Recruitment: 5 key steps in writing an effective job description

Sheep Central, December 4, 2015

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THE summer months is a peak period for job transition across the sheepmeat and wool industries, so with hiring season approaching, it’s worth remembering that when recruiting for a new position, an effective job description is essential to attract the right candidates.

An employer should think of it as a snapshot of the job in question: it should contain the reality of the role, the necessary skills required and a bit about the business’s culture.

Regardless of whether it is for a stock team position on a large sheep property, or a position on the line in a processing plant, a good job description needs to properly describe the skills and responsibilities needed to perform the role; define where the role fits within the business; and be presented in a way that enables it to be used as a performance management tool in future.

Here are some simple methods to write a job description that is clear, concise and accurately defines the role:

Title and Summary

The first part of a job description that a candidate will see is always the job title, therefore it is imperative that it accurately reflects the work that the employee will perform.

The job title should be self-explanatory and will be the main keyword searched by applicants. Avoid ambiguous terms.

Once the position has been defined, a brief description should outline the purpose of the role and an overview of the main responsibilities.

This description should be short and concise and no more than a few sentences.

Duties and Responsibilities

A good job description should contain a list of the duties and responsibilities associated with the role, but also explain how the job will contribute to the overall mission of the business.

These points should also outline the approximate amount of time the employee will spend on each duty, so applicants can get a general idea of what their typical day will entail.

This list should be transparent and properly outline the key duties, however avoid going into too much detail and having a list that is drawn-out and overly lengthy.

Skills and Qualifications

It is imperative to include the mandatory and preferred skills required for a role in the job description. Those skills or qualifications that are mandatory for every applicant should be outlined clearly, such as degrees, licences or tickets.

Specific language should be used rather than terms  that is too general e.g. computer literate should instead be ‘proficient with Microsoft Office’.

Relationships and Work Culture

Every applicant will generally be asking themselves whether they will be a good fit for the business. Highlight benefits and perks of the workplace and engage applicants by showcasing what they can gain and learn from the business.

It is also important to include working relationships, to clarify the responsibilities of the position by showing who the candidate reports to and who reports to them.


It is up to an employer whether they include a particular salary or salary range for a position being advertised.

If an employer chooses to include it, it is recommended they research similar positions to gauge a figure that is competitive and fair, to better the chances of getting qualified and suited applicants.

A good job description is much more than a just a list of tasks and responsibilities.

An effective job description should give applicants an idea of the priorities involved, while also being a useful tool for measuring performance in future.

Therefore, the more accurate the description, the more useful it will become for both employers and employees in future.


Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd




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