It is vital for businesses to employ the right people, and this is why it is important to take the time to evaluate what you are looking for in a candidate. Many businesses will either want someone who is qualified to perform specific duties; other businesses will be looking for a person who is the true fit for the brand.
When choosing a personality type to fit your business, you may decide a person specification is most appropriate. A person specification will identify the type of person you are looking for, such as personality traits, experience and behaviour. A job description outlines the candidate's duties, showing the roles and responsibilities of the job, so the employee knows exactly what the job entails.
It makes sense to consider both elements when drafting a description; that way, you can show the type of brand you are (by showing the personalities that will complement your team) and the type of exciting work they can be involved in (through the roles and responsibilities).
Find out more about the difference between person specification and job descriptions
Key Steps To Create An Effective Job Description
- You want your job title to be searchable and conform to industry standards, but this doesn't mean it can't be interesting. Use relevant keys words but don't be afraid to put some of your company's personality in there too: e.g. Recruiting in Marketing? Ambassador of Buzz. Hiring in Sales and Business Development? Creator of Opportunities.
Showcase Your Business and Explain What You Need
- Here you need to talk about the role and why you need an excellent candidate who fits the bill. For this section, highlight all the essential elements. Is it full-time? Is it a permanent contract? What are the hours? What does the role involve? This section should not be lengthy; a fact file is more than sufficient. Don't be afraid to sell your business here too: e.g. Due to an exciting new project with one of our most esteemed customers, we are looking for…
Core Skills and Competencies
- Who are you looking for? In this section, consider your job description and person specification. You might find it easier to write this part in two sections: The Job and The Person. At this stage, it is wise to think about the growth of the role; what other skills might your business need in the future?
Remember to be realistic with your expectations and ask for skills in line with the salary and benefits that you are offering. If you're after an A-class candidate, you need to be offering an A-class salary or at least substantial rewards and benefits.
This section, although detailed, must not include a vast amount of requirements that will scare off any potential candidates. Don't ask for too much; this gives candidates a chance to show their other skills during the interview.
Ask For Help
When you have drafted your ideal candidate, ask supporting teams to review it. After all, they will be working closely with your recruit and will also have an idea of what they need. When you have listed the skills and experience, rank each under the three following categories.
- Mandatory = what candidate must have to be considered for an interview.
- Essential = what a candidate must show during an interview.
- Preferred = what you'd like but isn't imperative.
If a term doesn't fit into one of these three categories, remove it from the job description altogether.
Save Yourself A Headache
In this section, remember to add, "And Other Duties As Assigned." This way, you don't limit your job description and allow your employees to learn new skills in different areas. There is nothing more frustrating for employers than employees who refuse to do a task with the phrase; "it's not in my job description."
For more information and a template on planning to target your ideal candidate.
Be Proud Of Your Company
- You need to show candidates why they should be excited about the prospect of working with you. In this section, you need to explain your company culture and what it is like to work at your business. Again, don't paint a false picture, but don't be afraid to give your business an ego boost.
Be human. In this section, you can highlight what is great about your business. What are the people like? What is the customer relationship like? Use the voice of your business, so candidates can understand what it is like to work for you and your organisation's culture.
- What do employees receive when working for you? How does commission work? What training could they receive? Is there a company car? See Advantages and Disadvantages of a Company Car
Here is the main selling point for your company, so don't be afraid to add other benefits that aren't necessarily financial if you need to, e.g. working with an award-winning team, mentoring by the Sales Director. People favour work enjoyment, so if your salary can't compete with a global corporation, offer different benefits that will entice the reader.
Points to Remember
By following these five simple steps, you have created a compelling job description; just remember to:
- Keep it short to maintain the reader's interest.
- Be flexible; only state they must have five years' experience if it is really necessary.
- Don't oversell the job; in recruiting it's best to get it right the first time.
- Think about the salary, don't ask for skills from a candidate if your salary doesn't reflect it.
