Why Your Executive Food & Beverage Job Descriptions Aren’t Yielding the Best Candidates

March 18, 2013 in HR Best Practices



Have you ever stopped to consider how central a job description is to effective food & beverage recruiting?

A strong position description can:

  • help you determine where to source the best candidates;
  • provide accurate guidelines for determining the salary range;
  • help you craft a more accurate job title;
  • dramatically improve the quality of candidates who apply for the position;
  • serve as a road map for selecting the best interview questions;
  • provide the basis for subsequent performance reviews.

Obviously, properly defining an available position can greatly improve your recruiting success.  So make sure you put the appropriate amount of time and effort into creating the best descriptions possible!  Whether you’re new to the process or a seasoned veteran, here are a few of Kinsa’s tips for creating better food & beverage job descriptions – that consistently yield the best candidates:

Move beyond minimums.  Traditional job descriptions typically describe the least-qualified (yet acceptable) candidate for the job – not the real job itself.  When you list the minimum required experience, minimum responsibilities, etc., you’re going to get mediocre applicants, at best.

Instead of using a traditional job description, define what success in the role looks like.   Create a list of results, or success factors, the new hire would need to achieve to be considered an outstanding hire – and add them to the job description:

  • Develop a list of 5 or 6 specific, measurable objectives based on the fundamental elements of the job.  For example, a VP of Plant Operations may have a success factor something like: “Within nine months, consolidate the operations of two plants and produce a cost savings of 10% or more.”
  • If possible, benchmark top performers in similar positions to create your success factors for the job.

Build the job description around the skills required by the job.  Too often, a job description focuses heavily on responsibilities – instead of the fundamental skills required to accomplish them.  To improve your job description, clearly state the skills required to do the job.  This way, both you and potential candidates can assess abilities against the position’s needs.  During the interview phase, ask skills-specific questions (based on the job description) to accurately gauge each applicant’s strength/weaknesses.

As an added benefit, a skills-based job description makes it much easier to gauge an employee’s job performance and identify areas for improvement when review time comes around.

Improve your formatting.  Top candidates won’t take the time to pore over dense paragraphs of prose about an available position.  Realize that they are busy, too, and tailor your descriptions to make information easier to access and digest:

  • Use bullet points, when appropriate.  Make your job description easier to skim (so candidates can easily find the information they need) by using bullet points within the responsibilities, skills and experience sections.
  • Be specific.  Use clear, direct language to be as transparent as possible in your description.  Steer away from vague terms like “sometimes,” “often,” and “seeks to,” as terms like these minimize the impact of what follows.
  • Inject your company’s brand personality.  The language and writing style you use should reflect your company’s culture and personality.  This way, the job description itself will attract candidates who are a good cultural fit for your organization.

Revisit and update job descriptions.  The food & beverage industry and your organization are constantly changing.  Your job descriptions should continually evolve along with them.  Even when you’re not actively hiring, think of your job descriptions as dynamic documents.  As changes occur in your company and within its departments, refine position descriptions along with them.  When the time comes to post an opening, you’ll be much further ahead in the recruiting process!

Kinsa Group – A Better Way to Hire Food & Beverage Professionals

As a national food & beverage recruiter, The Kinsa Group has the resources and expertise to deliver executive and c-level food & beverage professionals with the skills, experience and ethical standards to thrive in your organization.  Our recruiting experts collaborate with you to develop highly effective job descriptions that yield exceptional candidates who match your needs.  Want to learn more?  Contact Kinsa today.