Prepare & Post



Analyzing the Need

Job descriptions form the basis of Brown’s recruitment advertising and directly shape a candidate’s understanding of the position. Hiring managers should intentionally design job descriptions to attract a wide array of applicants and ensure they match the job for which you are hiring. Job descriptions contain the qualifications and criteria for the role and standardize expectations for job performance. Review the following guidelines to create inclusive job descriptions:


  1. Ensure minimum qualifications are aligned with the responsibilities. Be selective about identifying minimum required qualifications as this may influence the diversity of the applicant pool.
  2. Use inclusive, flexible language conveying that candidates with comparable transferable skills or knowledge can be considered (e.g., associate’s degree or equivalent education and experience).
  3. Separate essential from non-essential qualifications. Carefully consider whether preferred qualifications are justified (e.g., consider whether candidates need to have an advanced degree for success in the position).
  4. Carefully review language to eliminate unintentional bias.  Avoid using his/her pronouns; instead, use “the incumbent.”
  5. Avoid modifiers or criteria with gender-associated qualities (e.g., dominant, assertive).
  6. Include a departmental commitment to diversity. (e.g., experience working with a diverse population).
  7. Focus on desired ability or skill instead of a personal trait (e.g., instead of mature, cooperative person, ask for ability to work effectively as a team member).
  8. Write clearly, using common words and avoiding jargon and technical language.

When a job description is created or substantially updated, pay special attention to the position purpose and job qualifications since these will be posted on Brown’s Career Site. Submit job descriptions to your Recruitment Coordinator and Compensation Services to review the position and determine the grade. See Resources below for job descriptions guidelines and a template.

Approval Process

Once the job description and staffing plan have been reviewed and the position created in Workday, the hiring department‘s HR Coordinator creates the job requisition to be posted. The requisition requires a series of approvals from several offices. The Office of \Institutional Equity and Diversity will determine if the position is underutilized for women or minorities.*

In addition, positions at Grade 9 and above with 25% or more of the job description comprised of financial responsibilities require a designee from University Finance and Administration participate in the search and selection process. Similarly, subject matter experts are required for Grade 9 and above for information technology, communications and grant/contract financial management positions. These mandated reviewers determine candidate qualifications for the position. If required, University HR will communicate the appropriate reviewer to the hiring manager and their preferred level of participation. Participation may range from full participation in selection and interviewing to a simple resume review. All vacant staff positions will be required to be posted internally for three business days before they will be automatically posted externally.

Under certain limited circumstances, requests for a waiver of the posting process may be authorized and jointly approved by the Director of Recruiting and Staffing Operations and a designated OIED reviewer. Please review reasons when a waiver of posting is appropriate and the Hiring Employees for Staff Positions Standard Operating Procedures.  

*Underutilization exists when a job group at Brown contains a smaller proportion of women or minorities than is indicated by their availabilities externally. OIED determines whether positions are underutilized after analyzing the population of an individual job group across all departments at the University.


Job Description Guidelines

Generic job description templates

Gender Decoder