Whether you’re hiring your first or 100th employee, finding the right employee with the right skill set for the job starts with you: knowing exactly what you’re hiring for. Making a list of skill sets and requirements is the first step. Here are some handy tips on making a job description to attract the right employee.
Who are you?
Yes, you’re hiring someone else, but your company needs someone that has the right “fit” meaning that their values and their work ideals need to jive with yours. You need to SELL the idea of working at your company. This needs to be only a paragraph or two (nothing more) and be very concise and specific about what it is you do and your work culture. Things to consider when writing your description include, where you’re located (head office if you’re in multiple locations) whether you’re a small, medium sized company, how long you’ve been in business and what industry you’re in. Remember, you’re trying to attract the ideal employee, many of which are looking for industry specific jobs. It is always a good idea to include your vision for your company for the future. The employees role may grow as your company grows. What kind of company would you like your company to be in 5 or 10 years. Explain that so that potential candidates can see themselves working with you for more than 6 months.
What’s the job?
Now we know who you are, it’s time to describe the person you’re looking for and the position you’re hiring for. Things to include:
- Job title. This is essential, if you don’t have one, time to start thinking of one. Also include level of job (assistant or CEO) and who the person will be reporting to. If you’re not sure of an appropriate title, go back to your industry and look at other positions of equal stature.
- Key Responsibilities. Name everything that your employee will be doing, from answering the phone, talking to clients or balancing spreadsheets. This does not have to be task specific, but a general overview of all the tasks they will be required to complete. Key responsibilities should give a candidate an idea of what a day/week will look like at your organization. No more than 10 responsibilities are needed.
- Location. Where will the employee be working? Can they telecommute or is it location specific? Will there be a need for travel? If so, where to and how often?
- Remuneration: This is not necessary on job description and is usually something that you can discuss during an interview. If you are comfortable with posting the salary, try posting a salary range. Mention any/all benefits (one to two sentences)
- Skills. Skills are a set of qualifications that are absolutely necessary to do the job. Be specific with the skill set you’r looking for including, education, years of experience and technical knowledge. When writing about the skills, go back to your industry standards and what is generally required if you’re not entirely sure. There are some “soft skills” that are often teachable that aren’t always necessary for a successful candidate, but are a good idea to include to if they are essential to the role.
- Type of employment. Make sure you indicate whether this is full time, part time, temporary employment or casual employment and the time commitment you require.
- Contact information. The easiest part of the job description, where should interested candidates contact you or your HR department or send their resume? Include an email address and if necessary a phone number. This is a good place to include a deadline for applicants. You will find in most job descriptions that companies write, “only successful candidates will be contacted” and is a good rule of thumb as to streamline the process and hopefully prevent people emailing you about their resume.
A job description is a reflection of your company and the type of people you want to attract to reflect your brand. Be careful with your wording, spelling and grammar and the words you use and the general feelings your description evokes. Get creative and use your words that reflect your brand and company. Don’t worry about creating a traditional description if traditional or formal doesn’t describe your working environment. Startups are great because we get to define exactly what our culture and our future will look like!
Photo credit: zubrow / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)