The job description or job spec is one of the key tools that enables you to attract top leaders to your hiring process. As a business we specialise in placing senior leaders into high growth companies in fast-moving situations, and the job description plays an important part in that process. There are however lots of common misconceptions when putting together a job brief around how to structure and how to get the best out of it in order to attract top talent.
This article and the accompanying video and download gives you the insight you need on the key things to include in a great job description to ensure that right people are attracted to your process.
The Job Description Is A Vital Marketing Document
The job description is crucial because it's going to be a marketing documents used by headhunters or by your internal recruitment teams to really help people understand what it is that you're trying to achieve; and hopefully, to attract them to the hiring table so you can continue to assess them and acquire them if you so wish.
What Should A Job Description Include?
We have an acronym that we use with our clients to help describe what needs to be included when crafting your next job description:
Overview of the person
One thing that's absolutely key when people first start reading the job brief is that you make it clear the journey the organisation is on. It's big picture context around your story, where you're going, what you're trying to achieve, and ultimately what this particular opportunity or this particular role looks like in the context of that journey. Storytelling is very important when you’re trying to influence people, and your journey so far is a story that the person reading your job description can engage with straight away.
It’s also worthwhile to include a destination in the journey section about what the ultimate ambition is of your business. At Executives Online our ambition is to transform executive recruitment, and the job descriptions we write include that to ensure we attract and hire talented individuals who also share the same passion and goal.
Opportunity & Benefits
The next part of the job description should focus on the value proposition for this particular role in terms of the benefits that are involved. An example of that would be to say that, "By joining us at this point, you will be part of a team that could eventually be part of an exit," or "By joining us at this point, you have the opportunity to completely restructure operations overseas." After telling your story in the Journey section, what you need to get across are the key benefits to somebody's career by joining you at this point in your journey.
The responsibilities section should cover a list of activities and accountabilities that your future hire will be doing on a day-to-day basis. Also, think about this section it in terms of business outcomes. Responsibilities within a business outcome context could be around delivering particular levels of growth, entering new markets, or delivering certain structural changes. By aligning responsibilities to whatever the key business objectives are, it helps clarify what the context is of the role within the development of the business.
Every job description includes an overview of the ideal candidate, but rather than creating a list focussed on competencies we always recommend that you focus more heavily on attitude and behaviours in the overview.
Don't include an exhaustive list to the point where somebody counts themselves out because they don't think they're right for the role. Nobody is superhuman and it’s rare that candidates will have high levels of experience in absolutely every area on a job description, so try and keep the list of competencies to a few must have’s and also include the behaviours you want to see in your next recruit.
Level means where the role sits at within the business, whether it's a directed piece, or whether it's board-level role, and an outline of the type of package that comes with it in terms of the salary, compensation and benefits that are on offer.
Finally your job description should include the level of experience you're looking for in this particular individual. Where does this person come from? What should they have accomplished? What kind of ideas and brief experience would they bring to the table to set you up for success in your journey?
Hopefully our JOBROLE acronym gives you some more ideas about how to write a job description that will help you to attract the right people to your role. Definitely don't copy and paste any job brief from any previous roles. Every role is bespoke and every business situation is bespoke, and it's really important that you focus in on crafting a job description that fits your particular business situation. To help you out further we've created a download of a description template that is built around the JOBROLE acronym. Click here to download it.