Job descriptions and person specifications - Sales Management

The starting point in the recruitment process is to develop a job description and person(job holder) specification.

Functions of a job description

A well-prepared job description serves several useful functions for the sales manager, including:

  • as a basis for preparing personnel specifications
  • clarifying job functions to sales manager sand job holders
  • providing a performance measurement base
  • providing a base for appraisals and other formal and informal counseling
  • aiding inter-job content comparisons
  • facilitating job evaluations.

Poorly prepared job descriptions can produce demarcation disputes, cause interpersonal rivalries and jealousies, or result in unwarranted assumptions of authority by one person or another.

Content and coverage of a job description

Before you can recruit someone for a job you need to be clear on what the job is. It is important to be sure the job is quite distinct from jobs being done by other people in the sales organization, otherwise there is a risk of overlapping responsibilities, producing conflict or a failure by job holders to accept personal responsibility for actions or activities;for example, the salesperson’s role could overlap with some responsibilities of key account managers, various managers in marketing or support functions, merchandisers or sales promoters.

Normally a job description should contain at least the information outlined in Table,although the style and format will vary between companies. The typical job description summarizes the nature of a job, its functions,responsibilities, duties and accountabilities,and key competencies of persons appointed to the position. The reader may already have job descriptions prepared in his or her company format, but if not should develop descriptions for all jobs within the sales organization.

Person specifications

Once you have a job description the next stage is to consider the kind of person you need to perform all the job functions. The qualities, skills and experience needed to fulfil the job can all be summarized in a person specification (or job holder profile),which is really just a pen sketch of the ideal job applicant. It can be used as a reference point when you are screening job application forms or conducting initial interviews.

When preparing person specifications some of the questions the sales manager should consider include the following.

  • What are the present strengths and weaknesses of the team?
  • What kind of personality will fit with the team?
  • What skills/qualities in a new recruit will provide a better balance within the team?
  • Do you need more graduate caliber salespersons?
  • Do you need to increase the mix of salespersons with particular skills such annum or familiarity with computers?
  • Do you need a salesperson with established trade relations?
  • Will special qualities and skills be needed to service any particular types of customer?
  • Are there any special working hours for contacting customers that require particular flexibility or particular qualities/skills?

Some of the categories in which you might set objective standards include those illustrate din Tables, which show alternative approaches to designing personnel specifications.
The basic standards and requirements you include in the person specification should be factors that can be measured objectively, or where your personal assessment (if they are subjective factors) is critical in considering a job applicant.

You really should only set a standard if the ability of an applicant to perform a particular job really may hinge on meeting that standard and an assessment can be made from application forms or at interviews. The minimum standards set in a personnel specification should be relevant to successful job performance, and optional standard scan also be set in respect of qualities or skills that the ideal candidate additionally might possess.

Persons who do not qualifying respect of minimum standards you set should not normally be interviewed or appointed.Local laws relating to recruitment and employment vary round the world, and it is important that account is taken of these in developing job descriptions, person or jobholder profiles, and the methods and manner of recruitment.



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