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How to Create a Job Description Template for Competent Individual Contributors

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

A well-crafted job description is the foundation for attracting the right talent and ensuring the success of any organization. When it comes to hiring individual contributors, it is crucial for managers to create job descriptions that accurately assess candidates' demonstrable competence. A thoughtful and comprehensive job description can help managers identify candidates who possess the necessary skills, experience, and qualities to excel in their roles. In this blog article, we will explore key steps and strategies to write a better job description that allows managers to make informed decisions and build a high-performing team.

1. Define the Role Clearly:

Start by clearly defining the role of the individual contributor within your organization. Identify the specific responsibilities, goals, and objectives associated with the position. Use precise language to describe the tasks and projects the candidate will be expected to handle. Avoid generic or vague descriptions, as they can lead to confusion and attract candidates who may not be the right fit for the role.

2. Identify Core Competencies:

Identify the core competencies required for the position. These competencies should align with the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to excel in the role. Be specific about the technical skills, soft skills, and relevant experience required. Additionally, consider the cultural fit and values that are essential for success in your organization.

3. Focus on Demonstrable Competence:

Highlight the importance of demonstrable competence in the job description. Emphasize that candidates will be evaluated based on tangible evidence of their past accomplishments, skills, and experiences. Encourage applicants to provide specific examples, case studies, or work samples that showcase their abilities and achievements. By focusing on demonstrable competence, managers can avoid relying solely on self-assessment and better gauge candidates' actual capabilities.

4. Use SMART Objectives:

Incorporate SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) objectives in the job description. SMART objectives provide clarity and a clear metric to evaluate candidates' performance and success in the role. This approach enables managers to assess candidates' competence against well-defined criteria, leading to better hiring decisions.

5. Provide Context and Growth Opportunities:

Give candidates a broader understanding of how the role contributes to the organization's overall success. Explain how the position fits into the company's structure and long-term objectives. Additionally, highlight potential growth opportunities and career paths within the organization, demonstrating your commitment to employees' professional development.

6. Use Inclusive Language:

Ensure that your job description uses inclusive language that welcomes a diverse pool of candidates. Avoid gender-biased or discriminatory language that may discourage qualified individuals from applying. A diverse team brings a variety of perspectives and enhances overall team performance.

7. Seek Input from Current Team Members:

Engage current team members, especially those who work closely with individual contributors, to gather insights about the role's requirements and challenges. Their input can help you refine the job description and ensure it accurately reflects the needs of the team and organization.


Writing an effective job description that assesses demonstrable competence in individual contributors is a critical step in building a successful team. By clearly defining the role, identifying core competencies, focusing on demonstrable achievements, and using SMART objectives, managers can attract the right candidates and make well-informed hiring decisions. An inclusive and transparent job description not only attracts top talent but also sets the stage for a thriving and high-performing work environment.


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