Job Descriptions Can Save You Money
By crafting an effective job description, it will be much easier for recruiters to find you the perfect candidate. You will have shown the candidate precisely what is expected of them and the kind of organisation they will be involved in.
Aaron Wallis estimates that hiring the wrong candidate can cost your business 3.75 times their basic salary. So, stating your requirements in the first place can really help ensure that you get it right the first time.
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Date published: 19th November 2022
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by Simon Bonner
About the author
With over 25 years in B2B sales and recruitment, Simon is an English Graduate from UEA and specialises in recruiting commercial and FMCG sales positions. Simon joined the sales recruitment industry in 1998 before progressing into field sales and returning to recruitment in 2015. As an Associate Director, Simon is well placed to understand the needs of clients and candidates' needs, having spent ten years selling electronic security and managing National Accounts within OEM manufacturers and distribution channels. An avid Luton Town football fan, Simon dotes on his two daughters and enjoys keeping fit, socialising, food and wine.
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Our employers say...
Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.
Sales Director, Inside Business
Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.
Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment
In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
Sales Manager, TR Fasteners
I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process.
UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited
I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.
Managing Director, Leisuresec plc
We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.
Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics
Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.
HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd
George is a joy to work with, and I'd recommend him to anyone seeking that unicorn hire - he found me mine, and I'm delighted!
Director, Education Support
George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.
HR Manager, Big Dug
I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd
Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.
Managing Director, Accora Ltd
I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.
HR and General Manager, THK
Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.
Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions
I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
HR Business Partner, Greene King
Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
UK Sales Manager, Nexcom
We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.
Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management
Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.
CEO, Friday Ad Online Services
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.
Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd
I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!
Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd
Sophie did a great job at understanding our business and our needs, she is extremely professional and we hugely benefitted from her experience and expertise.
HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd
I can't fault Sam or AW! Sam was a pleasure to work with and provided great support from the start. Sam always provided me with timely updates when required and provided outstanding candidates!
Director, Waste Managed Ltd
Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.
Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International
Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Marketing Director, City of London Police
George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.
HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd
As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.
Managing Director, Speck & Burke
Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.
Managing Director, Medicash
Our candidates say...
Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.
R. Speakman, Candidate
For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.
C. Rockliffe, Candidate
Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.
T. Ashbourne, Candidate
Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!
O. Oladejo, Candidate
Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.
J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate
George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.
E. Fry, Candidate
Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.
R. Houston, Candidate
When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs
D. Pinder, Candidate
Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.
P. Fitzsimons, Candidate
Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
K. Everitt, Candidate
Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.
S. Powell, Candidate
Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.
A. Brown, Candidate
Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.
J. Tooze, Candidate
Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.
K. Craggs, Candidate
A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
A. Bauchet, Candidate
Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.
K. Pearce, Candidate
Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.
S. Bartlett, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
M. White, Candidate
The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.
D. Bermant, Candidate
Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.
C. Hoy, Candidate
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, Candidate
Professional and responsive from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Special thanks to Sophie J for her help and support throughout.
N. Leney, Candidate
The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.
K. Peacock, Candidate
I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.
D. Bretherton, Candidate
I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!
G. Thompson, Candidate
Sam was by far the most professional and helpful of any individual I've ever dealt with through a recruitment agency. He was supportive and thorough throughout the process. He definitely goes the extra mile for you. A pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend him. An asset to Aaron Wallis
M. Wyer, Candidate
I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.
S. Akers, Candidate
The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.
M. Owusu, Candidate
Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress
J. McGrattan, Candidate
Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.
R. Buckley, Candidate
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, Candidate
I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!
J. Parnham, Candidate
I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!
L. Knowles, Candidate
I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!
D. Burgess, Candidate
George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.
A. Kirkland, Candidate
Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.
M. Crisp, Candidate
I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.
J. Ostermeier, Candidate
The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
L. Colagrossi, Candidate
Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.
J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate
George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.
C. Beaugie, Candidate
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
R. Sealy, Candidate
I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.
A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate
The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!
A. Callaby, Candidate