The Job Description: How to Ensure You Hire the Right Person

When I read job ads in the paper or online I often see the following phrases:
• Need energetic go-getter! (Sales)
• Partner with the Best! (Accounting)
• Unlimited Opportunity! (Retail)

Or the following:
• (Company Name) is a Management Consulting firm, specializing in distribution design and implementation with the purpose of solving our client’s business problems… (IT Company.)

If you were applying for a job with any of the above companies, would you have an accurate idea of what is required?  Probably not.  So, as an employer,  in 25 words or less, how do you convey what you are looking for and how you will know you have found it?  Here are some suggestions:
• Define your terms in relation to the position.  What does “energetic go-getter” mean?  Someone who will browbeat customers until they buy?  Probably not…more likely you are looking for a salesperson who can build customer relationships and generate repeat sales.  Asking for specific skill sets and experience may prevent applications from every “Go-Getter” in town who thinks they want to go into sales.
• Distinguish between needs and wants for the position.  If your best producers all have at least 5 years experience in the position, then that is most likely a need.  A want might be a college degree.
• Finally, and most importantly, be clear about the impact you expect the employee’s work will have for the company.  Hiring someone to work without understanding what the expected outcomes are doesn’t  benefit the company or the employee.

Sharon Hamersley is Principal of Keys to Performance, Your Resource for Workplace Productivity.  For more information, visit her web site http://k2performance.net or call her at 614-395-9440.

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