Job Descriptions: The Overlooked Key to Running a Profitable Contracting Business

By: Joe Crisara

job-descriptions

In business, there’s a huge game-changer that most bosses totally ignore. In fact I’ll bet you have one stuffed in the bottom of your desk drawer or in the back of a filing cabinet right now… that is, if you even bothered to make a hard copy.

What if I told you that one simple sheet of paper could make your hiring, onboarding, training, managing, and coaching multiple times easier and more efficient? And what if that same piece of paper could cause your employees to do a higher quality, more profitable job?

I know. It sounds like an exaggeration, doesn’t it… a “magic” piece of paper that does all that?  

But it’s true.

It’s a common business document that has the potential to do all that and more. Unfortunately it’s largely ignored by and underutilized by most business owners.

So what’s this overlooked document that can be the catalyst for HUGE things in your business?

The job description.

Yep. That little document that you or someone in your company created as quickly as possible because it was boring to do and no one wanted to do it. The humble job description can transform into an incredibly powerful force to change the world around you… if you let it.

Football and French Horns

Every sport you can name has guidelines, rules, and boundaries that dictate how the sport is played.

In football there’s a line of scrimmage, and you can’t cross it until the ball is snapped. Football also has sidelines – and as long as the players don’t violate any major rules, they have a lot of freedom regarding what they can do between the sidelines. But if they go outside those lines, the play is stopped.

A great job description works in a similar way. It draws the lines and boundaries for your business and for your employees. It makes everything crystal clear and keeps everyone moving in the right direction.

Speaking of football, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick has a motto that he drills into every one of his players. Like most good mottos, it’s short and to the point.

Do Your Job.

do-your-job_promo

That may seem like an obvious statement, but let’s look at what that really means.

Obviously, it means that you shouldn’t do less than your employer expects. But just as importantly, it means don’t try to do too much and take on parts of other people’s jobs – because when you’re spread too thin, you’re not effective at anything.

The motto means that you (and everyone else on your team) should do exactly what you’re supposed to do at a high level. If everyone does exactly that, your team will run like a well-oiled machine and you can accomplish amazing things.

Think of it like an orchestra. Each section has their own part to play, and it’s different than what the other sections are supposed to play. The strings don’t try to play their part and the french horns’ part. That would sound awful.

Everyone plays exactly their part – and when all those different parts are played together perfectly, it makes beautiful music.

Well-crafted job descriptions can make beautiful music in your business, too.

A Versatile Tool for Your Whole Team

Let’s be honest. For most businesses, the lifespan of the job description is about 5 minutes. It’s one of about 150 sheets of paper your H.R. person skims over as quickly as possible with a new hire and makes them sign. After that, it goes in the file.

If that’s true at your business, you’re really missing the boat. That job description can do so much more for you.

Recruiting
The job description should be used when you’re creating recruiting ads for open positions. The job requirements, skills needed, expectations, benefits, the job duties, and more should be included. This allows you to attract qualified people who are more likely to be worth the time it takes to interview them.

You should be using the job description in your interviews to not only share expectations but also to help you formulate better questions to ask your candidates.

Onboarding and Training
A thorough job description also makes onboarding and new hire training much easier for your managers. It’s a huge time saver!

Instead of sitting down and spending hours teaching everything from A to Z to each and every (qualified) new hire, the manager can tell them, “Go out in the field, do these things, and then come back and tell me what you’ve learned.”

On the Job
Whether we’re talking about an office employee or a field employee, having quality job descriptions makes doing their job easier and more productive. They understand the expectations, they know the rules, and they know what tools they have at their disposal to get the job done.

Coaching and Accountability
Well-crafted job descriptions make the manager’s job of coaching and holding employees accountable much easier. When the job description is introduced from the first interview and is talked about and used in the normal course of business every day, all employees know what is expected of them and everyone is treated the same.

Hopefully, you’re starting to see how having great job descriptions can positively impact everyone in your organization.

Without good job descriptions, it’s organized chaos at best. You wind up measuring performance based on your gut feeling with no specific definition of what excellence looks like in your organization.

4 Major Areas to Address

There’s a science and a great deal of detail that goes into creating a complete job description, and a little later I’ll tell you how you can get a step-by-step blueprint for building one.  

But in this article, I’m going to tell you the four major areas you should address in every job description.

1. Environment
A great job description defines every aspect of the work environment at your company. This includes the work space, uniforms, schedules, and more. By doing this, you begin creating an environment from day one that makes it easier for people to succeed and understand what you expect of them.

2. Tools
You should explicitly describe the tools needed for each job in your job descriptions. Whether the tools are wrenches and meters for the techs – or computers and headsets for the CSR’s, you need to spell it all out in detail. You should clarify which tools are needed, which tools are supplied by the company, and which (if any) tools the employee will need to provide to do the job.

Just as importantly, you should detail only the tools necessary to do the job the way management wants it done. For instance, unless you make it clear that it’s a bad idea, a dispatcher could decide that a loud radio is a tool they need to have at their desk to do their job. Be specific about what are and are not essential tools.

3. Communication
A good job description addresses how people within the company are expected to communicate with each other and with the customers. It’s a smart idea to create a benchmark conversation process for all employees. This is a guideline that tells your employees what to say in certain situations.

What do you want your customer service people to say when they’re the CSR’s say when they’re booking a call or handling a complaint? What should the techs or the salespeople say to their customers when they present solutions, get an objection, or are asked to drop their price?

You need to create these benchmarks and document them in your job descriptions so all employees are on the same page. If you’d like more information on our ready-made CSR scripts, just email us at info@contractorselling.com. And for your techs and salespeople, check out our Total Immersion Program.

4. Compensation
The job description should explain everything there is to know about how employee compensation works: How to punch in, when to punch in, when payday is, when do benefits kick in, how to qualify for bonuses, how commissions are earned, and when reviews happen.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that building great job descriptions are one of the keys to running a profitable business.

Become a Job Description Ninja

A job description that can make a significant positive impact on your company’s bottom line isn’t the old, boring job description you might be used to. It’s a hiring tool, a training tool, a coaching tool, a clear communication of your standards, and an expectation setter.

Think of a truly great job description as a syllabus for working in your company.

Of course, drafting a truly effective job description of this type takes some work. You can’t just slap it together and expect results.

This post gives you the basics, but if you’re ready to become a job description ninja, you should check out a recent webinar we’ve done recently on ContractorSelling.com on job descriptions.

In this full-length webinar, Julie and I will give you a detailed, step-by-step process for building job descriptions that get results.

It’s part of a 7 webinar series we’ve created for members called 7 Steps to Designing a Turn Key Business.

Here’s the entire line-up of all the webinars in the series:

Part One: Designing the Service Environments
Part Two: Setting The Rules
Part Two: Job Priorities
Part Four: Job Descriptions
Part Five: Implementation Plan
Part Six: Quantifying & Measuring Results
Part Seven: Coaching The Team To Stay On Track

These webinars are available 24/7 only to ContractorSelling.com members. We continually post educational information, hold training sessions, and other interactive events to help our members create more profitable businesses.

Click here to see all the details about all the excellent training and resources you’ll get as a member. It’s an investment that will pay you back many times over!