The Second Step to Great Hires: Job Descriptions

By Rikka Brandon, Building Gurus

Job Descriptions: The Key to Great Hires

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, hiring good people requires approaching the process with clarity. And a key component of that clarity is writing a thorough, effective job description, one that’s clear on the goals and objectives of the position.

So how do you do that? And how do you determine the necessary experience, education, and personality characteristics a good fit would have?

Step 1: Determine exactly what your business needs.

Without a need to fill, there isn’t any reason to go through the expense of hiring someone. Ask yourself: What gap will this new hire be filling? Is this a year-round or seasonal need? Full-time or part-time? How will their expertise push my company forward? This is especially true when someone “falls into your lap” and you find yourself making up a position for them.

Step 2: Figure out what goals you have in mind for your new hire.

If you’re going to hire and retain a high-potential person, it’s extremely important to have clearly defined expectations. These goals need to be activity- and results-based. You can’t expect a new salesperson to increase sales by 10% if you can’t tell them the types and amount of activities you think they’ll need to do to achieve it.

Step 3: Decide what skills, experience, and education you require.

This will help you sort through resumes more quickly as you go through the reviewing stage in the process. Want to learn how to review resumes more efficiently? Check out my blog post.

Step 4: Address the intangibles. What kind of person do you want to be around?

When you take on a new member of your team, it’s important to use the selection process to decide if they’re the best fit for your company culture. What kind of personality traits and work style will mesh best?

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Important tip:

When developing your job description, keep the realities of people’s personalities in mind.

For example, an aggressive salesperson might be completely ineffective at data entry. If your job description requires both, consider hiring two different people. It’s far better to have two employees doing tasks they’re naturally gifted at than one person who spends half their time doing work they dislike.

And remember: A job description is NOT a job ad. It’s the basis for your job ad. We’ll cover that next time.

Rikka Brandon is the founder and Chief Executive Recruiter of Building Gurus, a boutique executive search and consulting firm that works exclusively with kitchen and bath and building product companies across the U.S. Rikka is a sought-after writer and speaker on topics including hiring, recruitment, employee retention, and leadership. Learn more about Rikka’s best-selling book and online trainings at