How a Well-Devised Job Description Speeds Up Your Hiring Process
An overly drawn out hiring process can cost your business in ways that continue to do damage even after you finally find a person to hire.
By taking too long to hire, you will:
- Miss out on top talent – while you’re sifting through resumes and interviewing too many candidates, they’ll take a job elsewhere
- Lose more money – your unfilled position keeps sitting there, week after week, not producing anything
- Spend more money on the hiring process – this often takes over 40 hours of work for your hiring personnel. Multiply 40 by their average hourly wages. That’s likely thousands of dollars in costs.
The costs of dragging out the process are real. But so are the challenges in speeding it up.
So how do you speed up your hiring process?
You can find a lot of tips and tricks to speed up the hiring process, many of them smart and useful. But there’s one thing, more than anything else – by far – that the entire process depends on. And that is a sharp job description.
If you want to speed up your hiring process without compromising on the quality of the person you hire, you must develop a scintillating job description, one that attracts the people who are right for your company.
How to Write a Job Description that Speeds Up Your Hiring Process
There’s a myth about job descriptions, and many companies fall into its trap. The myth is that you can write a ‘perfect’ job description, which will in turn attract the perfect candidate, who will of course want to work with you and not with any other companies.
The reality is, the only way to attract a candidate who fulfills every item on your job description is to offer a much higher salary than the average in your industry. Most companies aren’t interested in that.
Thus, what you want to do is sort the items on your job description into three categories. These are:
- Qualities you must have
- Qualities you should have
- Qualities that would be nice to have
Must have’s, should have’s, and nice to have’s.
Now, these categories will not be apparent to the candidate reading your job description. This is why it’s a backroom secret. You want people who believe they measure up to most of what’s on your job description to apply. This internal-only categorical breakdown helps you sort candidates once you see their resumes, run your soft and hard skills tests using PainLess Hire’s proprietary assessment process, and interview them.
It’s like a checklist.
What will happen is, you’ll quickly narrow your list down to the people who possess every one of the ‘must have’ items on your job description. ‘Must have’ means they must have each of these items.
You must take great care what you include in that category. These are items that you believe you cannot do without, no matter how impressive the candidate appears to be in other areas.
That’s where companies get in trouble, and why they end up with bad hires even after a long hiring process. They find someone who impresses everyone with their personality or a unique background. And even though that person is missing some critical skill areas, you believe you can train them up and get them up to speed. For ‘must have’ qualities – you cannot.
You can do that for ‘should have’ and ‘nice to have’ qualities. And we believe you absolutely should. That should be part of your onboarding process – training up your new hires with the other abilities they need to be successful in their new position.
But ‘must have’ must mean what it says. They MUST have these qualities.
What are some examples of qualities you might include on your ‘must have’ list? Let’s take a look.
Examples of ‘Must Have’ Qualities
Obviously, the skills and traits each applicant must have will be different for each job. But here are the sorts of things we recommend you include on your ‘must have’ list:
Soft skills are proving to be one the defining characteristics in what makes a great hire. Over and over again, we find that what our happiest clients talk about is how well the new hire fits in to their company culture. This matters more than just about anything else.
Your task is to define the personality qualities you’re looking for and include them in the job description. Analytical, passionate, self-motivated, team-oriented, driven, independent, self-reflective, understanding, receptive to criticism… there are dozens of personality traits and soft skills you can use to describe the type of person who is best for this role.
The best news is, PainLess Hire has soft skills pre-hiring assessments that we use for all the candidates we find for your positions. So if you use PainLess Hire, you won’t have to rely on the person’s word that they have these personality qualities. Our soft skills assessments will verify it.
You will know – not guess about – who has the traits you’re looking for.
For some positions, this matters more than for others. But even for some highly technical jobs, some companies are finding that specific college degrees don’t matter as much as they used to think. So be careful on this one. Is this a ‘must have’ or a ‘should have’?
Distance from Work
If the position requires them to work on-site, how far away does the candidate live? We consider this a must-have, because no one wants to do a 2-hour commute, even if they say they’re ‘fine with it’ in an interview.
After eight months, missing out on family life while they sit in traffic or on a train for an hour or two both directions, are they still fine with it? Usually not. This person will either move to be closer to work, or will look for another job. Usually the latter.
Be specific. Are you looking for a minimum number of years of experience? Why that number? If there’s any wiggle room on it, then your number is too high for a ‘must have’ list.
Are you looking for a specific type of experience? Clarify what that is. Experience with certain software, business processes, negotiation, management of teams of certain sizes, sales success – what experience do you need to see?
Level of Expertise in Basic Skills
Some skills can be quantified more than others. There might be a certification or rating system for your position, and you’re looking for a particular level. And again, you can use skills assessments to tease this out and see if a person really can do what they say they can do.
Taking their word for it isn’t enough. Skills and personality tests – in combination – are the surest way to find the right person and speed up the hiring process, once you’ve attracted the right candidates through your job description.
Special Skills for this Job
List all the unique skills that apply to your job. There probably will not be skills assessments for these, unless you develop them internally. But you can ask for work samples, and also inquire about these from their references and during the interview.
Examples of ‘Should Have’ Qualities
The ‘must have’s’ are the most important items on your job description. But you should also list additional items that the person really should have. The interesting thing is, these are often the items the candidate wants to talk about the most. And that’s why you should be willing to be flexible on these items for candidates who possess all your ‘must have’ qualities.
See how that works?
Any person who has every single thing you’re looking for from your ‘must have’ list is automatically a good candidate.
So do what you can to get them to say yes if they succeed in the final interview round. You want this person. If they want to negotiate items on the ‘should have’ or ‘nice to have’ list, or anything else, then let them, to the extent you can. Here are items you might include on this list:
- Work hours
- Days on-site or working remotely
For example, you might think that to do this job, the person needs to be there from 8-5 Monday through Friday. But what if your chosen candidate would like to work Monday through Thursday, and work off-site on Friday? Are you open to that?
If the person has all your ‘must have’ qualities, you should at least consider requests like this. Can you work around their practical needs if that’s what it takes to hire them and benefit from having them on your team?
Other items you might put on this list or the ‘nice to have’ list really depend on your specific job.
These would include skills you can train the person on, if need be. Or qualities the last person in this position had that you really liked, but that you recognize someone else might not have even though they’re qualified for the position.
This is the ‘art’ aspect of the job description. You want to attract the right people and repel the ones who don’t fit. Your ‘should have’ list can accomplish both of these goals.
How Much Time Will This Save You?
It’s not uncommon for hiring processes to take more than a month, sometimes two months, or for certain positions, even more.
But with a well-devised job description combined with highly-selective hard and soft skills assessments, you can cut your hiring process down to as little as few weeks, even for critical positions.
Does that seem hard to believe?
One reason is because you are probably used to sorting through resumes, doing phone interviews, calling references, and many other tasks, all on your own time and your own dime – while also doing the other duties required of your job.
At PainLess Hire – we do all those tasks for you. We process the resumes, administer the skills assessments, do the phone calls, and post the job ads that attract the best possible candidates for your position.
We can also help you improve your job description and clarify the qualities you must have for this position. This is why we are not recruiters. We are hiring consultants.
And whether you do your hiring on your own or decide to have us do most of it for you, you will save time using this approach because it gives you a checklist of qualities against which to compare every resume that comes in, and every phone call and interview you have.
You will also know what to ask references that will confirm this candidate has the ‘must have’ qualities.
You won’t have to guess about a candidate, because all your final choices will have the core qualifications they must have to do this job.
Less guesswork. Less uncertainty. More confidence in making a decision.
That adds up to a faster hiring process, which means you will save money by onboarding them sooner and siphoning off fewer of your in-house resources.
See How PainLess Hire Speeds Up the Hiring Process
Here’s a case study of a New York fertility clinic that needed to hire a new Executive Director.
See what went wrong with other recruiters, why they needed a new hire, and how long the hiring process took.
View Executive Director Case Study