Sunday, August 7, 2011

Crafting the Perfect Job Description

Are you struggling with a job description for a new position? Or trying to figure out a reasonable set of roles and responsibilites for a new hire? Perhaps you're creating a new role for someone you're intending to promote. In any of these cases, it's a daunting task to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and create a job description from scratch.

You'd really rather start from a similar job description that someone else had sweat his way through, wouldn't you? But where would you find it? A Chief Executive Boards International member offered a great idea in a recent meeting.

Go to the big job boards --, -- and search job postings as if you were a candidate for the job you're intending to describe. Geography, of course, isn't important at first. Perhaps you'd want to put some query parameters in like your industry and allied industries, to get an idea of what's typical in your line of business.

This approach has some huge paybacks. First, in surfing through a couple of dozen other companies' job descriptions you'll likely find one that's at least a 75% fit with what you're looking for. What about the job title? That's important too, since you want the title to be as descriptive and intuitive as possible when you start advertising your job.

Look also at educational requirements and salay ranges if those are posted. How do those align with what you were thinking? This is also a bit of a "market survey" for competitive salaries. As you home in on the appropriate job title, then neck down the search to your own geography. This gives you an idea of who your competition is -- who else nearby is looking for essentially the same person. If you're well networked, you might actually find a non-competitor who's looking for a similar talent and be able to compare some notes or candidate referrals.

Another good day at a CEBI meeting -- an idea that's portable across almost any type or size of business, and almost cost-free that will give you a huge leap forward in what otherwise would have been a daunting task.

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Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it 

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