Are you having problems attracting good candidates for certain jobs? Have you needed to backfill the same positions several times in a short period of time? The culprit could be bad job design. When having recruiting difficulties, many business leaders don’t consider the actual structure of the job. A poorly designed job is like a crack in the foundation of a house – it causes ongoing problems for the people living in it.

Basics of Job Design

Job descriptions should clearly define the job specifics; the basic elements of a job include the following:

  • Title – indicates level and type of job
  • Purpose – why the job exists
  • Reporting Structure – who the job reports to, positions that report to the job
  • Duties – ongoing responsibilities
  • Know-How – education, experience, and skills required
  • Accountability –authority to make decisions, financial responsibilities, impact on the business

The job posting (advertisement) should be created from the job description, as the posting will determine the type of candidates who will apply for the job.

How to Design a Job to Attract the Right People


1. Design the job in an honest, authentic manner.

The job title should accurately represent the level and purpose of the position. Also, job duties and qualifications should be stated in an honest and clear manner. If you try to make a job appear to be something it is not, it will send up red flags to good job candidates and will attract the wrong type of people. Top talent wants to work for a company that displays integrity.

2. Make sure the job has balance.

The balance in the job is primarily between the duties assigned and the know-how required. Basically, you should only require the level of know-how needed to do the job competently. I know this sounds pretty logical. However, I’ve found a lot of managers think they will get higher-level candidates by artificially inflating the know-how requirements for a job. The truth is: high-level candidates can sense when a job is out of balance, and they don’t want it. A good example of inequality is requiring a college degree for a support position where a degree isn’t needed to do the job. It creates pay problems and an overqualified candidate probably won’t stay in the job for long.

3. Determine compensation by job content, not job title.

To create an attractive pay plan for a job, you need to align compensation with other jobs in the marketplace requiring the same level of duties and know-how of the job. Do some research and see what similar jobs require when it comes to skills, responsibilities, and qualifications. Then structure your own compensation plan around your findings.

4. Pay for the highest level of skill and duties for the job.

This comes into play when a job has duties at multiple levels. For example, an administrative position is made up of primarily support-level tasks, but the manager also wants the job to do complex analysis work requiring a higher-level skill. To pay the job correctly, you would have to pay at the analyst level because of the advanced skills needed to do the job. If you don’t offer competitive pay for the job, you won’t attract the best people.

5. Don’t create a Junk Job.

I think of a junk job like the junk drawer we all have in our homes—it has a lot of unrelated stuff thrown in it. Junk jobs are typically a compilation of all the random things that need to be done around the company. It should come as no surprise: the best people don’t want a junk job! After you have a well-designed job description with a good pay structure, create the job posting and reel in the best candidates for the job. Helping business leaders attract the best people for their company is my passion. I’ll build unique and powerful job descriptions to will help you attract the right kind of people.

If you think your organization could benefit from my personalized job design services, let’s chat!