One of the common mistakes that SMEs make when hiring is to base their criteria on what they think they need without first spending time to analyse and review the role in more detail. This is mainly done for reasons of time, lack of knowledge or simply ‘I know what I want when I see it’.
As someone who has worked with over 50 small businesses that are looking to grow, doing the initial research and analysis to write a clear job description is one of the key pieces of advice we give.
The job description is what you want from the job, it should be a working document that enables you to quickly and accurately measure the outcome from hiring someone for the role. This is more than a simple skills list or a price point.
Here is a list of 10 areas you should consider when writing a job description - download a more detailed template for free HERE.
1. What are the key job details
a. Role title, this is really important as it not only describes clearly what the person will do in detail but helps them to find your job. To help you write your role title look at other jobs in the market; what will people search for online, does it describe the role in detail, it is great hiring a marketing ninja - but does that describe what you want, would someone describe themselves like that?
b. Reporting line
c. Salary guide - stretch guide for the ideal person
e. When they need to be in place
f. Who is responsible for hiring
g. Location - remote/multi-site, onsite
2. Why does the role exist?
3. What are the key drivers for this role, what does someone need to have accomplished in the first 6-12 months?
4. What are the measures for the role - What will success look like?
5. What are the key skills someone will need to deliver this? - These are likely to be qualifications, level of education, background experience, hard skills like systems or processes - Be careful to avoid discriminatory language here, asking for xx years of experience is bad.
6. What are the behavioural traits that would fit this role? - Be sensitive to the words you use, energetic, challenging, focused, ambitious may not be how you want to portray the role, try to use clear simple words.
7. How will someone fit into your company culture? - Do they hold your values, what are they?
8. What will this person need to be onboarded into the company?
9. Who are their peers, stakeholders, key people they engage with?
10. What are the opportunities for this role to grow? - Training, career development and progression.
Once you have answered the above points, then collate it into a document and ask a few colleagues to read it and rate it on the following:
You can then turn this into an effective job ad, but that’s a blog post for a different time, or you can call me 0330 133 2097 or email directly on firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.