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This business coaching course explains how to write an effective job description for a hiring post.

Results-Focused Training, Tools, and Workshops from Expert Business Coaches.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 1
  • "You should never hire someone that knows less than you do about whey are hired to do." - Malcolm Forbes
  • Accounts Receivable Supervisor Job Duties: Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks. Accomplishes accounting and organization mission by completing related results: Supervision, Staffing, Financial Software, Forecasting
  • Lesson Nugget: Write a job description before you write the title so that what you actually want the employee to do and the job title match up.
  • Most people will not read a lot of text. Add main headings and bullet points to your job description so candidate's read what you want them to know about the job.
  • Lesson Nugget: A poorly written job description will not only attract the wrong people, it will repel the right people.
  • Accounts Receivable Supervisor Job Duties: Accomplish accounts receivable human resource objectives by selecting, orienting, training, assigning, scheduling, coaching, counseling, and disciplining employees; communicating job expectations; planning, monitoring, appraising job contributions; recommending compensation actions; adhering to policies and procedures.
  • Accounts Receivable Supervisor Job Duties: Meets accounts receivable operational standards by contributing information to strategic plans and reviews; implementing production, productivity, quality and customer service standards; resolving problems; identifying system improvements. Meets accounts receivable, financial standards by providing annual accounts receivable, budget information; monitoring expenditures; identifying variances; implementing corrective actions.
  • Accounts Receivable Supervisor Job Duties: Collects accounts by contacting customers referred by clerks; investigating circumstances of non-payment; negotiating and resolving conflicts; expediting payment. Supports financial planning by forecasting cash. Updates receivables by coordinating and monitoring daily sales order processing and band remittance transactions.
  • Accounts Receivable Supervisor Job Duties: Maintains financial security by adhering to internal accounting controls. Maintains accounting ledgers by posting monthly account transactions. Protects organization's value by keeping information confidential.

human resources training like lynda.com, management training

OK, so Malcolm Forbes, the former publisher of Forbes, he says you should never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he's hired to do. And the idea, I guess, in corporate America is you want to find somebody who's kind of an expert at that job and hire them to come in.


-But in small business, I mean, you own a dentistry, let's say you're a dental practice, I mean, you have to just hire a front desk lady and teach her how to do this stuff in management training.

-Sure. Yeah.

-So you have to be sort of a teacher here. But you still have to have a job description.


-So there's a job description here. I'm just going to go through it with you, and you tell me what's wrong with this thing, OK? So we're going to kind of look at it together here.


-One is it says here we've got-- OK, and I'm just going to kind of read it off here for you. One is we are looking to hire for an accounts receivables supervisor. All right?


-And it says a person obtains revenue by processing invoices, resolving missed payments, updating financial records, and we're going to put the rest of this description up on the screen so that people at home can read this.


-But when you go through a job description, what are some of the things that you're like, man, you have to put this in here? What are the things that most employers are missing?

-I want to back up just a second before I to the job description, because I think it's very apparent that a lot of people that write job descriptions, they write the job title before they actually write what the person is supposed to do. And there's an obvious mismatch.

-So you say marketing director, but they didn't write out all things that they do.

-But when you read the description, it has nothing to do with the director. It's like, more of an assistant. And so what I really want to recommend to people is before you haul off and write out this big, hellacious thing of a job description, make sure that you get everything printed out before you commit to a job title. And that way, the job title matches what it is that you're wanting this person to do.

-So what you're saying here, Corey, is that basically you have to write this description before we go out there and write the actual title. This is what has to happen.

-Right, because what if you write the description, and it has nothing to do with your title, and you're just tired, so you leave the title, and then when you go out and advertise this, no one has any clue what it is because the first thing they see is the job title. And that's either going to attract people, or it's going to have people move on. You want to attract the people that want to do what it is that you're needing them to do, and having an off sorts job title, it really can do that. It's the first thing people look at.

-What can you do to jazz up the job description a little bit? I mean, if I'm an employer and I want to jazz up my job description, let's say 307%. I want to make it awesome.


-What can I do to jazz up my job?

-Well, the very first thing that I would do with this particular job description, and if you're throwing that up right now, you can take a look at it. This thing reads like a daggum book. How many people went to school, OK, and the teacher told you to read all these chapters? What's the first thing you did, Clay?

-I went to the beginning of the book, I read the-- kind of the summary, the little inside of the jacket. I go to the end, I get a little-- you know-- and then I would go to each-- I'd just kind of try to read as little as possible, really. It was kind of a game.

-So big titles, they're bold, you look at those, you might read, and any bullet points you're going to read those things.


-This is written more like a book, and so most people, honestly, are not going to read it. And there's going to be a lot of importance that are going to be in the middle of this that you want people to pay attention to, that it's going to get missed.

