Creating an effective job description is a crucial first step to hiring well and building your team. Often, we get caught up in whatever format our HR department requires or what our legal counsel recommends. You need to create a clear picture of what you want from the position, especially in leadership roles! I’ve come to find that a One Page Job Description can bring together exactly what you need to hire the candidates as you build your leadership team and give them perfect clarity on what success in the position looks like.
Vision and Mission
We often discuss the vision and mission of your company or business, but what does it have to do with an effective job description? Honestly? Everything.
Imagine a business where each role has clarity around why it exists, and what success looks like. Taking a page from the One Page Business Plan, we create a job description that gives each leadership team member a vision of what they’re building in their role. We include specifics around measurable outcomes, projects completed, and other work to be done.
The mission statement for the role plays a similar role in getting clear on why the position exists in the first place. So often, businesses create roles and don’t clarify their “why.” At best, they will create a new function to do “something,” but what is the inspiration behind it, and why is it so crucial for the business?
Imagine an organizational structure where everyone is crystal clear on the vision for each position and relevant knowledge on why it exists. When there is greater understanding, more cooperation, and interaction—every level of the organization benefits. We reduce overlap and build momentum in our work together.
Job descriptions rarely talk about the work to be done. And that can get us in a lot of trouble. An effective job description gets right into the how. This isn’t an excuse to micromanage. We design the description to communicate how the culture and values of the business manifest in the execution of the role.
When we integrate the culture and values into each role, we avoid misunderstandings. And it allows leaders to delegate more effectively from the start. When we clearly define the “how” upfront, we eliminate the motivation to micromanage. Right from the start, we have communicated how successful candidates will execute in their roles. So leaders can step back and let their performers perform!
Now that we have defined what long-term success looks like, we must ask the question: “how do we get there?” The clear understanding of what we want the position to accomplish in three years allows us to build our plan towards it annually and monthly. Where must we be at the end of year one to achieve the big goal by year three?
Creating clear annual objectives that are measurable and graphable allows leaders to see progress, identify problems sooner, and, importantly, keep focused on what’s important. When we do this well, we track budget and actuals against prior year performance. Further, we build in the ability to forecast up or down based on regular business changes throughout the year. And if we’re killing it, we review this progress each month to avoid surprises.
The last piece of our practical job description is the Action Plan. We have hired someone into the role. We know how we want them to execute, and we know what numbers they are trying to achieve. And as we develop the job description, we will uncover whether you have the right pieces in place to achieve them.
Actions Plans are the projects we need our new hires to prioritize to execute their strategies and achieve their objectives. We use them to identify and outline the book of work. And, when determined, we can see how much is possible to achieve and by when.
A great set of action plans in the job descriptions tells candidates the work to be done. And when the work has to be done.
The Value of an Effective Job Description
A great One Page Job Description is the most effective way to communicate to job candidates and your existing team the expectations of each role. Candidates can look at it and decide for themselves if this is the job they want. Leaders and managers can objectively measure success and provide monthly feedback on performance.
Are you ready to be a more effective leader with tools like this? Then register for my free workshop, “From Accidental Leader to Confident Executive.” You’ll walk away with actionable, achievable steps to upskill your leadership right away,