Job profiling is one of the most crucial steps to finding and hiring qualified candidates who fit into the company and who can be happy there. This typically means using developed company culture – which most startups do not have. Job profiles are also most often developed alongside existing employees, who are familiar with the tasks and responsibilities of the role, as well as the behavior required to excel in it.

While startups don’t often have the luxury of basing job analysis on existing roles – HR and managers can handle job profiling in a way that can be used to find the right candidate.

What to consider when creating a job profile

Listing Tasks

Most job roles are based around specific tasks that need to be completed. This is a useful basis to start with, because even if you aren’t entirely certain of the exact role when you start, listing tasks will make it easier for you to define the role and make it more concrete. For example, if you need someone to prepare asset, liability, and capital account entries, you need an accountant.

Try to be concrete in what you are looking for but keep in mind that startups typically need a lot. Highlight tasks that are necessary or are harder to learn and move them to the top. Set “nice to haves” or that are easy to learn aside. If you can’t find a candidate with them, you can ask them about learning it in the interview.

How Will Tasks be Completed?

What tools do you use? Software? Machinery? Do you have the time to train your new employee to use them? If you need someone to walk in and be a SCRUM expert on day one, you have to list it in the job profile. If you can take time to train someone who is qualified in other areas, it is less important to mention.

Why Does the Role Exist?

Any job role exists to fill a gap. What are the goals for the role? How do they contribute to the company? What expectations do you have for the role? For example, if you need someone to reduce expenditure costs by 15% within 12 months, you should say it. If you just want someone to take excess work off your hands, you can say that too “To support a senior accountant in their role”

What Qualifications Does Someone Need to Complete These Tasks?

While most people think of training, past job experience, and formal education as qualifications, these should not be the only qualifications you consider.

For example, your role likely requires specific types of behavior. Most startups need people who are flexible, fast learners, capable of adapting easily, can handle changing workloads, and who work very well with others. An accountant without these traits might not be able to meet the needs of your job role in 6 months as the business grows.

This is known as behavior versus competency based profiling. You need both, the right competencies (like Excel or SCRUM), but you also need the right behavioral traits. Creating a competency framework can help with this.

Writing out a quality job profile will help you to define the traits and competencies you are looking for in the role, while creating a basis for your job description. And, while it’s more difficult to do as a startup, starting at tasks and moving towards qualifications will help you to define what you actually need – so you can hopefully find a better fit for the role.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick