The Job Description.

#1 Neglected HR Tool by 99% of Entrepreneurs

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I recently spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and asked them a simple question. What’s your go-to HR tool you use to ensure your culture is exactly what you’ve imagined it to be.

I recently spoke to a group of entrepreneurs and asked them a simple question. What’s your go-to HR tool you use to ensure your culture is exactly what you’ve imagined it to be.

I got all kinds of answers:

  • Beer Friday’s
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Easy going recruitment process
  • HRIS

And my favourite(s):

  • I have no idea. I suck at the entire people and culture process.
  • Isn’t that your job? Recruiting and Firing? Why do I need to worry about tools?

Want to suck less at the HR side? I have one (very tried and tested) tool all entrepreneurs need to change their mindset on immediately:


Since I’ve been in HR, every leader and every CEO I have ever worked with has neglected their job descriptions. They allow them to collect dust, become outdated and assume that because they have, “Other duties as assigned”, it covers their ass. But it’s time employers realize the value of the job description as a foundation for every people decision they make. After all, it supports:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Compensation
  3. Performance Management
  4. Training and Development
  5. Terminations

Why? Because the job description is the clear picture of what needs to happen to have success in the role. It serves as the foundation for all conversations.

Want your job descriptions to suck less? Try the following:

  1. Stop googling a job description with the same title and figuring if it works for company Y it should work for you. Figure out what you want them to do and write that down. Even if it seems too simplistic.
  2. Stop asking HR to create them first. It is either drafted by the manager of the person or the person doing the job (in a collaborative fashion). If you see a disconnect when your employee fills it out, chances are this is the best time to clear up your expectations.
  3. Identify how much time they should be spending on each responsibility. You could even ask to see how much time is being spent now by doing a simple time tracking exercise over 2-3 weeks. But identifying where and how much time they should be spending on tasks will help each team member to prioritize (and much easier to determine when you need someone again!)
  4. List evidence for the qualifications you’ve asked for. Don’t ask for something that can’t be evidenced. Example: Most employers say, “Demonstrate advanced communication skills.” Make it better by adding how or “evidenced by”. How will you be able to determine whether the person has it or not?
  5. Identify what success looks like. A job description should be more about the what than the how if you want a company that can truly think for themselves and be autonomous. If you want to run a dictatorship then include the how (precisely…not just up in your head).
  6. Stop worrying about wordsmithing. Instead check for understanding and ensure you and the employee are on the same page.
  7. Stop seeing a job description as interchangeable with a job ad. An ad is a marketing tool. A job description allows you to know whether or not you have the right person. A job a attracts that person.
  8. Stop only looking at the job description when you need to hire. Use it weekly to support performance management / training and development conversations. Update as required.
  9. Use it to identify whether or not someone is right for your role. If you don’t have behaviours listed that they need to exhibit in terms of the values, you’re most likely making a gut decision.

The truth is – as entrepreneurs we make decisions all day long. Some are the right decision. Many are not. What I know is that the gut is often full of shit and raw emotion and the goal is to increase the efficacy of those decisions.

If there was a tool that helped you to scale quickly without having to rely on intuition, wouldn’t that feel better?

Want help on your job description process? We’ve got a template and a program that can help but we won’t write them for you. Check out our leadership courses here