Creating Job Descriptions That Don't Lie

Although creating an accountant job description is an important part of your role as a hiring manager, the task is often not given the attention it deserves.

Creating an accurate portrayal of the responsibilities potential and current employees will undertake is essential for having your staff perform efficiently. With a clear job description, your team can fully understand what is expected of them. These descriptions are also beneficial for conducting performance reviews and salary negotiations, as they provide a checklist of the duties your employees should be able to complete and possibly a timeline for when certain skills need to be mastered.

Well-crafted job descriptions are critical not only in managing existing staff but also when hiring. If you have an clear, easy-to-understand job description you can use to base the job posting on, you’ll be much more likely to attract skilled candidates for the position.

Given their importance to staff management, development and recruiting, you need to ensure your descriptions are painting the right picture. Here are some tips for creating an effective job description:

Don't Forget the Essential Information

There are basic details that most hiring managers list when posting a job description:

  • Job title
  • Job summary
  • Key responsibilities
  • Department
  • Supervisor
  • Skills and qualifications
  • Salary range and benefits
  • Job location
  • Type of employment: full-time, part-time or unpaid
  • Company overview
  • Recruiter contact information

Depending on the specific role, there may be additions to this list. If you're creating a controller job description, for example, you’ll want to include information about managing finance staff or details specific to the position.

Write For a Broad Audience 

Write in a way that can be easily understood. The wording can't be ambiguous or otherwise leave anything up to interpretation. As such, avoid unnecessary adverbs such as "occasionally" and "familiar with," as one candidate's understanding of the terms can be different from another's.

In general, be specific and direct. Remove unnecessary articles, eliminate adverbs and avoid fluff. Use bullet points when possible, and begin each sentence of the "responsibilities" section with a present-tense action verb. If necessary, include an explanatory phrase. Here are some examples:

  • Host weekly meetings to update audit team on regulatory compliance news.
  • Report bi-weekly to the senior manager to update him/her on the progress of current projects.

Keep in mind that getting to the point quickly does not mean omitting important details. If your job descriptions are clear, complete and concise, your current and future employees can operate at peak efficiency, avoid unwanted surprises, and enjoy work days that minimize frustration and misunderstandings. You'll also better your odds of receiving applications from job candidates with the requisite skills and experience. 

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