· 3 min read

Job Description Calibration

What Is Job Description Calibration?

Job description calibration is a process for reviewing your job descriptions and making sure that they are effective and in line with the needs of the organization. This ensures that everyone who has hiring responsibilities will have a consistent understanding of what each position requires in terms of skills, experience, education level and salary range, so they can make good hiring decisions.

What is Job Description Calibration?

Job description calibration is an operational process of iteratively refining the content of a job posting based on structured feedback from hiring managers and initial candidate screenings. It also helps measure the effectiveness of your job descriptions by comparing them with other sources such as:

  • The organization’s strategic plan
  • Employee survey results
  • Interviews with employees

Why Calibrate Job Descriptions?

Job descriptions are a key part of the hiring process. They’re used to attract candidates, evaluate them, assess them and hire them. Job descriptions also serve as training documents for new employees and provide a baseline for ongoing performance management discussions with your team members.

The objective of spending time on job description calibration is to prevent wasting time sourcing inappropriate candidates for a role.

How Does Job Description Calibration Work?

Several strategies exist to properly calibrate a job description.

The most common involves requesting an initial job description draft be written by the hiring manager responsible for the new vacancy. From there, the sourcing team will provide a variety of resumes – or for Chatkick users, video highlights – to review and determine if the job description is properly aligned to candidates on the market.

This involves comparing your existing job description against industry standards, benchmarking against other companies in your sector and identifying gaps between what’s on offer and what employees need to succeed in their roles. This can be done using a range of tools including:

  • Competency models (e.g., Leadership Framework or People Capability Maturity Model) - these help you identify key behaviors for success in each role
  • Skills surveys - these provide information about what technical skills are needed for particular jobs
  • Competency gap analysis - this identifies which competencies need development based on gaps between where people currently are vs where they should be according to industry standards/best practice

This process is rarely book-ended, and often will continue through the entire hiring cycle to precisely align a team’s needs with the new candidate.

When Should Companies Calibrate Job Descriptions?

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to re-calibrate job descriptions whenever you make significant changes or additions to your workforce. You might also consider calibrating your job descriptions if:

  • There’s been significant turnover in your team
  • You hire a new leader who has different expectations than their predecessor
  • There are significant changes in workflow or process that affect the responsibilities of this role
  • You have job openings that aren’t being filled after several months

In these situations, take a hard look at the language used in each one and make sure it accurately represents what the job is about, so that both parties understand what they’re getting into.