How to Write Job Descriptions Effectively

How to Write Job Descriptions Effectively

Are you burdened by the task of writing job descriptions for your current or potential employees?  Not sure how to write a job description?  As small business owners or Hiring Managers this task is vital to the operations of your organization and to your relationships with your staff.  In this video I’m going to give you 6 quick tips to make this arduous task of writing job descriptions a breeze.


I’m Sheryl Wolowyk from myHRpro and today I’m going to make you a pro at writing job descriptions.


A Job description for a position in an organization is a one to two page document that summarizes three main aspects of the job.


  • First: the tasks, responsibilities, and functions of the employee;
  • Second: the knowledge, skills and experience the employee must possess to complete these tasks, responsibilities and functions;
  • Third: the salary, reporting authority and special work conditions the employee may have to endure.


Many people benefit from job descriptions.


  • Employers benefit because they know which staff member is responsible for each task in the organization.
  • The employee benefits because he knows what is expected of him.
  • Other colleagues also benefit because there is a clear definition of how their responsibilities differ from those of their team members’.
  • Applicants for a certain position also benefit from a clear job description because they know beforehand if they are qualified to fulfill the role’s demands (potentially saving the manager from interviewing multitudes of ill-qualified applicants during the hiring process).


Now here are your six tips to writing job descriptions.


  1. In Canada you can use the National Occupational Classification (or NOC) handbook found at the government of Canada website to learn how to write a job description.  The key elements of all jobs found in the Canadian market are already listed. You can use these sample job descriptions, combine them, or adjust the job descriptions to suit your particular organizational terminology, and your work is almost done!
  2. Ensure the job description title fits your organization and the role of the position.  Remember, this title usually contains key words that a job seeker will enter into a job search database when they are looking for employment, so make sure it’s accurate.
  3. Review the tasks, responsibilities and functions predefined by NOC and delete the ones that aren’t applicable and add any that are missing.
  4. Ensure all the skills, education and experience required are applicable and that none are missing.
  5. List the Salary range, Reporting Authority, Personality Traits and special work conditions (such as heavy lifting, or working in extreme temperatures) in your job descriptions.
  6. Review and revise your job descriptions several times a year to ensure nothing has been added or removed from the job.  This will also ensure your employees are receiving the correct wage and that your expectations of them are accurate.  Adjusting job descriptions accordingly will also prevent animosity or clashes in the workplace due to unclear expectations.


By following these 6 simple steps on how to write a job description you can create comprehensive job descriptions that will help you avoid miscommunications between fellow colleagues and between staff and management team.  You can also save yourself hours of wasted time interviewing ill-qualified candidates for jobs.


To learn how to interview, please see my other human resources videos.  To download a job description template, please visit our website at