Many job seekers consider job descriptions a valuable screening tool. Conveying job expectations and requirements in a written job description can attract qualified and interested candidates. Inappropriate language used in job descriptions reveals discriminatory or inappropriate phrases and offers a quick indicator that an individual may want to apply elsewhere. For example, an employer should avoid citing standards that may unnecessarily screen out particular groups such as individuals with disabilities. In contrast, a description written in a respectful tone with appropriate etiquette may encourage an individual to apply.
The purpose of a job description is to persuade, as well as to qualify and disqualify candidates before you spend time interviewing them. If you’re looking for someone with a degree in economics, then putting that on the job requirements list will disqualify the candidates without the necessary qualification. On the other hand, the right copy and tone can help you stand out to incredibly desirable candidates.
Whether to use job descriptions usually depends upon a number of factors, including employer preferences and resources. Employers should look at relevant rules and regulations, the size and type of organization and industry, hiring practices, and current employees.
The term ‘job description’ is a flexible one, but here I’ll be using it in a modern context, to describe all of the copy you’d use on an online job board. It usually includes information like job title, duties, salary, etc.