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Learn2 Hire Employees (continued)
Step 2: Write a job description

A good, specific job description can get you the right applicants and save you a tremendous amount of time and effort down the line. A bad one can swamp you with the wrong people, or attract no one. While the actual job posting may be much shorter, writing out the description can help you think through the all the details of the position. Consider these guidelines as you set to work:

Choose a job title. This is the first thing a potential applicant will see, so you want it on target. Keep the title compelling and connected to the company ("online advertising sales rep" is better than "salesperson"). Avoid confusing jargon and keep your company's hierarchy in mind (add "senior," "associate," or "assistant," if applicable).

Describe the work environment. What's your business like? Fast-paced, relaxed, corporate, casual? The work environment can have a lot to do with a candidate's decision. If you're a new business, emphasize the great opportunity for job growth. If you have a good location (in a scenic area, or near public transportation), let 'em know.

List the essential tasks involved. Essential means the tasks they'll be dealing with on a regular basis. Honesty is the best policy here. If you skip or gloss over certain tasks because you're afraid job seekers will be put off, you're only asking for trouble later on. If multiple tasks are involved, be specific regarding how much of each they'll be expected to do.

List the necessary skills and requirements. There's a difference between skills needed prior to the job and skills you can teach. It's up to you to decide what's necessary. Be as specific as possible--if you're asking for computer skills, what type of programs? If employees need to be able to lift heavy loads, how heavy? Will they need any special licenses? Foreign languages?

List the preferred experience. The amount of experience you ask for will depend largely on how much you can afford to pay. Consider how much responsibility you want the employee to take on versus how much time you'll spend on training.

List any required materials. At the end of the description, you'll need to tell candidates what's necessary to start the application process. Do they need to send their resume, cover letter, work samples, references, and so on? Or will they need an actual application, in which case you'll need to tell them how to get one (come by your business, request one by mail, or print one from your website).

Decide the pay and work terms. You don't need to list this in the description, but it's better to decide on pay levels now. Take experience and training into account, and, of course, your budget. Also decide whether it will be hourly or by contract, full- or part-time, if the pay is set or negotiable, what benefits will be available, and if there will be any probationary or review period after hiring.

Don't forget contact info: a phone number, address, fax number, or e-mail address. Your name is optional.

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Step 1: Assess your needs
Step 2: Write a job description
Step 3: Advertise the position
Step 4: Review the applications
Step 5: Develop interview questions
Step 6: Interview candidates
Step 7: Narrow your choices
Step 8: Check references