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Software Job Descriptions

What We Discovered About Writing A Job Description (And How Software Can Be the Answer)

By Onyeka Ndukwe on February, 25 2019
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Onyeka Ndukwe

We all need good job descriptions to attract and hire the right candidate but creating a great job description isn’t easy. How do we know this?

By listening to those who know job descriptions the best.

Earlier this month, we conducted a survey on job descriptions and received quality responses from HR professionals like you. This blog post will touch on 3 of our survey findings and help tackle the HR challenges that keep you up at night.

By the end of this post, you will know: 

  • How time factors into writing a job description
  • Which sources people use to create job descriptions
  • The importance of updating your job descriptions


Why Should I Care About My Job Descriptions?

Because you want the best. Period.

Most hiring managers don't realize that your typical cut-and-paste job description won't help them get that stellar candidate.

Believe it or not, candidates can tell when they read a hybrid or “Frankenstein” job description. Often, it does not flow, attempts to blend different concepts together and sounds like two (or more) points of view talking to you at the same time. 

You might not think that job descriptions can have a real impact on your business, but as our survey data shows, that one document multiplied by the number of positions across your company can really add up.

To illustrate the costs associated with poorly managed job descriptions, we’d like to introduce Heather, a Junior HR Specialist who holds the responsibility of creating and managing the job descriptions for her organization.  


3 Things We Discovered About Creating Job Descriptions 

Time Costs You

You’re a great employer so you’d never get sued by your employees, right?  That depends.

In addition to her large pile of work, Heather was tasked with creating several job descriptions for her company’s growing IT department. So, what did she do?

Exactly what you were thinking. She blocked off an hour within her day, got her favorite latte and started searching online for similar examples and cobbling together the first job description.

After saving the draft of an IT Technician job description ready for review by the hiring manager, Heather then realized she was 30 minutes late for her next meeting.

Is Heather’s story just an outlier? You’d be surprised to hear that she’s not alone.

60% of our respondents who created job descriptions for hiring purposes said it took them longer than one hour to create a job description. That’s time you could be using to get ahead on other tasks or focus on more strategic activities.

Do the costs stop right there? If only (😢). Let’s dig into this scenario:

  • Heather’s company has 1000 full time employees.
  • The average total turnover rate in the US is currently 22%, according to Mercer’s 2018 turnover survey.
  • It takes on average 2 hours per job description to review, update or write from scratch.
  • The average salary of a junior HR specialist in recruitment is $54,824 USD, based on salary data from Hays.

That works out to 440 hours or $13,309 spent per year on updating job descriptions.

And that doesn’t even consider the time spent by the hiring manager to review and approve the job descriptions. 

What You Need: A solution that allows you to create job descriptions in less time and access to an online repository with updated, relevant job descriptions.


Content from Questionable or Unreliable Sources

You don’t need to rely solely on the Internet, internal experts or similar job posts to create high-quality job descriptions. But if you currently use one of these methods to source content for your job descriptions, know that you are not alone.

According to our survey findings (see chart below), most respondents rely on their internal experts for identifying and creating job content, combined with searching on the Internet.

Back in Heather’s world, she’s been swamped preparing for a major project in addition to creating the required job descriptions. On top of that, the internal expert from the IT group just left for France on a 2-week vacation.

Without the domain expertise needed to properly write the job descriptions and have them reviewed, how can Heather be expected to properly capture the skills and experience needed on the job descriptions?

The answer is she can’t (not unless she books a trip to France).

The last thing Heather wants is to post a hybrid or “Frankenstein” job description, as this could poorly reflect on her company and attract the wrong candidates.

It’s time to leave those “Frankenstein” job descriptions behind and look for a better solution.  

What You Need: A job description software solution that enables multiple stakeholders to collaborate on creating a job description. In addition, this solution should do most of the “heavy lifting” for you when it comes to creating and managing your job descriptions.


Keeping Things Current

Like your morning cup of coffee, your job descriptions should always remain fresh and up-to-date in accordance with the regulations within your industry.

The data in the chart below speaks volumes as to the lack of compliance when it comes to keeping job descriptions up-to-date.


This helps shed some light on an important issue: the vulnerability which organizations face when it comes to having compliant job descriptions.

Due to a company policy change, Heather needs to update all the job descriptions for her organization but doing this requires more resources than are currently available.

What You Need: A software solution that regularly updates your job descriptions, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. This solution should also enable you to have digital job descriptions with proper version controls in place that can be signed by employees


Next Steps

Have you been in Heather’s shoes before?

Do you urgently need help with your job descriptions? Don’t know where to begin?

Let’s start the conversation and show you how we take the ‘job’ out of job descriptions.