Guide: Create a job description

Define the role and qualifications

Google focuses job description content on four categories: area, role, responsibilities, and job qualifications. Google's internal and external user studies found that it's best to start high-level (what’s this company all about?) and then get down to the details (what does a person in this role do every day?). For example, if Google were hiring for a software engineer position the job description would address the following:

  1. Area: ​Highlight the mission and purpose of the organization. (“Google’s mission is to...”).
  2. Role: ​Write a few sentences that directly address the candidate (“You will be at the heart of Google’s engineering process building software that empowers engineering teams to develop and deliver high-quality mobile apps and services. ...”) and share the daily functions of the position.
  3. Responsibilities: Outline the specific deliverables associated with the job in question (“Design and build advanced, automated testing frameworks.…”).
  4. Job qualifications: Include education, experience, and skills required to perform the job. Be specific. (“C++/Java a must…”).

Once the hiring team has an outline in place, the team talks to the hiring manager, teammates, and anyone else who can help explain the role, its expectations, and how it connects to the company overall. There are two other key ingredients to a job posting: the minimum and preferred qualifications. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Minimum qualifications are basic, certifiable, typically non-negotiable qualifications that a candidate must have to be considered for the role (e.g. education degrees, professional accreditations).
  • Preferred qualifications describe the preferred, non-mandatory skills and experience of an ideal candidate. These often are more qualitative than the minimum qualifications (e.g., demonstrated proficiency in persuasive communications, teaching background preferred).

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