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Why a job requisition matters and how to write one

September 9, 2022 - 8 min read
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    The Great Resignation seems to have turned into the Great Paradox. Unemployment is low, salaries are rising, and turnover is still high — but the economic climate is still uncertain. Companies are scrambling to retain employees and recruit talent, but implementing hiring freezes and rescinding offers. Hiring managers and organizations are in uncharted territory right now, and trying to figure out how to do more with less. 

    In the office, this means that teams and hiring managers are feeling the pressure of trying to keep their talent engaged and balance workloads. Roles that might typically be filled by new hires are frozen or eliminated, and backfills aren’t guaranteed. Even when headcount is approved, there’s increased scrutiny on hiring for new roles. Job seekers might see this reflected in an especially high bar (or an especially drawn-out hiring process).

    As a hiring manager, you’ll have to make the case for any new hire you bring on the team — but that’s especially important when your organization is facing a high degree of uncertainty. Part of making that case is clearly defining the value your new hire will bring to the organization. The best way to do this — and kick off a successful onboarding process — is with a thoughtful, well-written job requisition form.

    Job requisitions are important tools used to recruit, hire, and onboard new employees. Unfortunately, they aren’t always well-executed or easy to understand, which can cause confusion and mistakes in the hiring process. This ultimately costs companies time and money. To help both job requisition writers and HR professionals better navigate the job requisition creation process, here’s what you need to know about job requisitions — and how to write them from start to finish.

    What is a job requisition?

    The job requisition form is used by the HR department when they need information from hiring managers about what positions are available and who needs them filled. It’s a way of communicating the needs of a team or a department to human resources.

    Essentially, a job requisition request is a way for a hiring manager to make the case as to what role they want to fill, why they want to fill it, and the budget they’ll need to do so.


    The difference between a job requisition, job description, and job posting

    A job requisition is not the same as a job description or a job posting. Depending on your company, you may need all three — but generally, at different parts of the hiring process.

    A job requisition is technically the first step in the hiring process, but in reality, it often happens concurrently with the job description. That’s because it’s hard to get approval for a new position (and the budget that goes with it) if the role is ill-defined. Job requisitions are often completed by the hiring manager and submitted to human resources. Once approved by HR, recruiters often use this information to finalize the job description (if it hasn’t already been done). 

    A job description lists what a new hire is expected to do on the job. It goes into detail about skills and qualifications necessary for the position. Job descriptions are used both internally and externally. They comprise a key part of public job postings. But they also help define the role and responsibilities of the person in the role, and may even guide later conversations about performance.

    Job postings are publicly visible announcement that your company uses to advertise the open role. Also called a job listing, these are usually on job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn. A copy of the open job is usually also available on the company website. Designed to be read by job seekers, postings contain the job title, description, and information about the company.

    What information should a job requisition include?

    As mentioned above, the job requisition form includes the job description — but that’s not all you need to fill one out. Requisition requests also typically include the following:

    • Position title
    • Contract type (full-time, part-time, or contract)
    • Ideal start date
    • Hiring manager and department
    • Brief job description
    • Reason for hiring a new employee
    • Proposed budget and salary range

    Of all of this, perhaps the most important part is the reasoning behind hiring the new candidate. When you sit down to start the job requisition process, you should spend the most time on the business case for your new hire. 


    How to write a job requisition

    Your organization likely already has a process in place to request that a new job be opened. If that’s the case, take a look at the approval process for new employees. There’s likely a job requisition template that you should use and submit to the HR team. 

    If you work with a smaller organization or startup, requisition requests are likely handled on an ad hoc basis. Whether you have a form to fill out or you’re creating a request from scratch, there are X steps you should take to write a clear job requisition:

    1. Communicate the value of the role

    It might seem obvious that your team is drowning in work and needs an extra hand. But does the finance department, accounting, or human resources feel the same way? In order to create buy-in for the new role, be sure to make a business case and provide specific metrics. How will this job position create more revenue, save the company money, or help further your organization’s goals?

    2. Don’t skip the job description

    Beyond the justification for the new role, your biggest area of focus should be the job description. Many people start with a title (e.g., “We need another accountant here!”) and react accordingly.

    You can reverse engineer your job description by starting with your outcomes. Determine what skill gaps you need to fill on your team or in your organization. Then write the role to cover those needs. From there, you can work with recruiting or talent acquisition to determine which requirements you need in the ideal candidate, and a salary range to match.

    3. Think broadly 

    Sometimes, you’ll need buy-in from other executives and departments to hire for a new role. Your chances of success are much higher if you include them in the recruitment process from the start. Ask other stakeholders how this job opening could impact their workflows. If the role truly is cross-functional, involve them in candidate selection and the interview process.

    Putting together a job requisition request is about far more than pulling a title out of the air. It’s about creating a case for the position title and description that will convince your organization to invest in that role. Although it’s an internal document, the work you put into the job requisition will affect that new hire’s responsibilities, day-to-day experience, and — ultimately — whether they find a place at your organization or not.

    Human resources professionals, hiring managers, and growing teams benefit from one-on-one coaching. Meeting with a coach can help you learn to prioritize better on a day-to-day basis. You’ll be better equipped to identify what your team needs, and communicate that value to others. 

    Ready to make a difference in your workplace? Book a demo with BetterUp today.

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    Published September 9, 2022

    Allaya Cooks-Campbell

    BetterUp Staff Writer

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