Job Posting vs. Job Description vs. Position Description

Job Posting vs. Job Description vs. Position Description
Job Posting vs. Job Description

Organizations use three essential documents to recruit and retain employees: a job posting, a job description, and a position description. It is often widespread practice to use the three terms interchangeably. However, these documents are distinct and have different applications in business. A job posting is a brief advertisement to entice potential candidates to apply for a position. A job description is a document that details an employee’s high-level duties, responsibilities, and minimum requirements to be successful in that job. A position description goes into greater detail about a position’s day-to-day tasks, duties, and expectations.

Job postings generally include basic company information, high-level job duties, desired qualifications, and regulatory information. Furthermore, job postings may include benefits for joining the company to attract talent.

A job description provides more detailed information, such as required (rather than desired) qualifications and skills for the role. A Job Description outlines an overall job like other jobs on the market. For example, an organization may employ a Content Producer. The Content Producers Job Description will outline the essential tasks required to complete the job and will be easily comparable to Content Producers in other organizations.

A Position Description is a detailed description of the significant responsibilities of a role and how you will assess the employee’s performance in their role against those responsibilities.

Key Elements


  Job Posting  Job Description  Position Description 
Purpose  Informs candidates of a job opening and advertises the job as appealing. To give candidates a taste of what it is like to work for the company and persuade them to join the team. A promotional tool  Describes the core essential duties and responsibilities assigned to a position and the minimum qualifications required to carry out those duties successfully. Not an advertisement  Describes the detailed duties of a position that may differ between organizations or departments within an organization. Employers use it to establish expectations and as a guide for performance evaluations. 
Tone  Generally written informally to be engaging to candidates  Informative, high-level duties of a position  Informative, more detailed, written as a guide for employees and their leaders 
Audience  Internal and External  Internal  Internal 
Length  Brief and to the point to keep the candidate’s attention  Shorter than a Position Description, longer than a Job Posting  Longer, meant to detail how an employee can succeed in the position 
Example of Questions Answered What is it like to work at the company? What kind of things will I do in this role? Are my skills a good fit for this role?  What are the main duties I will spend time on in the role? What qualifications must I have to succeed in this role? What are the minimum qualifications I need for this role? What is the scope of my role?  What specific tasks will I be doing in this role? What does success look like in this role? What are the working conditions required for task completion? Who will I interact with and report to? 

About the Author: Michelle Henderson

Michelle Henderson’s lifelong love of puzzles and problem solving has been an incredible asset in her role as Compensation Consultant for MorganHR, Inc. Michelle advises clients on market pricing, employee engagement, job analysis and evaluation, and much more.