When was the last time your team evaluated existing job descriptions? 

We recommend this process be done bi-annually as there are a number of factors that can cause a shift in the original duties and responsibilities designed for specific positions.  

The following list is our ten tips for creating job descriptions that work:

  1. Ask yourself the following 3 important questions:
    • Why is this position needed?
    • What do you expect to accomplish from this position?
    • How does it fit within the context of the rest of the facility?
  2. Research the market:
    • Explore how the job is handled at similar clubs or how it is being advertised in job postings
  3. Evaluate how the position has been handled:
    • Was it done above or below standards or expectations?
    • What needs to be done to put it back on track?
    • What criteria for the next person to be successful?
  4. Make sure the job title matches the position:
    • The title should be consistent with other industry titles
    • 36% of job seekers use job sites that search for a job using the specific title of the job they are looking for
  5. Create a strong job summary that provides an overview of your company and expectations for the position:
    • 73% of job seekers have indicated details about company culture are a significant factor in the job search process
    • Include details about your company culture and why a candidate would love to work for you
    • Define who the candidate will report to
    • Include a description of the work environment
    • Include “must have” educational degrees, certifications, and experience
    • Include specifics that detail expectations for mobility and communication such as standing, climbing stairs/ladders, lifting objects, bending, and reaching
  6. Define the goals and objectives clearly and preferably with quantitative expectations for of the position:
    • Refrain from using “assist in” or “help with”
    • Use present tense action verbs
    • Timelines should be specific
    • Don’t be vague with skill sets that are required. For example, “Strong communicator” means different things to different people
  7. Bring forth what teachable skills are needed…and what learnable skills the candidate will have the opportunity to gain:
    • The only way for someone to grow knowledge is through attitude and ability… or teachable and learnable skills
      • Teachable is about attitude; learnable is the individual’s capacity with regards to gaining knowledge or skills thru instruction or experiences
  8. Identify skills vs teachable tasks; hard skills vs soft skills:
    • There is a difference between needs and preferences. Preferences are nice to have, but don’t let them stand in the way of hiring someone
      • Ability to work well with people or possess leadership skills are soft skills that can’t really be tested in an interview but are important for success in certain roles. Proficiency in a foreign language, computer skills, and industry specific skills such as teaching a specific sport are examples of hard skill sets. Give examples of when these skills are needed in the job description
  9. Responsibilities should have a business development component and quantifiable goals and objectives:
    • The goal with most new hires is to have them excel at their respective positions. To do so you will need quantifiable goals and objectives for each team member to strive for
  10. Stay true to your company mission, values, and culture:
    • Qualified candidates will want to know more about the bigger picture of your business and how the job fits into it. They will also want to work for a company that is aligned with their own values and goals
  11. Format the job descriptions in a professional manner:
    • People may be reading them on a mobile phone
      • Short paragraphs
      • Bullet points
      • Brevity
      • Assume limited attention span
  12. Salary range:
    • Nothing more frustrating than realizing at the end of the interview process the candidate has different expectations. Establish a clear and concise salary range at the onset of the job description.
Bobby Verdun

Bobby Verdun is the Founder and President of Active Entities Consulting.  He can be reached at Bobby@activeentities.com.  

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