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How Job Descriptions Need to Change for Growing Small Businesses

Congratulations, Second Stage CEO. You’ve gotten customers, survived cash flow crises, created a vibrant team. And, now, at last, created job descriptions! You put it off as long as you could, because job descriptions are so un-startup. But you’ve realized that it’s time to get clear on what people are responsible for, so that there’s more accountability, and so that it’s clear whether that new hire is getting the job done (or not).


If you’re a young Stage 2 company – say, 10-30 people – your job descriptions can focus on people’s responsibilities – what they do…their functional tasks.


But if you’ve passed 30 people, you’re going to need more from your job descriptions – rather than responsibilities, you’re going to need to focus on competencies.


What are competencies? They are the things that people are able to do – which could mean making copies or putting a design into AutoCAD, or could also mean handling angry customers or juggling multiple priorities. Sometimes competencies are the functional tasks, but frequently competencies are behaviors that go beyond the task. Competencies give a much deeper view into what a person, position, or team is capable of.


Responsibility: process assessments


Competency: recognize errors and problem-solve when one is found


Responsibility: respond to customer inquiries


Competency: empathize with customers in pressure-filled situations


You need to know the functional responsibilities of your people. And if you look at the competencies you need in a position, you’ll paint a much richer picture of who can be successful, and what training your people might need.


I’ll be talking more about this on my Stage 2 Secrets call this month – click here to register.

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