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Thought of the Week: Is Your Job Description Powerful?

Is Your Job Description Powerful?

If you are a sales leader, you probably have the need to hire sales professionals from time to time. The next time you are getting ready to post a job, and you are not the one writing the job description, take the time to read what someone in HR is providing you. I’m not talking about a cursory read; I’m talking about a deep dive read.

First, what are you looking for with this hire? Do you want a sales hunter – someone who can go out and find new business with the skills and experience to create opportunities? Or are you looking for an account manager who is gifted at nurturing current accounts, maximizing the revenue, and experienced with keeping competitors out?

Far too often, you will find yourself reading a generic, “Sales Professional Wanted”, that lists vague job duties and a listing of requirements that may or may not help ensure the candidate can excel in the role.

For example, many job descriptions state that a college degree is required. Depending on what you are selling, is this really a requirement? If you were presented with a superstar sales hunter who only had a high school diploma, would you turn them down for an average performer with a college degree? If not, get rid of it. You are simply scaring away a potential superstar who may not apply because they don’t meet the stated criteria.

If you are looking for a sales hunter, does the job description talk about following up on leads and managing existing accounts? That may be part of the job, but you really want a hunter. Someone who goes out and creates opportunities, not someone who responds to opportunities. In that case, say so. Be clear about the results you want. Let the candidate tell you how they can achieve those results.

Yes, you may have to have a difficult conversation with your HR department, but that will be far easier than sifting through candidates who lack the skills or focus you need to be successful.

If you are casting a net for candidates, make sure you are fishing in the right place. Utilizing a generic job posting will get you generic candidates.



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