Writing job descriptions that are accurate and up to date can help you with a range of hiring tasks. Here’re five tips for writing a compelling job description that secures you the right talent.

1. List the must-haves and offerings

What are the core responsibilities essential for the role? Be upfront and clear about them in a list. For example, if you’re describing a role for a driver, list that they need to be able to drive and must have a valid license. Keep it to the essentials – you can include non-essential job functions further down. Consider the day-to-day duties of the role and include as much detail as possible about them, that way you attract candidates who have the right skills and are keen for all the right reasons.

2. Be descriptive and inclusive

Choose words wisely to describe the job requirements and make sure you say what must be accomplished, rather than how it must be done. It’s best practice to add an equal opportunity employer statement and use inclusive language. For example, say that your company provides accommodation for employees with disabilities, or if a shipping employee will be allowed to use a trolley or mobility aid, use the word "move" but not "lift". Check your country’s employment legislation for applicable regulations and for guidance around this language – then you won’t miss out on any brilliant candidates purely because they think you don’t cater for them.

3. Be honest about the role

Let’s be honest – it’s tempting to conceal or embellish your job description, from duties to salary. Honesty though is key if you want to attract and retain the right candidates. Leaving out any duties, especially ones that could be considered unpleasant, can make the salary seem off, or, worse still, result in you employing a brilliant candidate who then wants to leave because the job doesn’t reflect their skill set. Being honest means, you’ll attract the people who are really interested in all the duties associated with the role and are happy with the salary offered.

4. Update descriptions

When did you last you post the same job description? Five years ago? Chances are some of the core responsibilities have changed since then, or your business has evolved. For example, a Marketing Manager might now supervise a team of eight rather than two employees – update the job description before you repost it, so that it reflects this. Then you’ll only attract the candidates with the appropriate experience.

5. Be legally correct

With all the best intentions, the core duties of a role can change from the original description over the length of an employee's tenure. It’s best practice to include language in your job description that gives you the right to alter job duties as the role and company progress. You may also want to state that the description may not cover all requirements of the job. This is vital in making sure you hire and, more importantly, retain the right candidate.