An accurate job description and an attractive job posting are the bedrock of attracting the right talent. However, only a few HR professionals and hiring managers understand the difference between a job posting and a job description.
But aren’t job descriptions the same as job posts, you may ask?
Well, they are not. On the other hand, these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Also, there are crucial differences between the two.
So in other words, Job Descriptions are NOT the same as Job postings.
At a high level, a job description is a document that details the daily responsibilities. Also, with these performance expectations and qualifications required for a particular role. On the other hand, a job posting is an advertisement that promotes a job opening and aims to attract qualified candidates to apply.
Hence, there are significant differences between the two, right from their content to their purpose and usage. Therefore, in this article, we’ll explore those differences in more depth.
- 1 What’s a Job Posting?
- 2 What’s a Job Description?
- 3 Job Posting versus Job Description:
- 4 There are 5 key points of difference between a Job Description and a Job Post.
- 5 Let’s understand them with a side-by-side comparison
- 6 The Takeaway:
What’s a Job Posting?
As we all know, a job post is a public advertisement for a job opening, typically posted on job boards. Nowadays, it is on company websites or social media platforms. As the name suggests, a job post, also known as a job advertisement, is meant to attract potential employees.
The focus of the job post is the applicant and why they should apply. Hence, it is intended to attract potential talent and provide them with contextual information about the position.
What’s a Job Description?
A job description is a detailed document that provides a comprehensive overview of the position and its responsibilities. While it may surprise some, it is typically a document meant to be used internally within a company.
The focus of a job description is to provide clarity to internal stakeholders about the job role. So, a Job description could be prepared for various purposes. For instance, purposes like recruitment, job role expectations, and determining compensation.
Job Posting versus Job Description:
To understand the critical difference between a Job Post and a Job Description, let’s understand the hiring process from a company standpoint.
First Step: The hiring process is initiated by the Job requisition document.
Second Step: Once the request is approved, the hiring manager drafts the Job Description.
Third Step: In order to kick-start the sourcing activity, a Job post is created.
Fourth Step: The organization conducts a technical skill screening of applicants based on skills and competencies listed in the Job Description.
There are 5 key points of difference between a Job Description and a Job Post.
1. Authorship of Job Post vs. Job Description
A Job Post is authored by the Talent Acquisition team. So, it is written with a marketing flair. For instance a sales pitch to the prospective employee. On the other hand, a JD is typically written by the hiring manager. However, the tone should be formal and concise, devoid of any marketing flair.
2. Use-case of Job Post versus Job Description
Job Posting is a talent acquisition activity purely meant as an advertisement for hiring employees or interns. On the other hand, that’s not the case with Job Descriptions. It can be used to match the hard and soft skills of the applicant with those required to succeed on the job. Meanwhile, once the employee is onboarded, the JD is used to set the KPIs of the employee.
Therefore, a JD has broader usage – from recruitment to performance evaluation.
3. Publishing format of a Job Description vs. Job Post
A job post can be published. For example, on the company website, newspapers, or circulated on Social Media. Meanwhile, it can also be published as a PDF, an advertisement, or a link. On the other hand, a JD is a simple doc that can be created in Excel or even a PDF.
4. Timeline in the Hiring Process
The Job description comes earlier in the hiring process. At first, the HR team approves the job requisition. After that, the hiring manager creates the corresponding Job description.
On the other hand, a job post builds on the job description. Also, it adds employee testimonials, company culture, and details about the hiring process.
5. Content Structure of the JD versus Job Posting
Broadly speaking, the job post focuses on attracting the applicant. However, most limit aims to answer the question, “Why should you (the applicant) apply for this role? ”
To do this, the Job post usually includes sections about the company. Also, it includes sections like work culture, job title, and requirements for the role. Hence, in the end, a CTA (call to action) is included to bring applicants into the hiring funnel.
Lately, companies are mandated to comply with few norms by govt. Norms such as sharing salary ranges or diversity statements etc. So, the Job posts also contain a short paragraph on Equal opportunity employment. Also, it contains D&I policy, or vaccine status requirements.
On the other hand, a Job Description focuses on explaining the job role to all internal stakeholders. However, in order to achieve this, the JD is structured to include the job title, department, work, and key competencies.
Let’s understand them with a side-by-side comparison
|Point of Difference||Job Posting||Job Description|
|Authored by:||Talent Acquisition Team||Hiring Manager|
|What:||A job posting is an advertisement for a job opening.||It is a document that defines the job role. Also, it explains the duties and tasks for a job position.|
|Timeline in the Hiring Process:||Created after the Job Description.||Created after the HR authorizes a Job Requisition.|
|Purpose:||Attract the right applicant||Explain the Job Role|
|Answers the question:||Why should the candidate apply for this role?||What will the employee in this role do on a day-to-day basis?”|
|Document Type:||External Document||Internal Document|
|Writing Style:||Branded with Marketing Flair||Business and Concise|
|Usage:||Only for hiring purposes||For hiring, training, and performance evaluation|
|Format:||Company Web Page, Social Media Post, Online/Offline Job Advertisement||PDF, Word, or online docs like Google Docs, Coda|
|Typical Sections it contains:||Company Overview, Company Culture|
Job Title, Role Overview
Responsibilities & Skills
Perks, Experience & Salary Range
Posted by, Last date to apply
Option to Share the Opening
|Roles & Responsibilities|
Hard Skills and Soft Skills
Ideal Qualification, Experience
In conclusion, we hope this article clears the air. So next time you are hiring, make sure to use the right terminology.
In summary, a job post is an advertisement to attract potential candidates. On the other hand, a job description is a detailed document used to define and manage a position within a company.
In short, both are distinct terms that serve different purposes in the hiring process.