My company is based on this premise: Every job deserves the right person. We help businesses improve their chances of making good hires.
The first thing we discover with most of our clients is that they need help getting ready to hire, which I believe is the most important part of the hiring process. If you don’t do it well, you’re going to end up hiring somebody, but it’s not likely to be the right person.
I’m going to focus on what I consider the two most important parts of getting ready to hire—the employee value proposition and the job description.
Employee Value Proposition
Here’s how I think about the employee value proposition. In preparing to hire, most employers don’t think about telling candidates what’s in it for the candidate. Most of the time, you go to market saying, “I need to have X, Y, and Z apply.”
OK, but why? When you’re asking somebody to uproot themselves or make a change and come work for you, you have to give them some reasons. That’s the employee value proposition.
It includes why you are a great company to work for and why the particular job is a great job for this candidate.
What I’m talking about in the employee value proposition is how the job candidate will learn more, earn more, or do more in your job compared to what they’re already doing.
Let me use Southwest Airlines as an example. It has what it calls employee expectations, which also serve as a value proposition: Warrior spirit. Servant’s heart. Fun-loving attitude.
It is the lens that Southwest uses for measuring whether somebody belongs on their team. It’s the culture that it enforces. Southwest hires people who display a warrior spirit, a servant’s heart, and a fun-loving attitude.
Each job description should be able to explain the basic function of the job in two sentences. If you can’t write down what the job is in two sentences, you probably have more than one job. If you have more than one job, then you’re never going to be happy with the one person filling it.
We write job descriptions that have responsibilities. If you have 30 bullet points under responsibilities, you probably want to cut those to five so people will read it.
My favorite part of a job description is measurable requirements. Do you have measurable requirements in your job description and in your ad?
Especially in sales, people want to know how to be successful. If they know how they’re being measured right from the start, you’re going to attract people who like to be measured, so include it in your job ad.
If there’s a point in the hiring process to argue about what you’re looking for, it’s when you’re writing the job description. It’s much better to do it when you’re writing the job description than when you’re interviewing candidates.
A good job description helps you cast the right net.