Is it challenging to attract, select, and retain top talent for your business? It may be what you are saying…or not saying, to potential candidates and employees.

A job description is meant to guide and inspire employees to do what needs to be done for everyone to reach a common goal expertly set by the business. Job descriptions can be so much more powerful than an exhaustive list of tasks that must be performed by the employees of a company.

Like all the elements of an effective Selling System, your job description needs to be built on a foundation of good intent. This means clear and consistent communication, fixed goalposts, and zero discrimination. More importantly though, what you say and what you do must be 100% aligned. There is nothing worse than saying one thing and behaving in a completely contradictory fashion.

For those responsible for hiring, it’s helpful to begin by understanding what traits matter most to be successful in your company.


All candidates present three faces when seeking gainful employment:

  1. Attitude
  2. Aptitude
  3. Ability

Attitude and aptitude are the vital traits for fit in 4 key areas:

  1. With the values and goals of the company
  2. With the leadership style
  3. With fellow team members
  4. With the roles and responsibilities of the job

You can always teach a person with the right aptitude the skills they need (ability), but only the individual can choose their attitude. Companies that hire for fit have lower turnover, higher engagement, and more productive people, saving them thousands of dollars in attrition and recruitment costs.

Knowing who you are looking for, you can build a job description that will support your efforts to help them succeed in your employ.

The best job descriptions contain 9 elements:

  1. Job Summary
  2. Company Goal
  3. Employee Attributes
  4. Company Intent
  5. Company Culture
  6. Job Beliefs
  7. Job Disciplines
  8. Job Metrics
  9. Career Path

Job Summary

The job summary introduces the job roles and responsibilities in relation to the customer and the company goals. This section provides clarity on what it is that the candidate should expect to be doing on a day-to-day basis. Don’t feel you need to overexplain the role. Trust that your candidates understand the job they’ve signed up for and leave yourself room to be flexible in your definition of what the job demands to be successful.

Company Goal

Your company goal likely changes annually, but for a new candidate (and as a reminder to existing employees) the company goal should be refreshed and reviewed in relation to the job’s metrics and overall performance expectations. The more upfront agreements you have to help your employees clearly understand their value, purpose, and how they fit, the better chance they have to succeed.

Employee Attributes

Psychoanalytic data is very helpful in recognizing who has the greatest chance of success. Not all assessments are created equal. Some assessment tools are illegal to use for hiring purposes. Proper tools determine how a candidate fits to a library of attributes that represent a successful candidate for a specific job. The wrong tools only articulate how one prefers to be treated.

Company Intent

Core values are anchored in intent. Intent represents your guiding principles and allow the business to clearly define the values that matter most. Defining your intentions as a business help train and lead your employees to do what you want them to do as a default setting. When you find candidates that hold the same values as you, you are more likely to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship.

Companies that act on their intentions to help people win in a trustworthy and grateful manner have a history of sustainability, profitability, and success. While these three pillars stand for different things in different organizations, all values and beliefs that sustain success are represented in one or more of these three pillars.

Company Culture

Culture has a significant and lasting effect on employee retention and overall productivity and profitability. Ignore at your own risk. When a company orients to foster a happy, healthy, and wealthy culture, they are choosing to play the long game. Company culture is reflected in the actions of the company’s leadership and has every chance to succeed or fail based on how leaders conduct themselves.

Job Beliefs

Job beliefs are those things that the company believes in with regards to the role; its values and what it stands for. They are also the things that the company stands against. Job beliefs are simple, clear, and specific. Each belief stands on its own two feet. These beliefs are what allow leaders to motivate and train. These beliefs further define your company’s intent and are supported by your company culture.

Job Disciplines

Job disciplines are the etiquette and expectations for the role. Job disciplines clearly articulate all of the behaviors and actions expected from an individual to fit in with the company, leadership, team, and job. From showing up on time to maintaining a uniform, job disciplines act as a roadmap for conduct.

Job Metrics

A job description is incomplete without telling your employee how their performance will be measured. Metrics can be categorized in 3 ways:

  • Goals
  • KPI’s
  • Metrics that matter

The goals of the individual should only be used to help determine the behaviors and actions necessary to achieve the individual goal. The goals are then paired with KPI’s (key performance indicators), to ascertain whether the person is performing above or below the bar. KPI’s are results, therefore they should not be used to reward or punish an employee. Rather, they should be used to track the behaviors and actions necessary to meet or exceed the KPI’s. Therefore, the metrics that matter are the behaviors and actions that move the employee toward the goal.

Career Path

Career paths represent hope. Even if the new employee decides to take a different path, it indicates that there is an opportunity within the organization. In this section you can demonstrate how much you value your people, and their growth and development. It is also where you show your new employees the milestones they need to achieve to increase their status and pay.

FINAL POINT: A job description is NOT a job advertisement, but a great job description will help you write a great job ad.

If you need help creating your best job description or want access to the proper psychoanalytic tools to help you hire the best candidates, send me a message here.