Five Essentials for Every Job Description
Create a crystal-clear picture
This article is from The Small Business Hiring Guide
As a recruiter, you want to hire the right person. That means you need a crystal-clear picture of the type of employee you’re looking for. Your job description has to go beyond just experience and education to include work and character traits that can impact a person’s ability to thrive in your organization.
Your online job posting will serve multiple purposes.
- It forms the foundation of your recruitment ad and can entice the right people to apply
- It serves as your first opportunity to make a good impression of your company
- It helps focus your resume screening process, helping you choose only the most qualified candidates
- It lets you develop high-impact interview questions that can help you select the employees you need
Your recruitment strategy should be based on these five features:
1. Job duties: What will the person do?
Take the time to spell out the specifics of the open job. Start with the job title -- it should be descriptive (“western regional sales rep – industrial products” is better than just “sales rep”), conform to standards for your industry, and mesh with your own company’s job hierarchy (terms like “junior,” “associate” or “senior” can differentiate levels of proficiency).
Then come up with a summary of the job’s responsibilities as well as a list of the key duties that will be performed. Think this through thoroughly. A hazy or incorrect description will make it harder for you to match a candidate and a job because you’re not sure what the job actually entails.
2. Work experience: What background is required to get the job done?
Industry familiarity... job knowledge... educational background... professional certification... these may all be crucial to helping you screen candidates you recruit. Clarify ahead of time the specific experience and background a qualified candidate should have. For example, does the job require experience in your industry, or are the skills transferable from other lines of work?
Determine whether the person’s education level will have a bearing on how he or she executes the job. Industry -- or job -- specific certification may also be vital, as may visa requirements in some industries.
Relocation may be another concern; will you be willing to pay to recruit someone from another geographic region? Finally, consider your willingness to invest time and resources in training. This can create flexibility in your experience requirements.
3. Skills: What unique skills must the person possess?
Look at the duties the person will perform and assess what skills are required to complete those tasks. A call center representative, for example, will need good phone manners and may also need to be a good listener.
A front-line manager may need to be a solid executer with a history of keeping to deadlines, whereas a group head may need proven leadership skills. Your list should include hard skills (what the person knows) and soft skills (how the person applies that knowledge).
4. Style: How will the person get the job done?
In a small business, the way a person works can be as important as what they do. They’ll need to mesh with your corporate culture and the team you currently have in place. For instance, a person who thrives off the energy of others won’t succeed in a company where everyone works solo.
5. Temperament: What kind of personality succeeds in your organization?
Take work style a step further to consider the attitudes and manners (the candidate's soft skills) that you want in a job candidate. Your goal will be to find the type of person that is most productive in the work environment you’ve created and who can complement your current workforce. Develop a list of the character traits you most value -- it can include things like sense of humor, honesty, compassion and the like. You might not list these in your recruitment ad, but they can help you choose between candidates as you conduct interviews and screen candidates.
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