You have identified the gap in your business and need to hire someone new.

Maybe one of your employees has retired or moved onto a new company.

Now begins the recruitment hunt for new talent.

The start and foundational element to any successful recruitment effort is a perfectly crafted job description (JD). A poorly written or thought out JD can hinder your business at it can attract the wrong type or qualified candidate, and waste your valuable money and time in your recruitment efforts.

So how do you write a great JD – If your organization does not have job descriptions or if your job descriptions are out of date, the first task is to conduct a job analysis.

Job analysis is a process for systematically collecting information to help you fully understand and describe the duties and responsibilities of a position as well as the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the job. The aim is to have a complete picture of the position – what is actually done and how.

The purpose of job analysis is to provide the information necessary for writing job descriptions. Job descriptions are used as the basis of most other HR management practices from selection to training to performance management. Job analysis information can also be used in the job evaluation process, which is the process for assigning value to a job for the purpose of setting compensation.

The types of information collected during job analysis will be specific to each organization. However, typical kinds of information that are gathered are:

  • Summary of duties
  • Details of most common duties
  • Supervisory responsibilities
  • Educational requirements
  • Special qualification
  • Experience
  • Equipment/tools used
  • Frequency of supervision
  • Others the incumbent must be in contact with
  • Authority for decision making
  • Responsibility for records/reports/files
  • Working conditions
  • Physical demand of the job
  • Mental demands of the job

Job analysis can also be done using a combination of the above techniques. For example: staff may be asked to complete a Job Analysis Questionnaire and then it could be discussed during an informal interview to clarify information and to provide the supervisor’s observations on the work done.

TIP: Designing Satisfying and Motivating Jobs through Job Design. Job design is the process of combining responsibilities and duties into jobs that enhance organizational effectiveness and employee satisfaction. One of the well-known theories of job design is to look at jobs from the employee’s perspective. Look at Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy, and Feedback. Keep these five characteristics in mind when designing jobs for your organization. Jobs that are interesting, motivating and satisfying usually lead to enhanced retention.

Once you have completed the analysis, its time to develop a strong JD. Fortunately, most of the work has been done through the analysis process. Employ a template that you use across your entire company and includes some of your cultural values and points of interest about your company.

If you have positions that are repeatedly hired for or are common in your organization, a good HR management toolkit includes a templated description that is available and can be used to develop and/or revise based on your need.

Standard JD Outline

Below we have included the standard job description outline.

Job title

  • The title of the position and some alternative titles for the same position (some organizations will have another title for the same set of duties)

Job purpose

  • A brief overview of why the job exists

Primary duties and responsibilities

  • Examples of the common duties performed by individuals in the position
  • The duties listed cover most of the tasks that would be performed by an individual in the position (the list of duties is not exhaustive – some of the duties may not be appropriate for every organization, additional duties may be required by an organization)


  • The minimum qualifications necessary to successfully perform the job
  • Minimum qualifications are used to ensure that qualifications are not inflated and therefore potentially discriminatory and to ensure that capable individuals are not screened out during the recruitment process
  • The qualifications described are: education, professional designation, knowledge, skills and abilities plus personal characteristics


  • The number of years of experience to be successful in the position

Working conditions

  • Common working conditions


  • Each position is linked to the appropriate occupational description in the (Canadian) National Occupational Classification as a comparison
  • The National Occupational Classification provides a standardized framework for describing occupations and can be used to make a link to labour market information