Today’s post is geared toward those of you who hire people for your businesses. But I think even if you only hire freelancers or interns on occasion, you will still find some great nuggets of information within this post. We are excited to welcome Ashley Cox, owner and consultant at SproutHR, to Reset 2018! Read on…
5 Important Benefits of Quality Job Descriptions
Job description – the phrase itself just seems so “corporate-y,” right? You might feel like it’s a worn out old document or a big company practice that just doesn’t fit your small, creative business. But you’re underestimating it’s mighty power if you think this way!
I happen to love job descriptions – like L.O.V.E. them! 😍
Job descriptions can save you countless hours of precious time, loads of sanity and time spent questioning yourself, and can back you up in the future in cases of legal troubles. Job descriptions are all that and a bag of chips, my friend! #ilovethe90s
But the key here is that I love QUALITY job descriptions.
Quality Job Descriptions are Key
“Whadaya mean by ‘quality job descriptions,’ Ashley?” I mean that your job description needs to be full of the specific details of the job – and not just a bunch of fluff!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making work fun and infusing our businesses with tons of personality, which is one of the reasons I love being my own boss! But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice quality for character.
Avoid The Fluff!
Let’s take a look at a few things I’ve read in actual job descriptions that have made me cringe (and that you should avoid at all costs!):
- Must love cupcakes (or puppy snuggles, pizza, the color pink, etc.)
These things have absolutely nothing to do with the job you’re hiring for and could actually cause you to discriminate against highly qualified candidates (yikes!). Unless you’re hiring someone to work as a taste tester for a cupcake shop, leave these types of fluff statements out
- Able to help me with ALL THE THINGS
What exactly are ‘all the things?’ And how do you know when you’ve found the person who can do those things? Not only is this impossible to hire for, it’s also confusing and demeaning to applicants. Just don’t!
- Needed: Social Media Guru (or Rockstar, Ninja, Genius, etc.)
These terms are fun to use in jest, but again, they don’t really explain anything. Have you ever thought about this? One person’s guru might be another person’s average employee. #thingsthatmakeyougohmmm When you’re specific about what you’re looking for, you’ll find the right person for the job. Flattery is not the way to go about finding them, though.
- Must have a great personality – I can teach you the rest!
I agree that attitude is a big deal, but the person also needs to have at least some skills. Attitude is hard to gauge when someone’s on their best behavior (a.k.a. – in an interview with you). And do you really have time to “teach them the rest” since you’re hiring help? Probably not! Hire someone who’s better than you at the job you’re hiring for and then let them do it. 😉
5 Important Benefits of Quality Job Descriptions
Now that we’ve gone over what *not* to include in your job description, let’s talk about what a QUALITY job description can do for you!
Attract the Right Candidates
When you include specific, detailed, and relevant information in your job description, you’ll attract better candidates who know what you expect of the person you hire for this position. They’ll be able to better understand whether or not they can meet those expectations and you’ll get a better pool of qualified candidates to consider!
Ask the Right Questions
A good quality job description will help you create interview questions that guide you to hire the right person for your team. If you’ve include something like “help me with all the things,” that will be hard to articulate into an interview question “So, Sarah, tell me about how you can help me do all the things.” What?! That’s completely unhelpful! (Need more help with asking the right questions? Check out this blog post that I wrote all about How to Interview with Confidence and Heart!)
Set Clear Expectations
Once you hire your new team member, you’ll be able to use the job description to go over the position, tasks, and responsibilities with your new team member and help them learn what’s expected of them in their new role. No more guessing or trying to figure it out as you go! Plus, they can use the job description as a guide for when they have questions or aren’t sure what to do next. Total win-win.
Create Goals that Matter
Creating a quality job description also allows you to help your team members set goals that matter and that are in alignment with the overall goals of your business. This will help your team feel connected to the business, see how they’re making significant contributions to your team, and have a clear understanding of how what they do really does matter.
Hold Your Team Accountable
When things get off the rails (and they will if you work with a team of people long enough), a job description can easily help you get your team back on track. No more, “don’t you remember that conversation we had 7 months ago?” Now you can simply refer back to the job description as a reminder and do it with confidence and heart! (Still get the heebie jeebies when you think about having those hard conversations with your team? Learn why it’s important to share tough love with your team and my favorite no-fail method in this two-part series here and here!)
There you have it! The 5 Important Benefits of Quality Job Descriptions. Whether you’re getting ready to hire for the first time or you have a team in place already, it’s never too late to get a quality job description in place! I work with clients all the time who want help creating this important tool for their business, so they can be better leaders.