What is the real purpose behind a recruitment process? Sourcing those huge stacks of resumes, the series of endless telephone calls, the complex coding rounds, all these activities lead only to one thing - “The Perfect Hire”. On-boarding every good hire starts with the process of creating an ideal job description. They play a great role in enhancing communication between the employer and the employee, and they are paramount in running nearly every employment action. Unfortunately, most of the times, companies often ignore this fact and take the task of drafting a job description rather casually.

A Job description is as important as onboarding the “right” candidate. Until and unless you know who is the person you are looking for, or what are the traits that you should be exactly concerned about, you cannot hire the right fit. Here are some of the important reasons as to why you should have a crystal clear job description:

A reference frame to evaluate the candidates on

Each company has a particular tech-stack and specific frameworks which they do use. Let’s consider an example. A company wants to hire someone for the position of backend engineer, who, besides Python, is proficient in Ruby as well. They find a candidate who has his basic concepts pretty clear and he is a great Python developer. Meanwhile, they have failed to mention in the job description that Ruby is their additional requirement as well. Since the candidate has a great aptitude in programming, he gets selected. On the first day of his joining, the hiring manager is shocked to know that he is missing the relevant skills in Ruby.

So, the blame game starts amongst the Hiring manager, the Team Lead, and the HR. It all happened because the interviewer did not have the proper “reference frame” to evaluate the candidate upon. If you want to avoid a similar situation in your hiring process, do come up with a concise job description.

Classification of Skillsets

If a job description is your army, then the skill sets are your archers. At Aircto, when we ask recruiters to upload the skill sets, there are two categories. They are “Must have skills” and “Good to have skills”. One such example is given below:

While interviewing, we ask our experts to take special care that the candidate should have a fairly good knowledge in the primary skills which are mentioned. The “Good to have” skills are also important, but the main focus should be on the primary skills. To give a practical example of each case, one of our experts was taking the interview of a front- end developer of 3.2 years of experience. His basic requirements consisted of skills like html5, javascript, css2, jquery etc. His performance ranged between average to good, still, he was declared as a “bad fit” by the expert in his report.

We were a bit surprised, as a combination of average, good and very good generally means a “Good fit”. When we inquired the expert about this, he put up a very interesting point. The candidate had 3.2 years of experience as frontend developer but he was average in Javascript which is the main base for any frontend technology. Therefore, he had to be a bad fit. A pretty valid point, an interviewer has to understand which point of the job description matters the most in determining if the candidate should go further up the layers of the interview.

Another instance happened recently. The candidate ranged from good to average in the primary skills; but when it came to the good to have skills which included skills like “Mobile development”, the candidate had no in-depth knowledge in any of them. Therefore, he was suggested as bad fit by the expert.

Thus a proper and detailed job description is a very essential parameter for the interviewer to reach a final conclusion depending on the needs of the organization. It could act as a benchmark to decide whether the quality of the candidate is more or less than the requirement. If the quality is more, in that case, he or she can be hired immediately.

Relation between different stages of interviews

In most cases, there are various layers of interviews through which the candidate passes before meeting the final hiring manager. The first set of discussion is initially initiated by the HR, where he/she tries to sense if a given candidate is actually fit for the role. In the case of technical positions, where the requirements are often complicated and tricky, it becomes easier for the HR to assess the candidate if all the required skills are clearly mentioned in the description.

For example, if it is mentioned that the candidate should have worked with both angularjs and node.js, it’s much easier for the HR to ask the candidate if he has the relevant experiences in each one of them. If a candidate lacks in one, and if it is a must have in the job description, the HR can cut down all the hassle of moving him to the next layer of the interview. After the initial screening process by the HR, generally, the candidate is evaluated by a team lead or a senior engineer. After the interview, the interviewer has to pass on a report to his senior based on which the interview process would be taken further. If the interviewer has a sense of the requirements in bulleted points and in a precise way, it becomes much easier for him to mark the candidates for his strengths and weaknesses and weigh him according to the emphasis of the skills.

This is how we conduct this process at Aircto:

This not only helps the hiring manager in weighing the candidate carefully but also gives him a pictorial representation for comparative analysis between the candidates.

Training and development

Nowadays, most of the companies put a lot of focus on the training of the employees. With the rapid development of technologies, training is very important, especially when new technology at the workplace is introduced. It is also important to train the employees so that they can keep up with the fast pace and perform accordingly. Here a proper job description plays a key role. If the description of the job is clearly defined then it becomes easier for the candidates to set an expectation about the growth of knowledge that they can expect from their organization.

“People forget how fast you did a job - but they remember how well you did it”-Howard Newton. So, next time you have to come up with a job description, take a moment to gather all the stakeholders in one table, brainstorm on the demands and expectations and come up with points which resonates with each and everyone present at the table. It is no longer just a set of points but the focal point of your entire recruitment circle. After all, a job description is the very step of having the best guy in your team.

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