Once you’ve clarified why you are hiring, the next step in the hiring roadmap is to determine who the ideal candidate is.

And specifically, what are the core technical skills and interpersonal skills, that are missing within your current team that you need to address?

These answers will help determine the requirements the role needs and support the details needed for writing a viable and accurate job description to clarify the day-to-day responsibilities.

Equally important is to define the hard skills or IQ the role needs (the technical know-how, the programs, the education), as well as needed soft skills ( the communication skills, leadership skills, the EQ for the role). 

Think of creating the job description as a marketing opportunity for your company.   This document promotes your company to potential candidates and creates a strategic roadmap for hiring and retention success.

Writing this impactful job description is a critical step in the recruitment process, however, it is too often considered an admin task that is rushed, copied from other roles found online, or relegated to ChatGPT so it can be done quickly and posted on external or internal job boards.

Yes, you can use AI to start the foundation of the requirements, however, you’ll have to customize and tailor it so it is unique to your company, conveys your voice, and your message,  builds trust, AND supports your employer Brand.  Otherwise, your role (and company) will sound like hundreds of others on the web and will get lost in the noise of other job posts out there.

A good job description should demonstrate what success can look like for a candidate, clarify potential, and growth opportunities, list the company values, perks, and your company’s unique offerings.

Unfortunately, many job descriptions read like a laundry list of wants and todos, and rarely differentiate between what is a MUST HAVE. Many job descriptions focus only on what the company needs and neglect highlighting what a candidate may want.

If the salary is not aligned with the years of experience you are asking for, determine whether you can offer better benefits, sign-on bonuses, or early reviews to boost the overall compensation package.  Or if the salary parameters are not aligned, consider if you really need someone with all the skills listed, or can you hire someone more junior who may not have that experience and whom you can teach, mentor, and groom?

Clarifying these parameters helps define the expectations, goals, and success metrics for any job opening. In fact, without these, you may elongate the hiring process by sifting through unqualified applicants and waste your and your team’s most valuable asset, your time!

Once you are clear about the must-have skills that are needed, you can build a process or create a toolkit to evaluate the applications that are being submitted or the interviews you are conducting.

Geoff Smart, the author of the book WHO, suggests creating a Scorecard and details his process for it in the book.

You and your team can determine and rank the hard and soft skills you are looking for and plan how you’ll move an applicant through the hiring process.

Regardless of the hiring framework you use, the recruitment tools you have, or the assessments you may have in place, these preparation steps will help determine the years of experience you need and the seniority level the role requires and that will directly correlate to the salary and the length of time it may take to find the right candidate.

Only you can decide what qualities and experiences are a must-have, what you are willing to teach on the job, or when to extend an interview or reject an application.

Let’s do a Pulse Check

  • How do you define and differentiate your company to applicants?
  • How do you differentiate between the must-haves vs. the nice-to-have skills & qualifications, as well as hard and soft skills?
  • How do you define what success looks like and what it offers a candidate?
  • How realistic are the must-haves in the job?


Watch the previous episodes in this series:

Episode 0: Introduction

Episode 1: Transforming Your Hiring Mindset