When browsing job descriptions on the Internet, one may note that sometimes little effort is put in elaborating attractive job postings. This, however, usually has severe consequences as qualified applicants do not appear to be attracted by poorly written job descriptions lacking information content and specificity. The given presentation discusses the benefits of a well-designed job description using an example of a customer service representative position.
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Elements of a Job Description
Perhaps the best thing that an organization can do for its potential candidates is to make a comprehensive and informative job description to attract qualified applicants. Job responsibilities and duties should be portrayed in detail, and all the key elements should be present. An effective job description should include the following components: job title, job summary, working environment, responsibilities and duties, qualifications and skills, compensation and benefits, and information on how to apply.
The title of a job may be considered to be the most important element of an excellent job position. A perfect job title should contain a general term, level of experience, and some specific requirements. The general term is an effective way to illustrate the general nature of a job. The level of experience will be of help in sifting unqualified applicants. Examples of customer service representative job titles may include Customer Service Representative, Senior Customer Service Representative, or Customer Service, Specialist.
The next critical component is a brief job summary that serves as an introduction to the next component of a job description. It allows an applicant to gain a broad understanding of a job without being overloaded with detailed job requirements. Internal titles and abbreviations should be better avoided as they may lead to confusion and misunderstanding. An example of a Customer Service Representative job summary may be the following.
Our company is looking for a qualified problem solver to join our team as a Customer Service Representative (CSR). We need an enthusiastic and customer-oriented service representative to offer quick and effective assistance to our customers. CSR has a strong command of customer service policies to resolve any emerging challenges that our customers might experience. The best CSRs are great multitaskers, confident in managing troubles, patient, emphatic, and communicative.
In this part of a job description, working conditions and physical demands about the essential functions of the position should be identified. In particular, immediate working environment, surrounding tools and equipment, expected interaction with coworkers and managers, potential stress factors, levels of internal competition, anticipated work schedule, and level of responsibility (Plowman, 2018). Special considerations, such as occasional travel or necessary over time, should also be included in this section.
Responsibilities and Duties
This section is the most important part of a job description as it outlines the functions that a potential candidate will be expected to perform daily. It also gives an understanding of how the job functions within a company. When developing this section, a job analyst should not include a wall of text. Instead, it is better to represent information in an easy-to-read bulleted list. Below is a suggested list of responsibilities of a CSR.
- Manage a large number of incoming calls
- Identify customers’ needs and efficiently respond to the inquiries
- Resolve product or service problems
- Generate sales leads that develop into new customers
- Build relationships of trust through open communication
- Maintain financial accounts by processing customer adjustments
- Recommend potential products or services to management by collecting customer information and analyzing customer needs
Qualifications and Skills
The qualifications and skills section shows what an employer needs from a potential employee. This part also enables candidates to determine if they have the necessary experience and education to apply for the position. Examples of qualifications include years of experience in a similar position, educational background, knowledge of certain programs and software. CSR skills and qualifications may include customer service, quality focus, problem-solving, market knowledge, multitask, positive attitude, negotiation, analysis, organizational skills, ability to work under pressure, adaptability, listening and phone skills, and conflict resolving skills.
Compensation and Benefits
The compensation and benefits section enables an employer to set an organization apart from other companies by offering unique benefits and perks for potential employees. It is not a must to list a concrete salary, but the method, frequency, and amount of compensation should be included (Kehayas, 2018). For example, there can be a hardly overestimated value in flexible working hours, extended vacation time, or 100% health insurance coverage.
How to Apply
In this section, it is recommended to be straightforward, laconic, and clear. It is better to avoid long questionnaires that may sift potentially qualified candidates who may not have much time to complete a time-consuming process of application. In this section, a potential employee should be asked to provide a resume and cover letter. Asking something else to gauge a candidate’s interest and test some of his or her soft skills is also acceptable.
Education, Experience, and Knowledge of the Industry
Taking into account the general duties of CSR, this position requires little formal education. With a high school diploma, it is possible to begin a career as a CSR. However, for certain fields, the level of education may be higher. For example, to apply for a position of technical CSR, a person should have a degree in IT or another related technical field. Some organizations may prefer candidates with a business-related degree as knowledge of economic concepts, business practices, and procedures is required for successful performance. It should also be mentioned that CSRs may undergo on-the-job-training or further education.
Even though in the majority of cases previous job experience is not mandatory, employers usually require knowledge of customer service principles and practices, knowledge of social media platforms and administrative procedures, and product knowledge. Understanding the industry may be an added advantage for a candidate, but it is not mandatory as many companies provide on-the-job-training so that new employees could learn about an industry.
Importance of a Job Description
If comprehensively and thoroughly developed, a job description has all chances to attract qualified candidates and sift those with low qualifications. When an applicant is provided with a detailed list of functions, education, experience, and knowledge requirements, he or she only applies when there is a significant interest in a job. Therefore, if a candidate is selected for an interview, he or she is aware of expectations, responsibilities, and working conditions. This is important in attracting qualified candidates and promoting a realistic and honest expectation for communication.
To sum up, a job description serves as the initial touchpoint between an organization and a new employee. A position description should accurately and comprehensively represent the job summary, working environment, responsibilities and duties, qualifications and skills, and compensation and benefits. An excellent and detailed job description can help an employer attract the most qualified candidates to an open position. Apart from that, a position description may be used as a basis for interviewing applicants and orienting a new employee.
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Kehayas, C. (2018). The six elements of a successful job description (and how to write it). Web.
Plowman, N. (2018). Elements of a job description: What should be included? Web.