!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Job Specs for an Executive Position in Advertising

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Job Specs for an Executive Position in Advertising

One technique I use to stay up-to-date on the requirements of various kinds of jobs is perusing position descriptions in recruitment ads. Having read a recent column by Paul Gumbinner, a recruiter in New York who specializes in helping ad agencies and companies fill executive positions, I realize how much additional detail I would be privy to if I had access to the sort of detailed job specs Gumbinner seeks from the people who engage his services.

For Gumbinner's purposes, a well-drafted job specification is "a thorough description of everything having to do with the job and the proper candidate." He offers seven tips for getting the job spec right:
  1. Make sure the job spec contains a complete description of the duties, responsibilities and nature of the job. Include the reasons why specified skills are necessary.

  2. State why the job is open. "Is this a new position? If so, what circumstances created the need to hire? If this is a replacement, what circumstances led to the need for change? Is the replacement an upgrade or a more junior position? What was lacking in the previous hire?"

  3. State all requirements that go along with the job, e.g., a need to travel a certain number of days per month.

  4. Spell out the pros and cons of the job and all the known issues the person filling the job will face.

  5. List a candidate's likely career path, as well as the complete reporting structure associated with the job.

  6. Explain how performance is evaluated.

  7. Check that everyone is in agreement with the job spec. "Ever get someone completely through the interview process only to have the candidate rejected on a final interview? Don't waste that time. Make sure everyone — including the final interviewer — is in agreement with the specs."
The preceding quote captures Gumbinner's main theme: "Inarticulate job specs result in too many unqualified candidates being interviewed and leave those rejected not knowing why they were passed over." Conversely, a detailed and complete job spec "should simplify the process and make screening more efficient by providing direction for the search."