The First Step to Finding the Perfect Employee -
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The First Step to Finding the Perfect Employee

By Rieva Lesonsky

Do you hate hiring because you have to weed through tons of irrelevant resumes to find even one person to interview? Maybe the problem is that you’re not being clear in what kind of person you need to do the job. A vague, too-general want ad can lead to a flood of applications from unqualified candidates. That’s why step one to finding the perfect hire is writing the perfect job description.

A job description isn’t the same as a help wanted ad, but it’s the basis for one. The job description is an internal document that explains what is needed to successfully fill this job.

Creating a uniform document you use when creating any job description will save you time. A quick online search will turn up some templates you can use to create your own form relevant to your business.

The job description should explain things like:

  • Job goals. What is the purpose of this job in relation to your overall business goals? How does the person fit into your organization chart—who does he or she work for or supervise? What departments does he or she interact with regularly?
  • Daily duties. This lists the tasks the person will do on a regular basis, whether that’s processing orders and packing shipments, or developing a marketing plan and managing a staff of four.
  • Job requirements, experience and training. Every job has requirements, whether it’s being able to drive, having a bachelor’s degree, being able to travel frequently or having prior experience in the same field or industry. What are the essential requirements, experience and skills the person must have to perform the job?
  • Personality traits. Do you need someone who’s friendly, or someone who’s detail-oriented? The characteristics would make someone likely to succeed as a salesperson are probably much different than those that would be useful for an accountant.
  • Equipment. If certain specialized equipment is used in the job, include that in the description. This could include anything from operating a forklift to using specialized software or medical devices.
  • Wages and benefits. Know what salary range you are willing to pay for the job, as well as what benefits you can offer and their cost.
  • Schedule. You need to know how many hours per week the person will need to work and during what hours (for example, is this a 9-to-5 job or will the employee need to be open to night and weekend shifts?).

Involve your key managers in creating the job analysis, especially those who will be working with the person or whose departments will interact with him or her. In this way, you’ll be sure to include all the factors that everyone thinks are important to a successful candidate.

You can use your job analysis to write your want ad, and I’m willing to bet when you do, you’ll notice the quality of your applicants increasing exponentially.

Image by Flickr user Mark Falardeau (Creative Commons)




Karen Axelton

Karen Axelton

Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at
Karen Axelton

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