As an operations expert I’m hired to help businesses grow their teams. I do this by asking the right questions that help define the role they are hiring for. This is an important marketing piece of your business that requires strategy.
To scale your business with the right people, you’ll need to spend some time articulating and defining exactly what you need. If you do this right, you’ll find a higher quality match, a more symbiotic relationship, and experience less turnover. Today, I’ll help you define exactly what you need for your next hire by answering these 10 questions that will help you write a better job description.
10 Questions to Ask Before Writing a Job Description
1. What is Your Budget?
What type of profit margin do you have in your business, and what can you afford to reinvest into talent? Make sure you are practical about what you can afford, because you still need to turn a profit.
Start with your budget so you can dictate title and pay rate. If you don’t put a price tag on the position, you run into emotional hiring and attaching value to higher priced talent that you may not be able to afford.
“You are stealing from your family if you over-invest.”
2. How Many Hours Do You Need This Person?
If you are currently performing this role, use this time and task tracker to gauge how long tasks take you to complete. Use a multiplier of 1.5 to quantify how long it will take a new hire to do the same work. This will help you with budgeting and will also help you clarify the amount of hours your new hire can expect to work for you. Creating this standard will help you create a great relationship with your new hire.
“It’s ethical to create boundaries for yourself, but also for the person who will be joining you.”
3. What is the Culture of Your Business?
Your job description message needs to be clear so the applicants can understand your culture, along with your vision, mission and values.
“The most functional teams share a vision & values.”
Talk to your current contractors and ask them what the best thing about working with you is. Infuse your personality into the job description, and use the verbiage that you use on a day to day basis. Are you fun? Snarky? Lighthearted? Let that shine through when you write the job description.
4. What is the Leader Like?
Describe the leader who your hire will be reporting to. If that’s you, what are your personal values? Are you hands on or hands off? An introvert or an extrovert? Use personality assessments, or have others you work with find some way to define you as a leader and include it in the job description.
5. What is the Main Objective of the Role?
If you only had one priority for your new hire, what would it be? When someone knows the main objective of their role, they are able to self assess. The leader will be assessing based on the same objective, so this provides a framework for both parties.
6. What are Your Pet Peeves?
What really gets under your skin? What frustrates you about other people? You may be tempted to say that you are “pretty easygoing,” but dig deep and think about a time when something didn’t go right in your business. Where did the breakdown occur?
Figure out your pet peeves, identify the opposite of that behavior, and then weave it into your job description.
7. What are the Requirements of the Job?
When writing the job description, you need to be comprehensive but also prioritize what is most important. Include both “required” skills, and “preferred” skills. This way, you will repel people who don’t have the primary requirements, and adding preferred skills will allow you to rank candidates as they come in.
8. What Kind of Outcomes Will This Role Provide Your Company?
Let your new hire know what they will be responsible for. This sets the tone for the relationship, and lets them know that you will be engaged in their performance.
“They will perform greater for you if they have direction on what the expectations are.”
Decide how you will measure the outcomes of the role, and make sure it fits into your team.
9. Where Will You Post the Job Description?
There are so many options to find help, so you need to be strategic about where you post your job description. Once you know what role you’re hiring for, you need to go to the places that have reputable training programs for those skills.
10. What Type of Personality Test Can You Ask For?
Is there a personality or conative test you can ask applicants to take? The KolbeA Index, Myers Briggs, and the DISC are all personality tests that can help you get more in-depth information about the characteristics of your applicants. Don’t let the test be a disqualifier, but use it to see who will align best with you as a person, and with your business.
Need Help With Hiring?
I hope I’ve helped you gain clarity when writing your next job description! If hiring is something that is on the horizon for you, but still seems daunting, I have created an entire course called Hiring Simplified that is dedicated to hiring.
I also work with business owners to find their next great hire. If you want someone to take the hiring work off your hands, click here to learn more!
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