There is a difference between a role’s Position Description and a Job Brief. Which do you use when recruiting?
While the position description is important in the hiring process especially at employment agreement stage, a detailed Job Brief is key to the success of your recruitment campaign – that is attracting and selecting quality candidates.
All too often a position description is filled with jargon; and fails to communicate or highlight what the job actually does on a daily basis.
The Job Brief
The Job Brief allows the recruiter to define why the job exists, the overall purpose of the job, what you want it to achieve in the next 12 – 18 months, what the job does on a day-to-day basis and what it would take for someone to be successful in the job.
In short, a Job Brief helps to: communicate not only the specific job requirements, but also what type of candidate would be best suited for the position.
The Job Brief is a recruiter’s roadmap, it is the foundation for all your recruitment activity. If done correctly, it sets the recruiter up nicely to write compelling advertisements that will captivate the right candidates, and it informs the recruiter how to ask the right qualifying questions of candidates.
Even if you are short on time, this is the one step you don’t want to skip. The Job Brief will help to:
- Reduce your time to hire by filtering out applicants that don’t match your job’s specific criteria
- Mitigate risk and cost of poor hires by asking the right questions; and matching both employer and candidate job expectations.
To help you better embrace this best practice – we’ve provided the basic steps below.
Job Brief Content
A job brief typically is typically created from the following information:
1. About the business or department
- What is the purpose of the business/depart/project?
- What is it responsible for?
2. About the Job
- What is the purpose of the job?
- Why does it exist? (e.g. is it a new job because of company growth, or a replacement because of a promotion?)
3. Day to day activities
- What does the job do on a day to day basis?
- What does a typical day look like?
- Where is the largest amount of time spent?
If you can’t answer this on a daily basis – try weekly or monthly. For example: Receptionist – 70% meet and greet customers and answer busy switchboard; 10% organise mail and couriers; 20% general office admin support.
4. Key skills & experience
- What skills and experience are required?
- What is essential?
- What is nice to have?
- Consider – What can be trained?
5. Qualifications required
- What trade/tertiary/university qualification is required?
- For example: Site engineer requires Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree.
6. Key personality and behavioural attributes
What personality and behavioural attributes will help them:
- perform well in the job
- fit in well with the team
- deal well with customers
For example: a team player, helpful, strong work ethic, friendly.
7. What’s In It for the Candidate
The selling points!
This is essential information to help market the opportunity via advertising and conversations with candidates/prospects.
Important factors to candidates when considering a job opportunity are:
- Career opportunities
- Career development
- Lifestyle balance
- Social responsibility
- Leading technology
- Market position
- Company stability
What does your company offer?
TIP: If you or the hiring manager can’t answer this – speak to a current employee in the role or a similar one. After all they represent your target audience.
The Job Brief will help you capture and share this key information with the team involved in your recruitment campaign.
It can speed up the process of writing the job advertisement. Repurpose some of the information into your job advert using the following format:
- Selling points – what’s in it for the Candidate
- About the job – purpose of the job
- Day to day activities
- Skills and experience (incl qualifications)
- Key personality and behavioural attributes
- Call to Action
The Job Brief helps you set up your candidate selection – qualifying process. Such as designing the job specific application, phone screen, interview and reference check questions, and selecting appropriate assessments.
Free! Job Brief Template
We’ve provided a free job brief template to help you get started.