What hiring teams need to know about internal and external job descriptions

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While hiring teams often rely on internal job descriptions for their job ads, they shouldn't, according to the recruiting analytics experts at Datapeople.

A job description and a job posting aren’t the same thing, according to the recruiting analytics experts at Datapeople. And hiring teams shouldn’t use the same document for internal and external purposes.

“In the U.S., we tend to use the terms job description and job posting interchangeably,” says Datapeople spokesperson Charlie Smith. “Recruiters in the United Kingdom, for example, distinguish between the terms. It’s fine, either way. Just as long as hiring teams distinguish between the two documents.”

Technically speaking, according to Datapeople, a job description is an internal document used by human resources teams, hiring managers, and employees as an overview of a role. A job posting or job ad is, by contrast, an external document used by hiring teams in recruiting efforts.

Many companies use a job description as an internal reference and compliance document. It’s a complete description of a position, including its roles and responsibilities, its place on the org chart, and potential skillsets required for the position.

A job description can clarify expectations for both the organization and the person in the position. It helps in setting salaries, conducting performance reviews, defining advancement possibilities, complying with internal and external rules, and writing a job post to advertise a role.

A job post or job ad, on the other hand, is an external marketing document that introduces an organization and describes an open role. It uses a shorter, more digestible form that’s better at selling the role to potential candidates than the full-length version.

A job post includes the basic responsibilities as well as the minimum requirements needed for the position. It also provides an overview of compensation, benefits, and perks packages. And it conveys a company’s approach to culture, work-life balance, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

According to Datapeople, it doesn’t matter whether hiring teams use the two terms interchangeably, as long as they don’t use the two documents interchangeably. Because, in the end, a good job description (i.e., an exhaustive internal document) doesn’t make a good job post (i.e., a succinct marketing document).

Release ID: 89062068