What is a job description?
Job description definition: A job description is an overview of an open vacancy written in plain English that details the duties, functions, responsibilities and tasks of a position.
A job description gives information about who will perform a particular type of work, how the work will be done and the purpose of the work in relation to the company as a whole.
In addition to recruitment, companies use job descriptions for different reasons, including:
- Carrying out performance reviews.
- Determining salary levels.
- Establishing pay grades.
Job descriptions are also very useful when it comes to planning careers and offering training.
A professional job description provides applicants with a clear idea of what will be needed to perform the work successfully. In addition, managers can use job descriptions to decide whether employees are meeting all of their expectations.
Fountain Sample Job Description Templates
Our sample job description library contains descriptions of the most sought-after roles. With our job description templates, you can quickly download or copy and paste them to your clipboard. You can then tweak them to suit your business needs and requirements.
Click here to use job descriptions for some of the most popular jobs.
Job description vs Job specification
A job specification is a more detailed version of a job description. It details the exact requirements wanted for the specific role such as education requirements, skills, salary, and other requirements. Despite the definition of a job specification being different than a job description, recently these two terms have been used interchangeably.
What is a job scope? A job scope is a broad summary of a specific job performed after a job analysis. The job scope is written prior to the job description and outlines the specific duties and responsibilities of the job, the job title, who the person in this role reports to, and more.
How to write a good job description
In the past, to write a good job description, you had to go through a number of steps to follow best practices.
Writing job descriptions best practices
1. Perform a job description analysis: you had to collect, examine and analyze information about the required tasks to get an accurate assessment of the job performed.
The job description included:
- Interviewing employees to find out what they do.
- Seeing how tasks are done.
- Getting employers to fill out questionnaires and worksheets.
- Collecting information on jobs from different resources, like salary surveys and employer handbooks.
The results of your enquiries would then be documented and reviewed by the employees doing the jobs and their management, so you were informed of any changes in abilities, physical characteristics and skills.
2. Decide on the essential job functions
When the performance standards for a job had been set, essential functions of the job would be defined.
This helped you deal with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The essential functions would be decided by doing the following:
- Determining all the tasks essential for carrying out the job.
- Working out how often the tasks needed to be performed.
- Knowing the consequences of not performing the designated functions.
- Seeing whether the tasks could be given to someone else or done in another way.
When the essential functions were defined, you decided whether the function was really necessary. Then you might have used the term”essential function” in the job description.
3. Organize the data in a brief way
Job descriptions vary depending on the company, but your job descriptions should be standardized to look the same.
A job description could have some (or all) of the following:
- Job title: the name of the position.
- Classification: exempt or non-exempt according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Salary grade: the compensation of all groups or pay ranges.
- Reporting: the title of the position that the job reports to.
- Date of the job description or when last reviewed.
- Summary of objectives: the overall job objectives, its essential functions and tasks, including how someone would perform them and how often.
- Competency: the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job.
- Supervisory responsibilities: any direct reports and level of supervision.
- Work environment: the atmosphere, temperature, noise level inside and outside, among other factors.
- Physical demands: whether the job will require any physical demands including sitting, lifting or driving.
- Position, type and expected work hours: part time or full time, typical work hours, shifts and days of the week.
- Travel: the percentage expected, where the travel will occur and whether it be abroad or local.
- Required or preferred education and experience: qualities needed based on job description.
- Additional eligibility qualifications: other requirements such as certifications and industry experience.
- Affirmative action plan: closes out lines of federal contracts and requirements with an equal opportunity statement.
All the above can still be included in today’s job description, but his can be an inefficient way of writing one.
Ideally, a job description should be succinct to keep applicants engaged. However, you can save time and resources by bypassing most of the above steps with our pre-populated sample job descriptions.
Writing a job description summary
The job description summary is the introduction of your job description. This is where you are able to sell your position to candidates. In this area you’ll want to include content that differentiates your opportunity and company from others. Typically, companies will use this area to describe the level of responsibility of the job, a sentence on the background of the company, and a description of the culture.
