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Think outside the box when writing a job description


When coming up with a job description, think about what the employee will actually need to accomplish in a role in addition to the skills he or she needs to have.

Hiring managers each have their own unique ways of finding the right employees for their company, but most would probably agree that there’s always room for improvement, so it’s worthwhile to consider tips and advice from experts in the industry.

In a recent Inc.com article, human resources professional Lou Adler suggests that when trying to find a person to fill a current job opening, it helps to put some thought into what the best performers on that team are already doing. This way, you can think outside of the box when coming up with a job description and focus your efforts more on what the new employee will actually need to accomplish in a certain role.

“When I first began recruiting, I took a very face-value approach. I walked the manufacturing or warehouse floor, found the gaps and observed the people doing similar work quite well. That’s all I needed for a job description,” explains Adler. “Today, I’d call this performance benchmarking. Back then, I called it focusing on the ‘doing,’ not the ‘having.’ And all these years later I still think it’s the best approach to recruiting.”

By asking yourself what kind of work needs to be done—and how your your best performers go about achieving these tasks—you can come up with a detailed job description and better understand the traits you’re looking for in a candidate.

Once you pinpoint certain hard skills that a candidate will need to fill a specific role, you may want to consider administering pre employment testing to supplement your interview.