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Next Level Job Descriptions: A Guide for Tech Leaders

Updated: Apr 20

Most tech managers have bigger priorities than copywriting.  But when job descriptions are vague or inaccurate, the wrong people apply and the right people aren't interested.

It's possible your rinse and repeat job descriptions aren't resonating with the right audience.

Next time you need to hire, first answer these questions.  Then share with your HR or whoever writes up your requirements.

In as little as 10 minutes up front, you can protect your calendar from unqualified candidates, elevate your company brand, and improve your chances of attracting the right fit.

  1. Define the real business need:  What's the problem you must solve with this hire? Why now? Put another way, what are the consequences if you don't find someone?

  2. Your desired outcome.  How do you see this new hire impacting the organization? Also in other words, what's the success story if you do find the right candidate?

  3. Current skills gaps and redundancies: Look at your existing team.  What abilities do you need more (and/or less) of to balance the group?

  4. Long term potential: For the candidate, what's the next level this role can aspire to?  Your ideal candidate has pre-existing ambitions to become what as the next step in their career?

  5. What you're NOT looking for: Candidates may think they're right, but need not apply if they have what background or expectations?

  6. Immediate tasks: What responsibilities will you assign the new hire to contribute to your team?  Make a list then rank in order of priority.  Include how and with whom they'll communicate (what does 'excellent communication skills' mean in this role?).

  7. Tech stack: List all the tools and technologies they'll work with.

  8. First Year Goals: This is inline with #2.  What will they accomplish in the first 12 months to meet your expectations? What will they be judged on in their first review?

  9. Relevant Qualifications: What evidence are you looking for in their work history?  What kinds of responsibilities, projects, accomplishments would validate a good candidate?

  10. Culture: Describe the feeling of this team; tempo, attitude, personalities, backgrounds.

Once you've documented everything, you can draft a job description with clear expectations and a genuine value proposition:

  • We’re looking for our next (job title) who has ambitions to grow into [3. Long term potential].

  • Our vision is to [2. Desired outcome] but we need help with [1. Define the business need].

  • This is not a [4. What you’re not looking for].  This role needs [9. Relevant qualifications].

  • Coming in, you will start contributing by [6. Immediate tasks].

  • You’ll be working with [7. Tech stack]

  • The expectation is for you to [8. First year goals]  and eventually be promoted into [3. long term potential].

  • We are a dynamic group that [10. Culture].

Getting specific will give you clarity on what you really need.  It'll also help you know what to look for during interviews.

Don't have the resources or bandwidth to do this yourself?

Contact us at and we'll make sure you get it right.



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