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Are you thinking about starting a small business, freelancing, or turning a hobby into a full-time job? Or perhaps you're already running your own business and need some inspiration to take it to the next level. Each week, join small business coach Dave Crenshaw for two short lessons that reveal the secrets of running a successful small business. This series covers topics such as getting started, writing a business plan, determining your most valuable product or service, hiring people, managing processes, documenting systems, bootstrapping, seeking funding, accounting, controlling costs and profit margins, marketing, creating culture, and more.
- Whether you're hiring a part-time or full-time employee, you're going to want to be prepared by having a job description. This is a one- to two-page document that describes, generally speaking, what the person is supposed to do in this position. I've provided you with a template that we're going to walk through in just a moment. Before we do that, though, let's have a conversation about pay scale. This is a complex topic, and the easiest way to summarize this is, be competitive.
Just do a little research and find out what other people in your area are paying for that kind of a position. You can spend a little bit more on an employee or a little bit less, but I wouldn't go too far away from that. The idea is to be in the ballpark and be competitive. Now, let's talk about this job description. Up in the upper left-hand corner, you'll see the position summary section. Here is where you're going to put a one- to two-page description of what this person does.
The idea is if they met someone else and that person asked, what do you do for a living, they're going to describe, in one to two sentences, what that is. In the upper right-hand box, you'll see the accountable to section. This is, who is this position's manager? In other words, if I'm hiring a sales executive, I would put the sales manager in that box. In the next section, you'll see traits on one side and skills on the other. This is perhaps the most important part of the job description and sometimes an area that's neglected.
Traits are those things that someone is essentially born with. It's their personality characteristics, and these are not things that change quickly over time. Every position has a certain set of traits that best fit the position, and if a person doesn't have those traits, they're generally not ever going to fit for that position, and you're going to make your life difficult by trying to get them to fit. On the other side, skills, these are things that can be taught.
For instance, I may naturally like computers, which is a trait, but I may acquire the skill to use a particular software program. You'll want to list out the traits versus skills, keeping in mind that when you hire someone, the traits are must have, and the skills are would like. In the bottom left-hand corner, you'll see accountable for. This is the flip side of accountable to. In other words, if you're hiring a manager, what positions does this person manage? If they don't manage anyone, then the answer is no one.
And in the bottom right, you'll see the hours expectations. In other words, what is it that you expect of the other person? Are there certain hours of the day, certain days of the week, a number of hours in the week? Put that here. All too often, people are hired into a situation where there's an unwritten rule about how long someone should work. We want to take that unwritten rule and make it written, so it's very clear for both of you up front. Now, on the second page, you'll see the responsibilities section.
This is where you list out all the things that someone does. Now, we don't want to get into fine detail. That's what systems are for. Instead, we want to list the general responsibilities, perhaps 20 to 30 responsibilities, that someone will have in this position. That gives you a basis of training when you make the hire, and it also gives a prospective employee an idea of what they'll be doing in the position. If you can have a job description planned out in advance, you'll be far more prepared for the hiring process and make managing new employees go a little more smoothly.
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