Creating a job description

A job description gives you a clear idea of the type of person you are looking for. You can work out what skills and knowledge you need, and what the new staff member will be expected to do. A job description will also help you decide whether you need full-time, part-time or casual workers, and what the pay rate should be.

If you are replacing a staff member, start by reviewing their job description. It may need to be updated—you may have new requirements for the role, or the previous staff member may have taken on extra responsibilities that weren't originally in their job description. If possible, discuss the job with the person who's leaving, and with their immediate supervisor and your other managers. They may have feedback on what skills are needed for the job.

Writing a job description

Using a standard template for job descriptions is a good idea. A job description should include:

  • the job title
  • who the person reports to
  • what section of the business the job is in
  • a summary of what the job involves
  • the employment status, such as full-time, part-time or casual
  • the key responsibilities for the job
  • the essential and desirable selection criteria, including skills, knowledge, experience and education
  • personal attributes that are required for the job and to fit into the culture of your business.

All businesses have different staffing needs, so it's important to create your own job descriptions rather than copy them from somewhere else. Creating a clear job description will help you recruit the right person for the job, which will save you time and money.

Once you have developed a job description, seek feedback from your managers and other staff to make sure it's appropriate.

Also consider...