The most essential recruiting function is the creation of job descriptions and postings, but there are differences between the two terms. A job posting or announcement is used to advertise available roles and should not be confused with a job description. SHRM.ORG online explains the importance and purposes for job descriptions with the article titled, How to develop a job description (https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/how-to-guides/pages/developajobdescription.aspx). The author defines a job description as “a useful plain-language tool that explains the tasks, duties, function, and responsibilities of a position. It details who performs a specific type of work, how that work is to be completed, and the frequency and the purpose of the work as it relates to the organization’s mission and goals. Job descriptions are used for a variety of reasons, such as determining salary levels, conducting performance reviews, clarifying missions, establishing titles and pay grades, and creating reasonable accommodation controls, and as a tool for recruiting.” Many organizations use the terminology job description and posting interchangeably making a mistake by simplifying the creation of job postings with the use of templates or system-generated details. There are incentives to ensure the job posting includes an innovative description that reaches its intended audience. To confirm, we are not speaking about job postings which can be mistaken for a creative writing assignment. The human resources job announcement mantra should be honesty is always the best policy. We all notice job postings describing a terrible boss as a difficult personality or refers to micromanagement as hands-on supervision. A job posting must evoke a realistic glimpse into the work environment providing potential employees with opportunities to understand expectations, culture, and position requirements.
The additional purpose of writing a great job posting that includes a detailed description is to minimize turnover in a specific position, department, or organization. Untruthful, misleading, or confusing verbiage in a job description or post can have the effect of discouraging a potential employee, business opportunity or create financially devastating legal consequences. For more information regarding writing a job description, see the article titled, How to Write Effective Job Postings: Job Description and Skills (https://www.recruiting.com/blog/how-to-write-effective-job-postings-job-description-and-skills/). To summarize the online article, job postings at a minimum must have basic information such as:
- Company, organization, or environment description.
- Position or job requirements, responsibilities, education, and experiences.
When advertising a job many human resources professionals and organizations use the minimum requirements for legal or competitive bargaining compliance but miss opportunities to treat the post as a marketing tool. In many situations, a job posting is due to a position vacancy, dwindling, or non-existent candidate pool. Using a job posting to attract talent is just one aspect of marketing business opportunities. There is the added incentive of using a job advertisement to attract potential entrepreneurs or partnerships. For example, a sales job posting within the staffing industry may be a prospecting opportunity to build business relationships or demonstrate specialization. Employers have an incentive to be creative with announcements controlling their narrative with a company summary in the job posting which highlights specialty, competitive advantages, and industry experiences. Stay tuned for my next article regarding human resources and employment-focused subjects in the series, Staffing 101.