How To Write An Effective Job Description To Drive Employee Performance


A good job description (JD) is a powerful thing. You want the best employees, and potential employees want the best jobs. 

The best way to ensure that the best employees pay attention to your job description is by making sure that your JD is informative, realistic, eye-catching, and truthful. Nailing these things will not only help you land the right candidate, but it can also go a long way towards ensuring that the candidate is satisfied and performing well after working in the job for a few months. So here’s a quick reference to equip you with the tools to write a great job description.

Understanding the Role and It’s Objectives

Before your pen hits the paper, you must grasp the full breadth of the role you’re trying to fill. Think beyond the job title. 

What is the larger purpose of this role in your organisation? How does it contribute to your broader business objectives and goals? It’s not about merely plugging a gap; it’s about finding a piece that perfectly fits into your organisational puzzle.

A well-understood role does more than attract the right talent—it helps ensure that they hit the ground running when they join, fully aware of how their work impacts the wider business. Having this clarity upfront makes for a smoother journey for everyone involved and sets a clear path for your new recruit to begin making their mark. So how do you write a position description?

Start with a Compelling Job Title

The first introduction a potential candidate has to your open role is the job title, and like a great book title, it should intrigue and accurately represent what’s to come. It isn’t about crafting a flashy, buzzword-filled title; instead, it’s about clarity, precision, and appeal.

The position description needs to communicate the core responsibilities while also catching the eye of your ideal candidates. Job titles that are too vague, jargon-heavy, or don’t reflect the actual tasks of the role can deter qualified individuals. 

On the other hand, a well-crafted, compelling title not only grabs attention but also encourages candidates to read further into your job description. Your position description is the gateway to the details of the role and sets the tone for everything that follows.

Define Key Responsibilities and Duties

One of the most critical aspects of your job description is the outline of key responsibilities and duties. This section not only tells prospective candidates what is expected of them daily, but it also provides a glimpse into their role within the broader framework of the organisation.

The trick is to be succinct yet comprehensive. Detail the tasks they’ll perform and the impact they’ll have. Importantly, emphasise measurable outcomes where possible. Linking duties to tangible results gives candidates a clear understanding of what success looks like in the role.

For instance, instead of simply stating “Manage social media channels,” a more effective description could be “Grow social media follower base by 20% quarter-on-quarter while maintaining an engagement rate of 5%.” This not only clarifies the job function, but also sets an achievable and measurable goal right off the bat. A well-defined responsibilities section leads to a transparent work relationship, where both parties know what to expect from each other.

Incorporate Performance Metrics and Goals

Creating a successful team is about more than just listing job duties—it’s about setting the stage for achievement. This is where performance metrics and goals come into play. Incorporating these into your job description offers prospective candidates a clear vision of what constitutes success in the role.

Including metrics offers two significant benefits:

  • It provides a quantifiable means to evaluate employee success. Metrics such as sales quotas or customer satisfaction ratings offer concrete data points that can be used to assess performance objectively.
  • It drives performance. Goals give employees something to strive for, fuelling motivation and engagement. For example, a customer service representative might be tasked with “achieving an average customer satisfaction rating of 95% across all interactions.”

Having these expectations outlined from the start creates a roadmap for success, giving both the employer and employee a mutual understanding of what to strive for.

Highlight Company Culture and Values

Building a cohesive, high-performing team goes beyond job responsibilities and performance goals. It’s equally important to align with personal values and company culture. Including this in your position description helps attract candidates who will thrive in your organisation’s environment, promoting a healthier, more engaged workforce.

Company culture and values paint a vivid picture of what it’s like to be part of your team. They speak volumes about your commitment to work-life balance, career growth and other aspects that make your organisation unique. For instance, stating that your company values “open communication and teamwork” gives potential candidates a glimpse of your team dynamics.

Attracting candidates who resonate with your culture and values enhances job satisfaction and productivity, reducing turnover rates and fostering a harmonious work environment. Remember, it’s not just about fitting into a role, it’s about connecting with the team.

That’s where Happy HR comes in

We’re committed to partnering with you, not only in crafting comprehensive job descriptions but also in leveraging our software to propel employee engagement and performance management. With tools for effective KPI evaluation and SMART goal setting, you’ll be well on your way to operational success.

With Happy HR, you’re not just adopting HR software-you’re embarking on a journey to a more productive, effective, and happier workplace. Start your journey by checking out our Performance Management Software or request a demo today.