Monthly Archives

July 2019

Outlining the Role – Getting the Position Description Right

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Hiring employees is based on your operational needs. You need the additional resources and support to ensure that your business operates efficiently and to ensure that your customers are happy and keep coming back. So it’s CRITICAL that you know EXACTLY what the job is.

Even if you’re needing to replace someone who is leaving, it is important to take a step back and review the role. Consider the tasks that need to be completed, how it sits and interacts with the other roles in the business, the required work hours and the salary.

Having a CLEAR understanding of these factors upfront is KEY to getting the right person for the role in your business. A good Job Description performs a number of important functions:

  • It describes the skills and competencies that are needed to perform the role.
  • It defines where the job fits within the overall company hierarchy.
  • It is used as the basis for the employment contract.
  • It is a valuable performance management tool.

Job Title

The first fundamental element of the Position Description is the Job Title. A good job title will address the following:

  • It accurately reflects the nature of the job and the duties being performed
  • It reflects its ranking order with other jobs in your business
  • It does not exaggerate the importance of the role
  • It reflects similar jobs in the industry for comparable pay and conditions
  • It is self-explanatory for recruitment and attraction purposes

A good example of this is Office Manager verse Office Coordinator or Office Administrator – An Office Manager is reflective of a medium to large sized business with 10 plus office based staff where “management” responsibilities are undertaken on a daily basis – and is likely to attract a salary of around $80K……..An Office Administrator is more likely to be the sole administrative staff member of a small business or perhaps works with a receptionist – to provide a broad range of hands on administrative and office support functions – and is likely to attract a salary of around $55K up to maybe $65K.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Position Description needs to contain a list of tasks, duties and responsibilities required as for the role. This will define the differences between roles within your business and provide the basis for “who does what”.

The level of responsibility (ie. the level of accountability, authority, control, power, leadership, management or influence) you include within the role, needs to be considered carefully to ensure that it is accurate and is reflected in the salary (more on this on my next blog). Whilst this needs to be comprehensive – don’t make it too long as it isn’t meant to be an operation manual.

Skills and Competencies

It is best to list these separately from each other, as they are two quite separate things:

  • Skills are activities the candidate can perform based on what they have learned in the past, or from qualifications they have obtained (eg Professional level MYOB user). Skills can be learned through study and/or practice.
  • Competencies are the traits or attributes you expect the candidate to display in the role (Strong communication and interpersonal capability). This is an innate characteristic displayed by a person.

Qualifications and Licences

Often a formal qualification is required for the role – or preferred. These may range from a TAFE Certificate in Information Technology or Administration – through to a Degree in Architecture with Registration. However, it is important that you be REALISTIC about the level of qualification you REQUIRE for the role – Does your Finance Officer really need a Degree followed by a CA or CPA?

Other critical areas to consider and must be included are the Licences and Tickets that are ESSENTIAL for the role. These may include a Blue Card for working with children, Safety Inductions, a Civil Drivers Licence, etc. If the role REQUIRES the employee to drive to client premises, the supplier’s warehouse, etc. then you must include this in the Position Description as a requirement (eg. Current clean Manual Drivers Licence). If you don’t have this as part of the Position Description and the employee loses their drivers licence – you cannot dismiss them!!!

Reporting Relationships

It is important to include reporting lines and working relationships in your Position Description.

  • Reporting lines clarify the responsibilities of the position by showing whom the employee reports to and as to who reports to the employee. (Reports to the Finance Manager).
  • Working relationships are the people and departments the position requires the employee to work closely with. (Work closely with Production and Sales to provide accurate and timely reports).


The salary that you pay the employee is a VERY important consideration. It needs to be reflective of level of duties and responsibilities, competitive within the market and fit within the salary structure of other roles within the business. In addition, it has to fit within your budget. By its very nature, the notion of SALARY is a highly EMOTIVE subject, for both the employee and the employer.

My next blog will look at salary and remuneration options in detail….

Make sure you’re following on Facebook ( as I’ll share some other great tips and information.

Attracting Candidates: Will I be “Happier” working for You??

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If someone is looking at your Job Advertisement – there is ALWAYS a reason!!! That reason generally lies in one or more of their “needs” not being met at their current place of employment.

An employee spends more time at work that with their near and dear ones. Therefore, the ‘working relationship’ needs to be FULFILLING. If “something’s missing” – then they will treat it similar to a personal relationship and try to FIX IT! However, if their needs still aren’t being met, then they will eventually start looking elsewhere.

So what are people generally looking for within their employment to be HAPPY?

  • FAIR PAY OF COURSE!!! No one expects otherwise.
  • A sense of SAFETY!!! Everyone expects to be able to go home after work.
  • To feel VALUED!!! No one wants to be just ‘another number’ or constantly ‘criticised’.
  • OPPORTUNITIES to learn new skills, scope for career advancement and future rise in pay.
  • A sense of FIT in their personal values and ethos to that of the CULTURE of the firm.
  • To actually LIKE WHAT THEY DO!!!

To attract the right candidates and have them apply for your job vacancy, your Job Advertisement needs to paint a clear picture of the job, and must addresses all of the points mentioned above. When I ask my top candidates,why did you apply for this position? The answer always refers to one or more elements from the job advertisement that resonated positively with them.

In a nutshell, a Job advertisement is an ADVERTISEMENT!!!

Advertising is a form of marketing communication used to promote or sell something, usually a business’s product or service. (source: Wikipedia)

Your ‘Job Advertisement’ is an opportunity for you to paint a POSITIVE and ACCURATE picture of your business, the workplace and the role itself. The importance of being accurate and realistic when outlining details cannot be UNDERESTIMATED!!! You will not only cost yourself TIME & MONEY, but also lose potential CLIENTS by appointing someone under false pretences!!! By writing a Job Advertisement that is more or less a shortened (cut and paste) version of the Job Description, you’re not taking advantage of the opportunity to SELL the role. REMEMBER, a job advertisement is a tool to attract potential candidates, by communicating the function of the role, the business and essentially promote the business as an ideal workplace.

Here are some Headings you can use within your Job Advertisement:

  • About the Business
  • About the Role
  • Your Skills and Experience or What skills and Qualities are we looking for?
  • What we Provide or What’s on Offer

Don’t be afraid to put the business out there!!! If you’re a ground level IT business dealing with everyday business and people – then don’t be afraid to say we offer “IT help for HUMANS!!!”. If the role requires the candidate to be detail oriented and possess a high degree of analytical ability to the extent that they are ALMOST ANAL, then state it OUTRIGHT!!! People who refer to themselves in this way are the people you want to apply. When I work with my clients, I take the time to really listen to what they are describing about their business, the type of people within their business, what works well for them and of course what the role will actually entail!!! Only then will I work on designing a Job Advertisement that accurately reflects the role, the Brand and the people they are looking for. Thus, providing the best marketing opportunity to attract quality candidates.

Make sure you’re following on Facebook ( as I’ll share some other great tips and information.