Job Description? Or Job Posting?

An important part of any selection process is to ensure you have both a well-written job description as well as an effective job posting. The documents have distinct purposes but are sometimes misunderstood.

A job description should exist for every position in an organization.

  • Its purpose is to document tasks and responsibilities of the job
  • It should be considered a “living document’ and be revisited regularly to ensure any changes to job expectations are reflected
  • Job applicants should be able to review a job description so that they understand details of the job
  • Once hired, a job description guides performance and communicates expectations

A job posting has a different purpose.

  • It is used to “market” a job and attract applicants
  • Listing all the job duties in a job posting is not best practice; rather it should provide an overview of the job and be written in a way to inspire potential applicants to take action
  • For a full list of the job duties, the posting should reference (or link to) the job description   
  • It should communicate the required qualifications or certifications
  • A posting should describe the benefits of working for your school or school district and your community

To summarize:

  • A job posting answers the question “Why would I apply for this job?”
  • A job description answers the question “What would I be doing if I got this job?”

Knowing each document’s purpose will support you in designing effective selection process that maximizing the chances of attracting the best candidates to apply.

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