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Are you finding it difficult to hire great talents to come work with your small business?

You are not alone.

According to statistics, 73% of employers are finding it difficult to hire skilled workers

This goes to show that hiring can be tough for any brand no matter their size.

But when it comes to small businesses or startups, it is usually tougher.

This is usually because you do not have the brand weight to attract great talent to your startup.

However, there are tons of things you can do, from focusing on building a great brand to offering the right compensation package.

One crucial aspect which from my experience, I think most small businesses forget to pay attention to when they want to hire is the job description itself.

Job description plays an important role in ensuring that you are hiring the right people to fill the right positions.

It brings into focus the skills and training needed, works to be performed, under which condition it is to be performed, the responsibilities and the kind of manpower needed for the job.

Get it right and the right type of talent will come to your doorstep.

Miss it and while you will keep wondering why you are finding it hard to find that perfect fit for the role you have in mind.

The place of the job description in organizations cannot and should never be underplayed.

A poorly crafted or nonexistence job description poses a chance of hiring someone without the necessary skills, experiences, and personal qualities for the job.

It also becomes very difficult for an employee to know what is expected of him/her and for managers to provide an accurate and effective appraisal.

Again, the problem with a poor or nonexistent job description is that all delegated task falls under the “other duties as assigned” umbrella which gives the room for employees to come to work and say “t is not in my job description”. Meaning that they only need to do the task listed there.

To avoid the above mentioned, it is reasonable and proper to develop a job description that allows both the employees and candidates to clearly understand the expectation of the role, its essential duties, along with the required education, credentials, and experiences.

What Is the Component of a Good Job Description?

A good job description should be based on a job analysis and should be brief and factual as possible. The headings under which the job description should be written and notes for guidance on completing each section are set out below:

1. Job Title

A job title is a term that describes in a few words or less the position held by an employee. Depending on the job, a job title can describe the level of the position or the responsibilities of the person holding the position. The use of terms such as ‘manager’, ‘assistant manager’, or ‘senior’ to describe job level should be reasonably consistent between functions with regards to the grading of the jobs.

2. Reporting to

The job title of the manager or person to whom the job holder is directly responsible should be given under this heading.

3. Overall Purpose

This section should describe as concisely as possible the overall purpose of the job.  The aim should be to convey in one sentence a broad picture of the job.

Avoid describing the activities that will be carried out but rather write a summary that clearly distinguishes the role of the job holder and contribution they should make towards achieving the objectives of the company and their own function or unit.

Photo Credit – officevibe.com

4. Main Activities, Task or Duties

This is one of the hardest sections to write in a job description. The purpose of this section is to define the job tasks, duties, or responsibilities that are to be performed on the job.

It’s also the information most vital to your other talent management processes since it defines the criteria that should be used for assessment and development.

This section often ends up being an exceedingly long and detailed list of tasks that is tough to maintain, but even tougher for an employee to remember and apply in their day-to-day work.

So how do you write effective job responsibilities that are useful and manageable, while still capturing all the important details?

How do you ensure the employee clearly knows what is expected of them and what they are accountable for?

  • To create the task list for a job, you go through a typical day on the job and write down the tasks that are performed.
  • Define each activity in one sentence, starting with a verb in the active voice, to provide a positive indication of what has to be done and eliminate unnecessary wordings. Examples include: assist, complete, create, plan, prepare, implement, test, liaises with, and collaborate with.
  • State briefly the purpose of the activity in terms of outcome, output or standard to be achieved. For example: Work collaboratively with key stakeholders to determine areas of optimization deconstruct issues and develop a solution approach.

5. Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

This section covers the technical competencies required to do the job.

Knowledge Skills and abilities should be expressed in terms of ‘need to know’ the required knowledge of techniques, processes, procedures, systems and the business generally ( its products, services, and its competitors and customers) and the ‘need to be able to do ‘ the skills required in each area of activities.

Job Description Template

In order to bring this home clearly, let me show you what a good job description looks like. In this example, we will be assuming we are hiring for the role of an HR Executive

Job Title: HR Executive

Report to: HR Manager

Overall Purpose: To provide recruitment services to the line managers for jobs below the management level.

Main activities:


  • Create and publish job adverts in various portals
  • Network with potential hires through professional groups on social media and during events
  • Collaborate with line managers to set qualification criteria for future employees
  • Screen resumes and job applications
  • Conduct initial phone screens to create shortlists of qualified candidates
  • Interview candidates in-person for a wide range of roles (junior, senior, and executive)
  • Track hiring metrics including time-to-hire, time-to-fill, and source of hire
  • Design, distribute and measure the results of candidate experience surveys
  • Train and advise hiring managers on interviewing techniques and assessment methods
  • Conduct preliminary interviews independently or conduct shortlist interviews with line managers that identify  candidates who meet the specification
  • Host and participate in job fairs
  • Follow up with candidates throughout the hiring process
  • Maintain a database of potential candidates for future job openings

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Proven experience as a Recruitment Specialist, Recruiter, or similar role.
  • Familiar with food industry trends
  • Process Management, Knowledge and Application
  • Strong understanding of the country’s specific labor laws.
  • Minimum of a University Degree or HND in Human Resources Management, Organizational Psychology, Business Administration or relevant field
  • Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management is an added advantage.
  • Minimum of 5 -7 years’ experience practicing Human Resource

If you want to build a successful business, then you need to focus on getting the right human capital to work for your business.

In hiring great talent for your company, understanding the what, why, and need for the role you are recruiting for is crucial.

If you miss it at this point, it is totally possible that you will find it difficult to find the right fit. If you get it right, then you are on your way to building a workforce you can be proud of.

Written By
Anthonia Esiro is the resident HR at MyJobMag Kenya. She is passionate about the rate of unemployment in Africa and how technology can be leveraged to reduce it.

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