Beware of Bad Executive Job Descriptions That Repel Good Candidates

Executive Job Description

Finding the right executive is as easy as having a clearly defined executive job description.

Finding the right executive for your company is a daunting task. If it feels like all the wrong people are applying, there’s something wrong with your executive job description. Typing up roles and responsibilities for a future executive requires more thought and consideration than you’d think!

Kristen McAlister, President, COO, and Co-Owner of Cerius Executives, wrote about the four things you can do to avoid writing a bad executive job description for executives in Why Most Job Descriptions Don’t Help Find the Right Executive.

She suggests,

  1. Write the Right Executive Job Description for the Executive you Want and Need: A guideline for the right person needs to create something more than “a day in the life of” list. Present it as a guideline of where the organization or division should be a year in the future.
  2. Don’t Look in the Rearview Mirror: Focus on bringing in the person you will need one year from now, not one who can just do the job now. We often see executive job descriptions that either emulates the executive who had been doing the job for the past five years or is the antithesis of the prior executive (depending on why they are being replaced).
  3. How Must the New Executive Help Achieve the Company’s Strategy: Don’t forget about your strategic plan. Incorporate what you expect this individual to contribute to accomplishing the goals in the plan and set you up for future successes? Think about your BHAG (big harry audacious goal) and how this executive can contribute towards getting you there.
  4. Must the New Executive Blend In with Your Culture or Transform it: You want someone the team will respect and follow and who will add to your company rather than take away from it. This could be someone who blends in with a mix of long-standing company traditions as well as help to create new ones that more closely fit the direction the company needs to go in.


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