How To

How to Ask the Right Questions when Creating a Job Description

How to Ask the Right Questions when Creating a Job Description
HireHive Team

HireHive Team


Asking the right questions of the manager who requests a new employee is vital to creating a functional job description. Just like in an interview, having a series of questions is helpful so you can cover all the bases. 

Poorly written job descriptions can attract unqualified candidates and open your organisation up to employment law compliance issues, so it's critical to be thorough and understand what it takes to create a valuable and compliant job description. A job description is also the first impression on applicants, so if they don't connect, you don't see the talent you need.  

Creating an effective job description requires a thorough understanding of the role and the expectations of the hiring manager or the person requesting the role. Asking the right questions is crucial to gather all the necessary information. Here's a list of questions you can ask to create a comprehensive job description.

1. Job Title

  • What is the specific title of the position?
  • Are there any variations or specific qualifications you'd like included in the title?

Selecting the right job title is crucial when crafting a job description, as it is the first point of communication between the employer and potential candidates. A well-chosen job title enhances the employer's brand. It ensures that the right talent is drawn to the opportunity, increasing the likelihood of finding a candidate whose qualifications and expectations align with the role.

2. Job Purpose

  • What is the primary purpose of this role?
  • How does this role contribute to the overall goals of the team/organization?

Communicating the purpose of the role in a job description is essential to provide prospective candidates with a clear understanding of how their contributions align with the organisation's broader goals, fostering a sense of purpose and motivation. Clearly outlining the role's purpose also helps attract candidates who resonate with the company's mission and values, ensuring a better fit and increased job satisfaction.

3. Responsibilities

  • What are the key responsibilities and duties associated with this role?
  • Can you prioritise these responsibilities in terms of importance?

Focus on outlining key responsibilities integral to the role's success, avoiding unnecessary details. Use concise language, bullet points, or brief paragraphs to highlight the core tasks, ensuring that the candidate can quickly grasp the primary expectations without feeling overwhelmed by excessive information. 

4. Qualifications

  • What skills, qualifications, and experience are essential for this role?
  • Are there any preferred qualifications or certifications?

Delineate between "must-haves" and "preferred" qualifications, providing a transparent framework for applicants. Use concise language and bullet points to articulate the educational background, skills, and experience necessary for success in the role, facilitating a quick and accurate assessment by potential candidates. 

5. Experience

  • How much relevant experience is required for this role?
  • Are you open to considering candidates with equivalent experience or those from a different industry?

Clearly state any flexibility in the experience criteria to encourage a diverse pool of applicants. By striking a balance between setting clear expectations and expressing openness to alternative qualifications, you create a more inclusive job description that attracts a broader range of talented individuals, fostering diversity and innovation within the candidate pool.

6. Team and Reporting Structure

  • What is the reporting structure for this role?
  • How does this position interact with other teams or departments?

Understanding the team dynamics allows candidates to assess how their skills and communication style align with the group, fostering a sense of cultural fit. Outlining the reporting structure clarifies the hierarchy and helps candidates visualise their role within the organisation, promoting transparency and aiding in the decision-making process for potential applicants. 

7. Goals and Objectives

  • What are the short-term and long-term goals for this role?
  • How will success be measured in this position?

Clearly defining how success will be measured in a job description is essential as it provides candidates with a tangible understanding of expectations and performance standards. This transparency helps potential hires assess their fit for the role and sets a foundation for a motivated and accountable workforce, aligning individual goals with organizational objectives.

8. Work Environment

  • What is the work environment like for this role?
  • Are there specific expectations regarding remote work, travel, or working hours?

Describing the work environment in a job description is critical as it offers prospective candidates valuable insights into the company culture and the atmosphere in which they will be working. This information helps individuals assess their compatibility with the organisation, promoting a better cultural fit and increasing the likelihood of job satisfaction. 

9. Company Culture

  • Can you describe the company culture and how this role fits into it?
  • What attributes are you seeking in a candidate that align with the company culture?

Sharing the company culture in a job description is crucial because it gives potential candidates a glimpse into the organisation's values, beliefs, and overall work atmosphere. Provide the opportunity for individuals to assess whether the company's culture aligns with their preferences and professional ethos, aiding in attracting candidates who share the same values. 

10. Challenges and Opportunities

  • What are the key challenges a person in this role might face?
  • Are there opportunities for professional development and growth?

Communicating the challenges helps set expectations, allowing candidates to assess if they are well-equipped to handle the demands of the position. Highlighting opportunities attracts individuals who are motivated by growth and development. 

11. Application Process

  • What is the application process and timeline for filling this role?
  • Are there specific documents or information you'd like candidates to submit?

Communicating the application process in the job description is crucial for fostering a positive candidate experience and streamlining the recruitment process. Clearly outlining the steps, required documents, and specific instructions provides transparency, reducing confusion and facilitating a smoother application process. 

12. Compensation and Benefits

  • What is the salary range for this position?
  • Are there any additional benefits or perks associated with the role?

Providing clear information about compensation and benefits from the outset fosters transparency, aligns expectations, and helps candidates make informed decisions about their applications. This transparency ensures compliance with regulations and contributes to a positive employer brand, as it demonstrates a commitment to fairness and openness in the hiring process, ultimately attracting and retaining qualified candidates.

Ask Follow-Up Questions

Tailor these questions based on the specific context of the organization and the role in question. Asking follow-up questions as needed will also help ensure you comprehensively understand the job requirements.

All-In-One Place for Job Descriptions

Using technology to create and store job description information helps you maintain an easy-to-use repository so you never have to start from scratch. You can access previous job descriptions and update information as you go. 

You don't have to go it alone. Investing in the right software gives you the structure and framework to manage talent and what you have to offer. Using a system to help you track and hire top talent is the first step in the process. 

With more competition for top talent, companies must consider all their advantages and the use of tools to assist in the quest to find talent. HireHive helps busy people hire great people. You can post jobs, streamline your online application process, improve the candidate experience, and tap into vast global networks by having your entire recruitment process in one place. Set up your free demo today!

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