Below is a sample structure that you can use for writing your job description summary:
- 1-2 sentences about your company
- 2-3 sentence on why your company culture is great and different from other opportunities
- 1-2 sentences about the specific roles importance at your company
Frequently Asked Questions About Sample Job Descriptions
Here are some frequently asked questions about our sample job description templates:
What do our example job descriptions contain?
At a minimum, our sample job description templates contains:
- Description: This is the essential information about your company and what you are looking for in an ideal candidate.
- Duties and responsibilities: This is a list of the tasks and responsibilities to be performed by the new hire.
- Preferred qualifications: This is a list of the skills needed to successfully perform the role.
Do you have any job description template examples?
We have a growing number of examples in our job description library. These jobs include:
- Bank teller
- Customer service
- Human resources
- Security guard
Our wide range of sample job descriptions will help you to write the perfect job description if you have a business in the retail, restaurant, on-demand or any other industry.
What happens after you choose your job description template?
After you choose your job description from our list of sample job description templates and tweak it according to your business needs, you can put them to work straight away.
Use Fountain’s modern hiring software to post your openings to more than 80 free job boards. This enables you to source candidates, engage and track all of your applicants in one place. If you find that the free job boards aren’t working for you, try using Fountain’s Boost feature. It helps boost the visibility and candidate flow to your job descriptions.
What are the benefits of good job descriptions?
1. More effective recruitment
A clear job description is a communication tool that allows candidates to understand what’s expected from them in a given role.
It lists the duties and competencies needed as well as the required educational and skill levels. A clear description helps attract high-quality candidates and reduces turnover because your job description has been aligned to your candidate’s expectations of the role.
2. Better information about compensation
Most job descriptions don’t say how much candidates will be paid.
However, with proper research, you can find out how much you should compensate candidates for different roles. Therefore, HR can make an assessment of the value of a particular job to the company.
This provides them with an opportunity to see how the job fits in with the company’s compensation structure, which helps to ensure that no inequality exists in job roles.
3. Help in planning employees
When working out a business strategy, it’s very important to plan your employees and their roles. A job description assists the process in the following ways:
- Headcount. You can see your current headcount and the gaps that need to be filled. When looking at a list of job descriptions across your company, different roles in the organization become known. It further shows you what roles are needed to meet your mission and objectives.
- Succession planning. Job descriptions help you decide on the developmental areas for your current staff and also help hiring managers to decide whether a candidate fits the current role, i.e. whether they will be a good fit for promotion going forward.
- Training and development. Job descriptions may be used for performance reviews when evaluating whether a candidate is performing up to the required standard. If the candidate is falling short, then training should be arranged to get them up to speed.
- Legal compliance. When you write a clear job description, it will help you remain compliant with employment laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act. Job descriptions can help classify different roles by exempt versus non-exempt, which has an impact on issues like overtime.
- Equal Pay Act 1963. This legislation gets rid of inequalities based on gender. Your job description should be neutral and display no discriminatory language.
- Equal Employment Opportunity. Your job description should help you carryout a fair and objective hiring process without discriminating against any groups of candidates. You must follow the Americans with Disabilities Act. Your job description is an essential part of determining what is essential for the job and it also provides reasonable accommodations for disabled people.
Use Our Sample Job Description Templates
We have done most of the heavy lifting for you. Choose to include as much information as you like to suit your company. Choosing a job description template from our library makes the long-winded process of creating a job description more user-friendly. This helps to save both yours and the applicant’s time.
After you’ve tweaked your sample job description to suit your specific business needs, you can then use modern hiring software to post the job opening. Fountain ensures a seamless process from sample job description to sourcing and hiring the right candidate. It can be done in one app.
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“Overall, Fountain has fantastic features that make the hiring& on-boarding processes easier to deal with and this came with a great price point as well. For the amount of resources that Fountain provides for you, it is 100% well worth the price.” – Amanda Josalene W