Writing position descriptions is something that most of us don’t really enjoy doing.
However, breaking it down into three sections can make it easier to create.
- Why does the role exist – what is the purpose of the role?
Think of the role in terms of whether it exists to support, create or drive?
- A ‘support’ role is obvious – it supports other roles or functions within the business. It exists to free up other people to do other things. Admin support, sales support, technical support are all examples.
- A ‘create’ role could exist to create revenue, create new business opportunities, create a new program, create a customer service department, create new products. A creation role delivers sales, products, new clients, projects, software.
- A ‘drive’ role usually exists in times of growth. It’s a leadership/senior management position to lead others in the company. It could be a new GM role, or an Operations role where none has existed before but which now takes many other roles or areas under its wing to drive them forward as a team.
- What are the key responsibilities of the role?
The more senior the role, the less detail you need here. Outline the broad responsibilities that you want the role to pick up. An experienced person will take that and run with it. A junior role needs detail – almost like a task list. If you don’t know what the detail needs to be, ask others in related roles to provide their perspective to help you build up the position description.
- How will performance be assessed?
You need to define how you will assess performance. What are the key measures of performance, both qualitative and quantitative. If you don’t provide these criteria you won’t be able to do an effective performance review. Qualitative indicators are important, because it’s frequently behaviour rather than ability that becomes an issue and needs to be managed. These grey indicators are harder to specify than clear cut quantitative indicators like sales for example.
Key performance criteria needs to be determined in line with the overall company strategy and goals so they are in alignment.