Results-Focused Job Descriptions
Are you serious about top talent and attracting the best performers to your organization? Role clarity is the secret sauce to success. It is the degree to which employees have a clear understanding of their tasks, responsibilities and processes at work. Does your job description convey that to potential applicants? The number one reason for hiring failures is an improperly defined job. This one mistake impacts the entire hiring process, including where candidates are sourced, what questions are asked in the interview, onboarding and performance management. Everything seems to go sideways because of the inability to communicate the real job.
Employees who experience role clarity are 54% more efficient and 27% more effective at work than employees who have role ambiguity.
If you want to hire superior people, start by defining what superior performance looks like. Traditional job descriptions and job description templates fail to focus on what defines success in a role. A job description is often a long list of tasks, mundane activities and technical skills rather than a statement of expected outcomes people can use to prioritize and organize their efforts. Unfortunately, most job descriptions focus on the person, not on the job by concentrating on the minimum qualifications and behavioral skills deemed critical for success. The harsh reality is that you are simply misusing what could be your secret weapon for attracting and retaining top talent. A great job description can set you apart from other companies. If you want to create an organization where every employee acts like an owner and gives their best effort in bringing the company strategy to life, you have to get a results-focus in your job descriptions. You know you have a great job description when the right candidate reads it and they either want to apply themselves, or they immediately and enthusiastically recommend it to a friend. Great job descriptions cause people to act.
A great job description:
- Dramatically improves decision-making about people — selection decisions in particular
- Generates better performance through improved clarity and focus
- Drives line-of-sight to strategy by connecting employees with what they do daily to the goals of the organization
- Provides neutral and objective (as opposed to subjective) reference points for appraisals, performance reviews and counseling
- Provides clear, results-based targets for development and coaching — delivering superior ROI on the time and money invested
- Facilitates the process of setting goals and objectives
- Identifies and eliminates redundant accountabilities
- Helps employees identify how they are performing and make adjustments without manager intervention
Clarifying expectations upfront has been shown to be the number one reason for high job satisfaction and increased personal motivation. When people are accountable for results, they stop watching the clock; they seek ways to make improvements and take initiative to change what doesn’t work. They ask for opportunities to do and learn more so they can be successful at fulfilling their purpose, which in the end gives a boost to yours.