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How to Write a Job Description: The Key Components You Want to Include

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One of the most important things you can do once you have decided you are ready to hire and bring on help in your business is to have job descriptions created, and in today’s post I am going to walk you through how to write a job description and the key components you will want to include in it.

Crafting a killer job description can set you up for success in attracting the ideal candidates for the role you are looking to hire for. A job description is also something you will want to consider writing for yourself as CEO/Owner Extraordinaire as you start to look at the bigger picture of your company and the team you want to create. Defining what your role is within your business can be a great starting point and you can use these same elements to build one just for you. Remember when you start crafting, to think about your role from more of a future standpoint, your ideal, and not as things look now with all the tasks you are currently doing

(cause let’s be honest there are definitely things you won’t want to be doing for much longer)

So let’s get started!

How to Write a Job Description

As you are creating your job description try to keep the order of these elements in place as they are laid out to build on one another and set the stage for the role.

  1. Make sure to include information about your company
    This is the introduction of your description. This is your opportunity to describe who you are, what you do, why you do it and the vision of your company. Most applicants just aren’t familiar with a lot of small businesses or know exactly what it is you and your business do. This allows you to show them exactly what you are all about and give you the chance to build up some hype and get them excited about your company and role they could play within it. You want people excited to work for you and to want to help you grow and succeed.

  2. How this position or role fits into the company
    This is such an important part of the description because it allows you to tell the candidate exactly how the role they are applying for plays into the overall success of your business. As you build jobs and roles within your team you want to make a point of explaining clearly how this role is vital to the business and also to the teams success. You really want to showcase the purpose behind the work they will be doing.

    An example would sound something like “Your role at [Fill in Company Name] – As the Customer Service manager you work towards ensuring the overall satisfaction of our members, students, clients and our community by handling all communication in a loving, professional and efficient manner.

    Your work helps us maintain a high standard for our customer experience within our business, helps solve problems and nurtures our amazing community that have put their trust in us.

  3. Responsibilities
    This is an obvious one! In this section you will want to list out all the things they will be doing within their role. You want to make sure to leave a bit of flexibility here by including all of the tasks they will be doing as well as saying something like “your tasks may include but are not limited to” just to make sure to encompass any additional tasks that may arise. If things shift dramatically within a certain role, a new job description should probably be drafted.
    Pro Tip here – make sure to start all responsibilities with a verb! Things like “Collaborating, Adding, Working, Facilitating etc.”

    As small business owners we know that we probably need someone that could potentially handle a multitude of various things so you can also include a section called “Added Bonus” or “Nice to Have” and include any additional tasks or responsibilities you would love to include if you found the right fit.

  4. Skills, Outlook, Experience and Company Culture Fit
    For this section you can dream a little bit. Close your eyes and start thinking about your ideal candidate for this role, who they are, what they embody, the type of skills they would have, experience they would bring with them. You really want to describe your absolute ideal candidate for this section, not to create unrealistic expectations but to open things up to those that might not have all of the exact experience but may have all the personality traits you are looking for in this specific role. The person you describe may not exist in real life but we can get you as close as possible.

    A lot of times as small business owners we are wanting to hire for jobs and roles that aren’t really standard or that have necessarily been done before. They aren’t the typical corporate job titles most are accustomed to. By putting focus on this section, you are creating the opportunity to open things up to more than those candidates that only resonate with a certain or specific job title. When you describe your ideal candidate this is the chance for applicants to determine for themselves if they are a good fit based on their personality traits VS exact experience they might not be able to bring to the table.

  5. Specifics about the position
    This section of the job description can be short and sweet. You will want to include the structure of the role, like how many hours/week, the schedule, things like if it’s full time or part time, are they coming onboard as an employee or is this a contract position. Are the hours flexible, will they be working remotely or are they expected to be in office?

  6. Compensation
    Ahhh the always tricky subject that could and will have an entire separate post dedicated to determining your hiring budget down the road, but for the purposes of crafting your job description you will want to include what the compensation will be if you know it. If you don’t know what you plan on offering in terms of a salary or hourly wage or if the position is higher-level you can leave this section to say “Based on experience and skillset” Just keep in mind that leaving it vague will most likely open the door for some negotiation on the compensation.

  7. How to Apply
    Then finally you will want to include a portion on how you want candidates to apply for this role. This can vary from sending their resume to your email inbox or the method I prefer which is via an application. Having an application allows you to tailor questions to pull out some of those personality traits you are looking for and digging into some additional aspects you may be interested in like personality assessment results. I like to think of the application almost like a screening process or even to take the place of a first interview. We are all pressed for time and most likely if we are bringing on help it’s because we are drowning in our to-do lists so you want to make sure your hiring process is just as efficient. If you think of the application like a first interview it will allow you to think through the questions you may ask in a preliminary meeting so that you can really narrow down your candidates to maybe 3 or 4 you want to move through to the face-to-face interview.

    Depending on the type of role this could also include having the candidates do a trial project to give you added confidence if you are hiring for a larger higher level role or a role where they are having to nail your brand voice or style with graphic design or writing social media captions. Just make sure it is clear at the end of your job description how to get in touch to be considered for the position.

If you are thinking of making your first hire or your second or third it is always best to have a clearly laid out job description for each role you need to fill within your team. Having the responsibilities, expectations and structure set up in advance will make for clearer lines of communication when your new team member comes onboard. As much as you want to just hire quickly to get things off your to-do list right now, taking the time upfront to craft the roles you need in your business will make the process so much easier when it comes time to make your next hire and your next!

Related: 5 Ways to Build your Team Culture

To make things even easier I have included a job description swipe file you can grab right here to give you a jumping off point to start crafting your positions and growing your team!

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