In the Trenches: Crafting a Job Description

We’re growing again here at Cranky Concierge, and the time has come to hire a new person to join our team. I really, really hate the whole hiring process, so I’ve been trying to figure out ways to make it easier. This time, I focused on the job description.

It’s not that I hate hiring. I love having new people join the team. I just really dislike all the time and effort required to get to that point. In the past, I’ve treated hiring pretty loosely. I’ve followed up on referrals from friends, and I’ve posted an opening on my blog. So far, it’s worked out pretty well, but there have to be much better ways to do this.

This time, I created a real job description. If you put together a detailed written description, it helps weed out people who might be interested in a general opening but will be turned off once they see specifics. During the interview process, it (hopefully) saves time having to reiterate the details of the role to each applicant. That amounts to a bunch of saved time on my end. It sounds absurdly basic, I know.

As we crafted this job description, I decided to try to make it do as much of the legwork in the early part of the search process as possible. So we put a little trick in there.

One of the most important traits in an employee in this role is attention to detail. People sign up for our service online and sometimes they give lengthy and complex requirements for us to begin their travel search. Anyone who is going to deal with those incoming requests needs to pay close attention to every word.

Toward the end of the job description, we asked applicants to tell us their favorite airport when they responded with their resume. People who just skimmed the posting wouldn’t see it, and it would be a red flag for us. The result has been pretty surprising (or maybe not surprising at all). More than half of the emails we’ve received haven’t included a favorite airport.

Creating a job description that can help us do some of the legwork in recruiting the most qualified candidates has worked out well. I’ll take all the help I can get.

About Brett Snyder

Brett is the Founder and President of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. He also writes the consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier.
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3 comments
Susan
Susan

Hi Brett,

You have a real opportunity here to use a new HR tool in the Intuit App Center. www.JuvodHR.com  The application comes with a Job Description Creator that could have saved you hours and made you smile because at the end of the process, JuvodHR creates a performance review based directly on your job description. It's fast, easy, meaningful, low cost and most importantly, in the app center.

Susan

Susan@JuvodHR.com

Thomas Jaeger
Thomas Jaeger

Hi Brett,

I have tried something new for me in the last year or so and it did wonders. I forced myself to sit down and create a 3-4 hour assessment for each position, not one that a typical HR department would do, but a really practical assessment of skills. I.e. in your case that might be giving people assignments to solve under time pressure (finding an alternative for a stranded passenger, testing their Sabre commands, see if they pay attention to detailed instructions, how they deal with changes half way through etc.). Spend 2-3 hours preparing something simple very relevant to their future job and then let the candidates deal with it first before you even do the interview (best to give them stuff in writing, verbally and to give them some time to present something back to you). That helps filtering a lot as well and shows you how they cope with a real life situation (obviously they are not supposed to know it all but you see how people approach problems). Just like Cranky Concierge, in my business I am looking for skills that are very, very particular, so not that easy to figure that out from an interview.

Best regards

Thomas

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