Startups : Time to rethink your job descriptions.

Wed, Jun 10, 2020 10:27 PM
By Ibrahim

As simple as writing a job description and publishing a job post out into the public may seem, it doesn't come close to being so simple. And for early-stage start-ups, writing a job description would go a long way in attracting the right candidate that would be an impact to the growth of the start-up.

Statistics from a new research by Allegis Group goes to show that about 72% of hiring managers claim to provide clear job descriptions, whereas only 36% of candidates say the same. This points to the fact that there is a disharmony, something that one of these parties is actually not taking note of, and it's in the responsibility of the hiring managers to look into.

An ambiguous and vague job description would attract nobody or just anybody. decreasing the probability of you making the right choice or the best hire?  Every start-up needs the right-fit talent with the right skill set, passion and drive that would propel the company forward to achieve its goals.

A well thought-out and detailed impact description would equally attract a well thinking, creative and detailed candidate. It shows the quality of work required, and only quality candidates with the right attitude for work wouldn't be scared to attempt to meet up with this kind of demand.

Below is a list of guidelines that will help hiring managers of start-ups to prepare an impact description.

1. Stand out

If your job description is just like any other among the lot, then the less likely it is that you'll get the best impactful and quality hire that you're searching for.

The hiring manager is better suited for handling the job description more than the recruiter, as (s)heis more enlightened as to the particular job spec.

Aim at writing a well detailed and distinguished description. It requires more thought than it actually is given, as this will be the overall first impression that the candidate will have of the company. Work out what makes your company unique, its culture, goals and targets, inject personality into the job, and this will help make your company stand out from the sea of other job postings; this will help draw the right type of personality towards your company.

2. Match candidates motivations.

Candidates are out seeking a job that would satisfy an ingrained desire. They are driven by several forms of motivator and a candidate would be drawn the moment he stumbles upon the job description. Some seek a job that'd offer them financial stability, some give priority to a well known brand name to work for, others seek professional growth and a place to have impact in. Does your impact description convey and emphasize the latter?

Put yourself in the shoes of a growth-oriented candidate who is looking for a positive future. Then draw your impact description as it would attract even yourself.

3. Do not be vague

Take down copious notes on the qualities of top performers. Do not be vague, clearly spell out  qualities in your impact description as it would attract only those who would be able to meet these qualities.

What to include in your description:

Firstly, you should be very meticulous as to the choice of words you use in your description. It is an established fact that start-up's and blossomed companies alike all try to inject some form of personality into their job description, and at that, the choice of words used can be a turn off for a particular gender, race, or personality.

Things to be specific about are:

About the company: 

This part is where you make your start-up stand out among the throng of others. What is the culture or working practice of the company?, What product or service does it sell? Why is this product or service important to the public? And what is the company's mission and core values. These and more questions of this nature should be answered in this portion of an impact description, giving the public and potential candidates a true concept of the company.

About the job

This part should spell out what the candidate should expect once they're on the job. It should answer questions like; what, as a new employee, am I expected to do, own, learn, or improve on? What knowledge or skill am I expected to have, going into this job? What kinds of results and success should be expected of me?

Note: For an impact description, it is preferable to list out what expected results and achievements the candidate should work towards, other than the requirements or qualifications for it. Record shows that men only apply for a job when they meet at least 60% of the qualifications, while women will apply only when they satisfy all 100% of the qualifications. 

Since this is the case, it wouldn't be effective trying to bring in the best candidate based on qualifications, as a huge percentage of candidates wouldn't even apply. So, instead of requirements, an onboarding plan should be in place stating what the candidate is expected to accomplish in 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months and so on. 

This onboarding plan in effect will spur an industrious individual to work harder so as to meet these goals ahead of deadline, hence, their impact and effectiveness will be enhanced and even tracked over time. These kind of industrious and impactful candidates are the kind of people you need to attract to your start-up.

But if you must add requirements, try not to list them out as if they're a core criteria. You could simply list these requirements or skills under "desirable". A candidate who doesn't actually have these skill set or quality would still apply if he feels capable of achieving the result stated.

Perks and compensation.

While top and fast growing companies have a lot of perks with dollar signs in front, your start-up may not yet be financially buoyant enough for this. Nevertheless, there are other non-monetary forms of compensation you could attract an intelligent or well-groomed candidate with. In addition to salary offers, consider adding monthly free personal development books (for motivation, inspiration and self-development), free lunch or snacks, a fitness tracker, training programs and workshops, amongst others. 

This is a great way of expressing a caring culture within the company, promoting its values and also attracting the right kind of persons who are not just after your money but, but persons who prioritize self development and contribution to your start-up's success.

Follow us for more tips with your startup journey: