You will see the title of this post is “4 Things You Must Do to Create a Professional Job Description“. I wrote it that way to get a higher response rate so more people could learn about why I dislike the term ‘Job Description’ so much. It worked, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here.
One very important part of the title is… “Job Description”. I really did not want to use that word because there are more people searching for that term than the correct one. Know what it is? Well, don’t worry, I will tell you. It should be ‘Job Role and Responsibilities’.
I know, I know… it’s longer and it seems like everyone is all about shorter, since they don’t have time because everyone is so distracted with everything that is going on, but hear me out.
What is a ‘Job Description’? Does it really do what you need it to do? After all, isn’t this just another piece of paper that will take up someone’s time and then just sit in a drawer (forgive me, folder in the cloud) never to be seen again?
Instead, why don’t you spend your time working on a document that will take time to create, but will work for you so much better. Yes, you will actually use this document on a regular basis… that is if you want to have the best frickin’ staff in the world like my team here at Bottleneck – and that is no lie!
The definition I found is on BusinessDirectory.com (they were a million results so I literally chose this one before I got too distracted and started searching for random things – you know, E.S.S. – ‘Entrepreneurial Squirrel Syndrome , lol):
A broad, general, and written statement of a specific job, based on the findings of a job analysis. It generally includes duties, purpose, responsibilities, scope, and working conditions of a job along with the job’s title, and the name or designation of the person to whom the employee reports. Job description usually forms the basis of job specification.
The color of the font was changed to a lighter, harder to read font because it doesn’t really matter what the definition is. The goal to give you the foundational representation of what, at least I would imagine most people might say or think.
Good… is your brain hurting yet? Is this what you thought a ‘Job Description’ was? Ok, well at least you are still reading so that tells me that you really want to maximize your time and get this right. I’ll go on.
Why I dislike the term ‘Job Description’ and like to say ‘Job Role and Responsibilities’:
- Yes, I get it… job titles, description of position, etc. are important, but this is only the beginning, and this document is certainly not going to be a living breathing asset within your company – (ask me about this and I will tell you why this document is so important to your company’s valuation.)
- What is the name of the Company and how long has it been around?… I need a story.
- The Company Vision – (what is aspires to do/be)?
- The Company Mission – (the daily objective and for whom)?
- The Company’s Core Values – (dive deep into your own belief system and get creative)?
- How can you make any decision about working with a Company without knowing what their core values are?
- Why would I ever need to use this document again? Accept to search for another candidate because that person didn’t work out since you used a ‘Job Description’ form.
- Does a ‘Job Description’ have a scoring system for performance evaluations?
- Where is the ‘Training Map’?
Job Role and Responsibilities
- The Job Role and Responsibilities document starts off with a brief overview of the company – no more than 3 – 5 sentences.
- Both the Mission Statement and Core Values are listed above every document to remind both parties of the value and commitment the Company brings to its team and its clientele.
- Every task associated with the Jobe Role is considered a responsibility. Wouldn’t you agree? (Please correct me if you disagree… if I’m wrong, I will make a formal representation of my shortcomings and lend credit to you and your organization for adding to my experiential education as I continue this journey of self-improvement – I never know if the parentheses goes before or after the period… anyways.)
- All the responsibilities are inline with your vision, mission and values. This will create a sense of belonging due to the organizational skills along with clear and concise expectations.
- You can use this ‘living, breathing’ document to clearly state the boundaries of the role.
- You can use each area of the responsibilities as a job performance tool. Every time you have staff evaluations, we have them quarterly btw, you can assess scores for each area of responsibility, 0 – 5 stars, etc.
- Every responsibility is organized in order of priority. Candidates and their managers can move through this document and lay out training regiments. (Yes, you are creating a document that you will use again and again. The more you embrace this process the better you will become at hiring and the more respected you will become within your organization… no matter if you are a manager or the owner, these are the things you need to be doing to make your company different from other companies in your niche.)
