A head of Talent Acquisition asked me the other day: 

“Who are the key stakeholders that need to be involved when rewriting job descriptions?”

Here’s a quick-and-dirty list that might help you:

1)The Head of TA

The head of TA should typically oversee this. If you’re lucky enough to have a head of recruitment marketing or employer branding, they too make a great leader of JD rewriting.

One first move they’ll have to decide is which job descriptions to rewrite first. If you’ve got a large number, you need to be strategic about where you start (e.g. a certain department/business unit, geography, recruiter ,etc.).

2) Project Manager

The head of TA/Recruitment Marketing/Employer Branding should name a manager to drive the project. This person should be good at coordinating discussions with any outside partners (e.g. a text analysis platform like Textio or a job description rewriting solution like Ongig), copywriters as well with the internal stakeholders mentioned below.

3) Head of Diversity

You’ll want to consult the head/lead on diversity because you’ll have to decide on which language to use for things like a diversity or EEO statement.

4) Legal

You’ll want to have a quick consult with your legal team. They may have energy around the EEO language as well as any promissory language. Some attorneys want to make sure you don’t promise anything in the JD and might, for instance, request you replace “you will…” language with “you might…”.

5) Copywriter(s)

You’re going to want professional copywriters writing your job descriptions because they understand how to write persuasive copy.

They will help make the job descriptions short, punchy and highly readable. It helps if they write using the “Plain English” style used by such effective writers as Warren Buffett, Mark Twain and Scott Adams (Dilbert).

6) Department Leads, 7) Hiring Managers and 8) Peers

Finally, you’ll want the copywriter to be able to interview 3 sets of people about the jobs they’re writing job descriptions for:

  1. Department Leads — The department lead should share the goal of the broader team.
  2. Hiring Managers — The hiring manager shares the feel of the smaller team that the role is joining.
  3. Peers — The peers can share more about the day in the life of a person in the role.

The stakeholders for job description rewriting project can be broader or narrower based on the size and complexity of your company. For instance, a startup might only need a Project Manager, Copywriter and Hiring Manager.

Note: Check out our free Job Descriptions Guide — it tells you everything we know about JDs, job ads and the like! For more tips on writing job descriptions, check out How to Write a Job Description — Best Practices & Examples

I wrote this article because Ongig offers job description text analysis software as well as an army of professional copywriters to rewrite job descriptions for you.  I’ve seen clients quadruple their hiring of women and underrepresented minorities simply by rewriting their job descriptions.

by in Writing Job Descriptions