Hiring Great Employees: Writing the Job Description

By Rieva Lesonsky

This is part one of a four-part series on the hiring process and finding the right employees for your small business.

Big ideas Blog hiring processYou’ve worked hard growing your business and now you need some help in building your team. The first step to hiring the “perfect” employee is doing a job analysis and writing the “perfect” job description. The job description explains what the job entails, what qualifications you’re looking for and more. To find a good business solution with a great employee, write a strong job description, and begin by analyzing the elements of the job, including:

  • Duties: What will this employee be responsible for on a daily basis? What actual tasks will he or she do? List everything you can think of.
  • Goals: What role does this job play in achieving your business goals? How does the job relate to the roles of the other employees on your team? Consider where the person fits in your “org chart.”
  • Requirements of the job: Requirements include anything the person must have or be able to do in order to perform the job, such as lifting 50 pounds above his or her head, having a certain type of driver’s license, working on weekends or a graveyard shift, or traveling overseas on a regular basis.
  • Methods and equipment: Think about how the person will actually do the job (the steps involved) and what equipment he or she will use, whether that’s a computer or a forklift.
  • Experience and skills: What prior job experience would a successful employee need to do this job? Are there any specific skills needed? This could include things like being proficient in a certain software program, having one year of entry-level experience, or having completed an apprenticeship program. If any licenses, training or special certification is required, include that too.
  • Characteristics: Consider what type of personality is needed to fill the job. This might include things like “self-directed,” “people person” or “detail-oriented.”
  • Wages and hours: Figure out how you’re going to pay the person, including whether this is an hourly or salaried position, if there is any overtime involved, or if there are commissions or bonuses.

Big Ideas Blog InterviewIncluding everything you can think of in your job analysis helps you make sure you aren’t leaving anything out when you write your job description. More importantly, it ensures you know exactly what type of person you’re looking for when you put the word out that you’re hiring.

Use the job analysis to write a job description and the want ads. Check out BusinessBalls.com for a job description template and examples, and visit Monster.com for resources on writing a good job description.  To be sure your job description doesn’t run afoul of any non-discrimination laws, you may want to read Nolo.com’s guide, The Job Description Handbook.

Part two in the series of the hiring process and finding the right employees for your small business will focus on where to find job candidates.

Check out “Authentic Marketing” for tips on using customer testimonials in your marketing strategy.