- Reference this document often, especially in the beginning, as an outline to the training curriculum. If you have built the correct Job Role and Responsibilities document, then you should be able to use this document as the foundation for all positional training.
4 Things You Must Do to Create a Professional Job Description (I mean a Job Role and Responsibilities)
Thank you in advance for implementing this task because I know how hard it is to get motivated for this kind of thing. Unless you are amidst the select few who actually enjoy this kind of stuff… like me, Scott Beebe and Gabe Arnold.
Here they are:
Create a Delegation Roadmap. List down all the recurring tasks you do on a daily basis and assign two values to each:
- Is this something you ‘MUST’ do, or is this something you can delegate to someone else who can perform this job 80% as good as you? It is important to understand the ‘80%’ rule here… understand that anytime you hire someone, your daily schedule, at least early on, will be approximately 80% less productive because you are focused on training. Second, no matter how much experience this candidate has, they have to learn what you, specifically, expect them to do. Experience is great because it adds depth to the position, but they have to get to know you and your business… and vice-versa. Have patience. This takes time.
- Does this give you energy or completely drain you of energy?
Segment all the tasks that you can delegate and do not give you energy and add those tasks to the Job Roles and Responsibilities Template in order of priority and according to level of importance – remember, think about what responsibilities are necessary right now and identify the ‘would-be-helpful’ tasks so you can provide more responsibility to this position the more comfortable both you and your virtual assistant become.
We will be adding the PA Onboarding Template that Jaime uses as a download to help clients create a daily task list in more detail.
List the various skills associated with the role on the Job Roles and Responsibilities Template.
To make this a little easier, first, list all the skills the candidate should have and then list the experience the candidate could have in order to make them better suited for the role. Your VA may not have all the skills you would like for them to have, but remember that you will be giving the VA training for the high priority tasks first and then, as you build more trust in the VA’s work performance, you can give them more responsibilities.
List down preferred ‘soft skills’ this candidate should possess.
Four Questions to help you get started that you can ask yourself when drafting this part of the Job Role:
Q1: Who will this person be working with? (i.e., with you directly, with a team, etc.?)
Q2: What kind of personality are you looking for? (i.e., someone who is very outgoing, very detailed, someone who likes to be part of a team, or someone who can put their head down and just complete tasks without much social interaction, etc.)
Q3: How much flexibility in the job role does the candidate have? (i.e., do you need someone who follows your direction or someone who can operate with little oversight, etc.?)
Q4: How much training will be offered for the position? (i.e., Do you have a system in place already that you will be training from? If you don’t, how will you be training the candidate? What are your daily expectations with regards to the amount of training that needs to happen? Who will the candidate be training with – you or someone else on your team?, etc)
Write the Job Role and Responsibilities.
We have identified a great resource to help you write your job role. Here is the link from Indeed, a great resource for people hiring new talent: https://www.indeed.com/hire/how-to-write-a-job-description – here, you will find examples for several different job roles, by scrolling down to the bottom of the page, along with an overview for each section of the job role.
I hope you implement the ideas here. I have done it at Bottleneck and I cannot express to you how much weight has been lifted off my shoulders in doing so. Business is not easy, but there are ways of making the work you do more productive. Plus, the sense of accomplishment I felt after I completed this process was incredible. I want you to feel that too.
If you would like to see how I complete a ‘Job Role and Responsibilities’ document, then I would like to invite you to register for our newsletter and I will email this video and the template directly to your inbox. I will also give you the template I use as well that you can download and save to your Google Drive.
Get Your Free Job Role & Responsibilities TemplateSubscribe to the Bottleneck Buzz Newsletter for more tips and strategies on how to hire a virtual assistant. Jaime created a video that demonstrates how to build a Job Role and Responsibilities document. You can also download the template that he uses for free.
Thank you for learning about the 4 Things You Must Do to Create a Professional Job Description. All of our clients that go through an onboarding process with Bottleneck Virtual Assistants get private access to this and more great information. Schedule your free consultation today to learn about this insightful material this was all designed specifically with you and your business in mind.