-So this kind of is terrible.

-I think that you should use more bullet points, and more main headings. And I really think that that would help you to communicate what it is that you're wanting the person to do.

-Now, Corey, I have not hired thousands of people like you have, but I've never really-- I've hired hundreds, but I've never had an issue hiring people. And I meet companies all over the country that really struggle with this, finding anybody.


-And what I have found is the purpose of all this is to get somebody to call, or to submit a resume, or to-- right? I mean, if you write, like, this massive book about the job, they're not going to call. Right? I mean, it's just kind of like, this is too intense, man.

-You're probably not going to get a lot of people to look at it. Some will, but a lot won't.

-You ever get people that just-- you can tell they haven't read these descriptions, because they're so long and they just start applying?

-Oh, that's a majority of everybody that applies, you know?


-You say, hey, I need somebody that's an engineer, and you get people that read the word engineer one day. You know?

-I feel like a lot of people, when they have long descriptions, they apply for the job in the way that a lot of us vote for, like, the judge for a local election. With like, well, his name's Johnson. I think.

-I think he sounds good.

-I think he sounds good. And it's like, OK, this is a job with a description. I think I'll go ahead and apply for that.


-But we want to get calls from the right people.

-You do. And I'll tell you what. The more specialized you get, it really depends on how specialized you need the person to be. But if you need somebody that has a specialized skill, you really need to have a good written out job description, or you're really going to attract the wrong people.

-The riff raff.

-And the right people are going to see through it and not be interested

in it.

Learn more on management training on Thrive15.com

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 2
  • Lesson Nugget: Write out job descriptions that talk about what you actually want, not on soft skills everyone should know is a given.
  • Lesson Nugget: Put the culture of your business in your job description. Give the applicant a glimpse of what it is like to work for your company.
  • "I hire people brighter than me, then I get out of their way." - Lee Iacocca
  • Lesson Nugget: You have to decide if the skill or the personality is more important for a specific job.


-Now let me ask you this here. What are some of the common mistakes that you often see employers making when it comes to job description. I know you talked about here, you talked about how they've got a description that's way out of whack with the title. They're writing too long of a statement. What else? Anything else?

CORY: Yeah, there's one thing that I see a lot. And that is they spend a lot of time talking about soft skills. And let me tell you what I mean by soft skills. Maybe not everybody knows what that is.

We want somebody that's a hard worker. We want somebody that works well in a team environment. We want we want someone that is dependable, that's honest. And those sorts of things are really a given. And they spend a majority of the time talking about things that really have nothing to do specifically with what they want.

-Like I'm going to write, well, I'm not good with humans, but you should hire me. Who's going to write that on their application? I don't have integrity, but I have everything else.

CORY: You know, I met with an office manager the other day, and they were wanting us to find a position for them. And you know, he just went on and on and on and talked to us about absolutely nothing. He's like, all right. Well, I'm looking for this position. And it's a very specialized position.

I said, well, what is it that you're looking for? And I mean, it's highly critical that what this guy knows what he's [INTERPOSING VOICES].

CLAY CLARK: You've got to talk about the specific skill.

-And he's wanting me to find somebody that's loyal, that's honest. And that's what he's telling me.


-But what that means is there are a lot of hiring managers, there are a lot of people that just value those things. And that's on the top part of their mind when they think of who they want to hire. And they forget about the details on the skill set--

-Now let's flip it. What are the employees looking for out of the job descriptions that they're finding? What are employees looking for? Are they looking for bullet points and [INAUDIBLE] job description.

-To be quite honest with you, they want to see the money. And that's a big part of it, but that's not really what you want to have in there as-- I think I hit on it a little bit. You want to have large titles. You want to have it bullet pointed out. You want it to be a quick read.

-They do want to see a vision of the company. This is another thing I really want to through in there-- and it's really thinking outside of the box-- but you can put the culture of your business in this job description. And let me give you a reason, a way that you can do this.

Like if you're an accounting company, we're going to be straight laced, bullet pointed. And you're only going to be talking about accounting stuff, and it's straight laced. But if you are a company wants to have a very Type A type of personality, a sales type of a group, well, you would want to throw in there, we're a group that knows how to work hard and play hard. We want to have somebody that can get along within a group, that knows how to have fun, but can get the job done.

And you can use your personality in there maybe it's some vocabulary that you use in there that shows that you are more of a fun group to work with. And I think that you can incorporate the culture of your company right in your job description, and a lot of people read that and be attracted to you.

-So incorporating that the personality is big. That's beautiful, the culture, incorporating that into there. Now point number three here, before we even hire somebody, we have to have these things in place-- the education, requirements, and qualifications. So let's kind of move on to this here.

