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Can Effective Job Descriptions Answer your Workforce Shortage?

There’s a lot of competition for construction talent right now. Writing an exceptional job description is an essential step toward attracting the right individuals to join your company.

As the demand for highly skilled craftsmen increases, it will be even more important for companies to convey their wants, needs and culture via their websites and other digital means — job descriptions are no exception.

Here are some tips I have found for writing job descriptions that effectively communicate your company’s available positions and the requirements for applicants. But let’s not stop there. The job description is a tool to clearly communicate the goals and expectations once the applicant is hired and fulfilling the position.

Essential Details

General guidelines on what to include in job descriptions have change over the years, making it simpler to write them and for potential applicants/employees to read them. Here are some essential points to include in your company’s job descriptions:

Job Title & Summary

Develop a job title for the position you’re looking to fill, the title and level (Project Manager, Superintendent, Lead, etc.) should accurately reflect the work that the employee will perform. Be sure to choose a job title that reflects your organization’s culture. Once you’ve defined the position, write a brief description of the purpose of the position and an overview of the position’s main responsibilities. This summary should be short and to the point — one to three sentences should be enough.

Key Responsibilities

List all of the essential functions of the position at hand. Generally, this includes between five and 10 responsibilities. Begin each responsibility with an action verb — “review plans and layout work assignments based on production goals” or “motivate crew members while maintaining a positive moral” are good examples. Be transparent about how frequently a task will be performed or what percentage of the employee’s time will be spent with each task. This helps applicants form an idea of what a typical day may look like.

Department & Supervisor

Include details on who the person would report to and where that person falls within the company’s structure.

Skills & Qualifications

List all qualifications that are mandatory, along with those that are preferred. Such qualifications should include skills, years of experience, certifications, licenses, education level and necessary technical requirements.

Company Overview

While it is ideal that a candidate would already know essential details about the hiring company, it is helpful for potential applicants to have a description of the company at hand. Include information about the company’s mission, goals, and locations. Other useful details could include the number of employees, annual sales and so on. If travel is necessary, note what percentage of time the employee will spend traveling and where he or she will be traveling.

Type of Employment

Be very clear about whether the position is full-time or part-time. If the position is an internship, note whether it will be paid or unpaid, be sure that the internship follows the federal guidelines if it is unpaid.

Salary Range & Benefits

Include the position’s salary range and benefits (such as 401(k), vacation days, or medical and dental insurance), include those details within the job description.

Contact Information

While it may seem obvious, there are plenty of job listings on the web without contact information. Include contact information so that potential applicants can apply and ask questions.

Formatting Tips

Not all job descriptions are created equal. The perfect job description is neither too descriptive nor too vague, uses clear language and represents the character of the company. Here are a few formatting tips for improving your company’s job descriptions:

  • Bullet Point When Possible
    • Make your job description easier to read by using bullet points within the responsibilities and qualifications sections and anywhere else that makes sense.
  • Be Specific
    • Be as specific and transparent as possible in your job description. Vague descriptions make it difficult for potential applicants to imagine themselves in a role and to decide whether they are qualified for or would enjoy the job.
  • Use Direct Language
    • It’s important to give potential applicants a clear idea of the responsibilities and qualifications necessary for the job. Steer away from fuzzy descriptors, such as “sometimes” or “often” when describing duties. Choose organizing job responsibilities by hours or percentage of time spent on each.
  • Embody the Company’s Personality
    • When putting the job description together, choose a writing style and words that match your company’s character. If your business has a very distinct company culture, be sure to communicate those feelings with the way you format your description, the words you use. In the end, the goal is to attract people who are right for the position and the company.

The position description when written effectively will attract and on board great candidates, but don’t put the job description away!

This is a “living” document that evolves and changes with the times and needs of the company. You should review each employee’s goals and expectations no less than annually.

Remember the job description and the employee manual set the direction and expectations for each and every employee and must be in place before any other corporate initiative is considered or planned.

click here to download a sample Job Superintendent Job Description…

If your company doesn’t allow direct downloads please request in an email to

Your comments are welcome…..

Lee Clark
Lee Clark

As the CEO and co-founder of PayCrew, Lee Clark is passionate about the people in the field, because he understands the importance of trust between a company and its people. As a construction business owner, he saw first-hand how attracting and retaining skilled people form the foundation of a company’s success.

Lee has a passion for measuring daily performance in the construction industry and is also a regular contributor at Concrete Construction.

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