Job Posting vs. Job Description and Which One you Should Use, Part 1

What is a job posting?

The employment website Monster compares a job posting to a typical advertisement: it highlights the product’s best features but doesn’t list all of its technical elements. Although those details are relevant and important to the person who ultimately purchases the product, they can interfere with the buyer engagement. Because the ultimate objective of the job posting is to first engage the reader and then to inspire him or her to express interest in a position, the job posting’s main function is to provide a compelling overview of the job and the company culture.


What is a job description?

A job description is an internal company document used to outline a role’s responsibilities and requirements related to knowledge, skills, abilities and standards of performance. It also covers aspects of the job necessary to ensure equitable compensation and legal compliance. Typically, a job description is fact oriented, uses lots of industry-specific language and is intended only for internal use – not for candidate consumption.

In reality though, job descriptions are often inaccurate, outdated and underutilized – all compelling reasons not to use them for advertising open roles. Why do job descriptions have these problems? For starters, it’s nearly impossible for organizations to keep all descriptions updated at all times. They’re often at least a few years old and barely relate to the current reality of the roles they’re supposed to describe. In fact, it could be argued that its hardly worth the effort to keep job descriptions up to date, given the pace at which companies, leaders, strategies, and roles change.

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