So Cory, there's a famous quote by Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler. And he says, "I hire people brighter than me, and then I get out of their way." Well, that's great. But again, it's small business. That's the goal. We can all agree. You want to hire people smarter than you are. And I love the quote. I love the idea. But to be honest with you, as Thrive is getting bigger, I do that.

Featured Coaching Excerpt - Notes & Transcript, Part 3
  • Lesson Nugget: Your working is huge in job descriptions. If you say something is required you may miss out on a great candidate that doesn't have that one requirement.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) - Covers standard regulations for hiring and treatment of employees.
  • Lesson Nugget: Stick to your job description when hiring so people can't claim you are discriminating against them.
  • Lesson Nugget: Experience is often a better indicator of ability than a degree.
  • Lesson Nugget: Create a statement to say what you are looking for. Make this statement short and to the point.
  • LPN - Licensed Practical Nurse. A person who has completed a program in nursing and is licensed to provide basic care under the supervision of a physician or registered nurse.


-So Cory, what are some basic things that I can do to sort of open the floodgates to get the right kind of candidates, but not be so low in my standards that I get the wrong kind of people to apply?

-I think the language really is, a degree will be preferred, but it's not required. And if you say that, I think that that opens it up. The last thing that you want to do, in my opinion, is say that a degree is required. Because what if you had the Holy Grail of somebody that had a beaucoup of experience and they just didn't happen to have a degree walk through the door, and you had just met with somebody who did have a degree that wasn't nearly as ideal for the position, just from an FLSA standpoint, if that's what you advertised for and you hired somebody that wasn't--

CLAY CLARK: What does F-L-S-A mean?

-It stands for the Fair Labor Standards Act. And it's a big legal term. Basically, when you write this job description out, you need to make sure that you follow it. So if you say that you want a degree on there and you interview somebody who does have a degree but then you hire somebody who didn't have a degree that was a better fit for you, if that other person found that out, they could probably come and sue you and say, hey, listen, you didn't hire somebody as qualified as what I did. Was it because they were a minority, race, ethnicity, anything like that? And so you always want to stay away from that. In your job description, you can get into that type of thing. But it would just be better if you said, a degree would be preferred, but not required.

-Now a couple things that I think we want to get from this, though, is Google, as an example, I know that one of their heads of their recruiting, one of their head people, has been on record as saying that sometimes he would prefer people without degrees. I know Steve Jobs didn't have a degree. I know Walt Disney didn't graduate from high school. There's a lot of examples of people that have been successful without degrees. However, there is an advantage sometimes to having people with degrees. But you're saying just don't limit yourself unless you really, really need that certification.

-Bingo. I really think so. I was at a networking group the other day that had all human resources people in there. And it was so interesting that they were saying, you know, we really don't care about the degree. All we really need is experience. And that's what we're looking for. We're looking for people with experience, not necessarily a degree.

And so the education system right now is kind of being flipped around, which is kind of interesting because of Thrive. What you're doing is probably solving a problem there. So I definitely would not limit myself with a degree, unless you need, unless you're hiring like an RN or an LPN or something like that, which has a state mandate.

-Registered nurse.


-What's an L-P-N?

-Licensed practical nurse.

-Boom. This guy knows all the nomenclature. He's a hiring specialist, folks. He's like a laser show here.

Now Cory, in your mind, as far as what's wrong with the education level requirements that most companies use, is it that they just have-- they put stuff that's restrictive, like must have a degree, and then they miss out on good people. Is that probably the biggest sin? Or what's the biggest--

-I think some larger companies did. I think that it's changing now. Obvious, at that group of employers, they were some of the largest employers in our area. And they were saying that some of their talent, they would much rather see more experience than a degree. But to answer your question, yes, I think that's happening more and more now.

-Now point number four. These are things we have to have in place before we even hire somebody. These are the things you really want to have in place here. These are the specific attributes, the specific attributes that we're looking for. These are the specific attributes that we're looking for out of a candidate.

So let's just kind of dive into that there. So is it important to make crazy statements like what Steve-- to me, as an entrepreneur who's had some success, I don't honestly think his statements are crazy. I know I've met the guy who used to run Walt Disney World, Lee Cockerell. And he's talking about how they want to create a magic experience. He won't even call employees employees. He calls them cast members. You see that kind of thing.

But do you think it's important that we actually describe those kind of attributes when we're hiring people?

-I'll bet you a lot of money Steve Jobs put a lot of thought into that simple statement. Because that simple statement says a whole lot about what he is looking for. And so for the average entrepreneur that's getting ready to write a job description and get started with this, I think that's very smart to put a lot of emphasis on what it is that you're looking for.

But one thing that I want to point out, that statement is short and to the point. And you don't want your main statement of what you're looking for to be this big old, long, drawn out thing where you lose people in what you're looking for.

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