Genuine Curiosity

Author Dwayne Melancon is always on the lookout for new things to learn. An ecclectic collection of postings on personal productivity, travel, good books, gadgets, leadership & management, and many other things.


[Updated] Creating job descriptions with MindManager

I recently wanted to revamp a position description, and decided to pull out my trusty ol’ MindManager Pro to help get the job done.


First, I created a basic template to help organize various aspects of a position.  I then used MindManager to populate details and fill out the template with things that articulated what I’m looking for in a candidate for that position.  I find that using MindManager to brainstorm makes it easy to quickly create a crisp view of the things I want and need.

I also took this opportunity to roll in the view of “What do you hire on?” and “What would you fire on?” as discussed in my post on that topic a couple of months ago.

When I’m done with fleshing out the mind map, I create a more traditional job description based on what I’ve come up with.  Of course, I don’t just type in everything verbatim from the mindmap.

For example, the “Things I’d Fire On” doesn’t get put directly into the job description.  However, I do ensure that I have requirements and experience elements that minimize my chances of hiring someone I’d fire. 

The “…Fire On” list also provides great fodder for building a strong interview guide so you can ask questions to drill on specific areas of concern.  This will allow you to discover whether candidates may be incompatible or unacceptably deficient in comparison with your requirements for the position.

For example, if I determined that I’d fire someone if they couldn’t predictably manage and complete complex projects on time, I’d do things like:

  • Add requirements and key success factors describing the need to manage complex projects and meet committed delivery and completion dates;
  • Add experience requirements targeting candidates with a proven track record on-time projects;
  • Add interview questions probing for examples of when they’ve done what I’m looking for – and examples of when they haven’t, so I can find out what they’ve learned from that;
  • Add questions for use during reference checks to drill for the ability to satisfy my requirements.

If this sounds useful to you, I’ve provided a copy of the basic template in Mind Manager format for your use here and in XMind format, and would love to hear about any useful iterations, improvements, or similar tools you use.

Note:  After you’ve hired someone and it’s time to review their performance, you can also use MindManager to collect and organize your thoughts and feedback from their co-workers.  Find out more here.