When you create a description for a new job, you want to bring in the best possible candidates for the position--the ones who have the experience and skills necessary to step into the job. Not only that, you want to give candidates a good, solid look at what will be expected of them in order to complete their job tasks every day.
Creating a job description will do more than just allow you to get more of the right candidates. It will also set your new employees up for success when they're ready to get started.
Explain Performance Expectations
According to Lou Adler's recent articles, your goal, when creating a job description, should be to explain the performance expectations.
Job postings today aren't about listing countless skills that candidates are expected to bring to the table, from "great organizational skills" to "good time-management capability." Instead, it's about giving candidates a real look at what the job entails. "Director of marketing" could mean anything, especially when it's accompanied by a description that lists little more than a handful of qualifications and the skills you'd like out of your ideal candidate.
A performance-based description, on the other hand, will give candidates a solid look at what that position means for your company. This has several key benefits:
- Potential employees will be less caught up in checking the box for specific skills and more concerned with whether or not they have what it takes to handle the job.
- There won't be any surprises during the interviews as candidates realize that, in spite of having the skills required by the position, they're under-qualified for your open job.
- You'll be able to hire for results, not skills--and as a result, your candidates will excel in their new positions.
Job Performance Objectives
Job performance objectives are simple: they explain what an individual in a specific position will be expected to do. The less ambiguous your description, the better the odds that your candidate will be able to move smoothly through the application process.
Consider phrases like the ones below in your job descriptions:
- Oversee approximately 40 individuals in the department
- Create marketing plans for key products
- Launch a new product line
- Design new webpages
- Implement a new training protocol throughout the department
Setting goals for future new hires is important and note that these job performance objectives are quite clear. They describe exactly what will be expected of an individual who takes a given job, without being ambiguous. Consider both the job responsibilities of the last individual to hold the position and any additional responsibilities that will be undertaken by the new employee, then make sure the objectives are clearly stated within the description.
Advertising a Position That's Difficult to Fill
Some positions are more challenging to fill than others. Even if you have candidates, their qualifications simply aren't up to your level.
If you're advertising a hard-to-fill position, try these tips:
- Use a performance based job description that will explain exactly what you need from candidates.
- Advertise through word of mouth as you never know when someone will know exactly the right person to fill your position!
- Use a recruiting company to help connect you with the most highly qualified candidates. As a bonus, many companies will also take care of some of the screening for you, decreasing your pool of potential candidates.
- Think about what you're offering. The more difficult a position is to fill, the more incentive may be necessary in order to bring the right candidate into your office.
- Think about the level of training you could provide in order to bring a candidate who lacks some necessary skills up to your requirements. Can you work with a candidate who has the right personality and skills if they lack some of the knowledge and experience needed for the position? If so, you may be able to widen your candidate pool.
Shifting to a performance based approach for your job postings may take time. However, it is well worth the effort. As you change your perspective, you'll discover that the hiring process, the training process, and your employees' first days on the job will become easier to manage.
If you need more help sorting through your candidates, contact us to learn how we can help connect you with highly-qualified candidates in a variety of fields.