For more information on the role of job proposals and how to use them, see the Guide to hiring early employees for consumer startups.
Job proposals are an important part of the overall hiring process for startups. They do a few things: Most important, they ensure that there is internal alignment between various stakeholders for the role’s necessity and requirements.
This can be particularly important for young companies, where problems are many and staff is always short. A job proposal can help ensure the right problem is being solved and addressed and the right person will be brought on to do the role.
Job proposals also help after a candidate is hired to ensure that the employee is doing what is required of them. They can help in guiding performance reviews and create a clear benchmark and foundation for a new hire’s role and expectations.
The template below can be used to easily craft effective job proposals.
- Mission: This is the purpose of the role is and why it exists. This should not be skipped. This should be able to communicate the need the role will address.
- Job title: This is important because it has to sound appealing but also be realistic.
- The functional requirements: What the job requires, from a technical and skills perspective. This can be educational requirements, certain software experience, or any other technical skills.
- The non-functional requirements: This is particularly important to startups as roles are rarely simply about the skills or experience required. Does this role require someone to challenge senior thinking? Does it need someone who can go beyond what the thing is that they are hired for to act as a contributor to the overall business? Is this someone who can speak intelligently and contribute about competitive advantages? These kinds of so-called “soft” requirements must be outlined here.
- Outcomes: This should be the outline of what this role is expected to achieve, preferably written out over the next three, six and 12 months. This is what the role and the candidate will be measured against.
- Compensation range or plans: This can include a range, but should be specific. While many roles are flexible depending on the candidate, there should be a budget that includes equity and options, relocation packages, signing amounts or bonuses (if applicable.)
- Timeline: It’s important to delineate how time-sensitive this hire is. This date should not be less than three months away: The process for each role should begin two months out, plus a month added for the recruitment process itself.
- Ideal profiles and current or past companies: During discussion, specific types of profiles may have come up, or certain companies that the executive team wishes to hire from, because of adjacent experience or cultural fit. For startups, which will generally be more proactive in their outreach, this can be helpful to include for the sourcing process.
Mission: EarCo is looking for a director of communications that is responsible for telling our story to the world. The director will help EarCo articulate our narrative, develop a voice for our brand and tell the public, press and investors about it. As EarCo has grown from 5 employees to 50, and is approaching $2 million in revenue in this year, we need to be more thoughtful and proactive about how we speak about ourselves to ensure we’re putting our best foot forward.
Job title: Director, communications
The functional requirements:
- Ability to write quickly, efficiently and poetically: Past experience in journalism or communications is necessary
- Established relationships with media companies and press: This role will serve as a key spokesperson for the company by regularly engaging with reporters and pitching stories, managing inbound and reactive inquiries, and actively monitoring media landscape to ensure that the team is handling risk
- Project Management: Past experience in leading and coordinating major projects across stakeholders
The non functional requirements:
- We are a rapidly growing company and the role is still being figured out. The ideal hire knows how to work in slightly chaotic environments where things change quickly.
- Doesn’t ask for permission, but looks to make proactive decisions quickly and efficiently
- Can work independently
- Ability to manage requirements and relationships across a wide variety of people and backgrounds
- 30 days: Complete development of a brand mission statement
- 60 days: 3+ major media mentions
- 90 days: Finish hiring of communications team and communications plan for Series B funding round
Compensation range: [Should include any equity and other non-cash compensation]
Timeline: End of the second-quarter
- Former editor or managing editor at a tech publication
- Former director of communications in fashion or luxury
- Former communications director at tech publishers