Recently we got a search from an International media company. They had been looking on their own for a couple of months. Once they retained us for the role, they sent us the job description they were using. Wow, was it weak. One page, not very exciting or intriguing; yet the company was super hot and the job was very enticing.
So after multiple years of reviewing, reading and rewriting job descriptions, I thought I would supply some “must haves” when writing your position spec.
Overview of the company: Include the company’s mission, goals, headquarters, company size, annual sales (if public), traffic numbers, funding history and most importantly your URL.
Position Overview: This includes (usually in the sentence form) an overview of the key responsibilities and qualifications; I find this is a good way to give a quick general understanding of the job without the bullet points which are listed in the ”Attributes” and “Qualifications”.
Who the job reports to: This is mandatory. In our world of quick access to information, now is the time to put the name and title of the hiring manager on the spec. Let the potential new hire unearth as much information as possible, prior to your meeting with them.
Attributes: These are more general personality traits. This part falls more in the category of beliefs, attitudes and concepts; such as “strong negotiation skills” or “strong belief in creative selling and premium pricing.” It is a good way to set a tone for your company.
Qualifications: include the “must haves” and the “nice to haves.” By separating the two, you will be able to attract candidates who fit within the profile, but may not have every “nice to have” attribute. Also, don’t have more than ten qualification points, as you want to appeal to enough of a pool of candidates. I have seen “Qualifications” listed in a spec that list so many bullet points that you wonder if ANYONE could do the job. Be concise and specific in this area of the spec. Also, be mindful of how you write “years of experience”. By writing “10+” you are letting someone know the minimum years; by writing “10-15” you could be perceived as being discriminating. It is best to use that “plus sign” to play it safe.
Other details: include travel information, location of job, benefits (such as 401K, stock options, equity). Also include the contact person with ALL their information.
Again, your position spec is a sales tool for your company and the next hire. Use it to your advantage to help you attract the best candidate possible for your opportunity.