Our team has grown over the last few months. In fact, we’re hiring for a couple of roles right now.
Each time we look to fill a new position, the first thing we do is write a job description.
Nothing really new there…most organizations do it.
I’ve learned a few things about how to write a good job description, and what to do with it after the position is filled, that might help you.
Here are some things you want to include…
#1 – Fit
One of the most important things you’re looking for with everyone on your team is fit.
You don’t want an okay fit.
You don’t even want a good fit.
You want a great fit.
This is something you can describe on a job description. And it’s something you should continually revisit.
#2 – Primary Responsibilities
The leader of an organization or a team is the Chief Clarity Officer.
And one of the big things to clarify for everyone on your team is exactly what they do. A good job description makes an honest list.
Your goal is not to list every single thing a person could do…it’s to accurately describe the core responsibilities of the job. In this sense, “other duties” is not your friend. “Other duties” are not clear.
As you write a job description, start with the things that are absolutely necessary.
#3 – Skills
A good job description doesn’t just list tasks, it lists skills.
What skills does a person need (or be willing to develop) in order to be successful in this role?
#4 – KPIs
This stands for Key Performance Indicators.
Some people call these OKRs (objective and key results).
The bottom line is that before you even fill a position, you should decide what key metrics or performance indicators will be measured.
Right now, we’re hiring for a sales position. Success for that role will not be measured just on fit or values or character. Of course, those things are important…they are just not enough. We’re going to measure actual sales for our sales role. That’s the key performance indicator.
I believe every single person on your team should have numbers that indicate performance. Be honest about them before you even hire someone.
#5 – Team
Every person you hire creates more lines of communication.
So clarify that for your new position before you bring anyone in.
Who will they work for?
Who will they work with?
Who will they oversee?
People need to know where they fit in the org chart.
#6- Personal Responsibilities
If there are personal responsibilities associated with the job, the job description is the place to clarify them.
I work with a lot of churches, and a lot of times, there are personal expectations or unwritten rules people need to follow.
You know what’s better than unwritten rules? Written ones.
For example, if you expect an employee at the church to be a donor or a volunteer, be clear about that on the job description. Don’t let it be assumed and then get passive-aggressive when someone doesn’t meet that uncommunicated expectation.
No matter what kind of organization you lead, a job description is the first place you can start communicating expectations.
# 7 – Schedule
The final thing I like to communicate is the typical schedule for a team member. Are there office hours? Are there flexible days? How much travel is involved?
All of these are things to clarify right in the job description.
After you create a great job description, don’t put it in a file.
The job description should accurately reflect what a team member does in real life. That means you should pull it out and review it from time to time.
A job description can be a part of an annual review. Or a twice-a-year review.
Make sure it’s accurate and up-to-date and use it to continually cast clarity.