In the growing field of customer success, it can be difficult to find the right people for the job, especially because some of them don’t even know that the job exists yet. This blog will teach you how to write an effective customer success job posting that will give you a pool of stellar candidates.
You’ll learn what content to include, why, and how to structure it so applicants know exactly what you’re looking for in your customer success position. But, before posting your open positions on every cork board—electronic or otherwise—you need to first define a specific role.
Defining A Specific Role
The customer success industry is becoming more and more mature and complex, so not all positions will be the same. Different roles will all have increasingly different responsibilities. Top applicants who are aware of this change will notice when a company has a broad, unspecific idea of a customer success role in their job description. Applicants will assume the company isn't truly customer-centric and hasn't defined the department well enough.
When your role is clear and specific, your job posting will reflect that. Thus, we recommend you start from the description of an ideal candidate and widdle down to the job posting itself. This way the job posting will be an accurate representation of the role and applicants meeting the requirements will know right away!
When you work the other way around, you end up focusing more on making a job posting that attracts the the largest number of applicants instead of the most qualified ones. This can backfire on you if your applicants don’t end up being exactly what you’re looking for, or if applicants realize during their interview that the job isn’t what the description said it would be.
Think about what you want in an ideal candidate. Customer success managers can be of many kinds of backgrounds, but they should all have certain traits, such as being empathetic, proactive, a great communicator, and strategic.
You can also consider the following questions when curating your ideal candidate:
- How do you want the candidate to work with your team?
- What company values should they reflect?
- What kind of goals (short- and long-term) do you want the candidate to achieve in this position?
- What kind of past experiences would best help them achieve these goals?
- What other tasks and projects will the candidate work on?
- Will they work with other teams outside of Customer Success? Why and how?
- What are special experiences that would put this candidate above the rest?
- Are there benefits for this candidate related to work performance?
Do you have the answers to these questions? Do you know exactly what kind of person should fill your missing role? Well, go on then. Go write that ideal role description! Don’t worry, we’ll wait.
Writing A Job Description
Now that you have a description for your ideal candidate, you can use that information to fill in your job description.
Here are the sections we’re using, but don’t be afraid to change this up to suit your needs:
- Position title
- Introducing the position
- Introducing the company
- Purpose of the position
- Responsibilities of the position
- Experience and background
- Bonus qualifications
- Compensation and benefits
The position title is the first impression you make on applicants, whether it’s on the job posting itself or in a link that someone shared. It has to be specific and interesting enough for someone to want to continue reading.
Just because Customer Success is a new industry, doesn't mean it’s a one size fits all situation. Don’t post a title as “Customer Success Manager” if you’re actually looking for someone in customer marketing.
Be wary of using vague words, such as “associate” and “specialist”, and monikers, like “magician” and “guru”, in your title. The former may tell applicants that you don’t really know the difference between the various customer success roles. The latter may be a way to display your company culture, but such monikers can also come off click-baity and dissuade applicants who see this as unprofessional job titles.
Compromise: You can use a fun title but put a clearer, more professional one in parenthesis, suggests Paul Wolfe, Senior Vice President of HR at Indeed.com.
Introducing the position
Here, applicants have read your job title and are thinking, “Hey, this might be for me,” so your next couple sentences have to keep them on the hook. This is a great place to highlight what you’re looking for in an ideal candidate. For example:
Amity is looking for a Customer Success Manager who likes helping others, building relationships, wants to be an advocate for customers, and will be an innovative team player.
By beginning the job description with your desired qualities, you can ensure applicants who identify with your company values are going forward.
Introducing the company
For applicants who don’t already know your company, this is where you can give them a short but firm handshake with words. Show them why you’re the place for them (or maybe not!) using a few sentences. Tell applicants why they should want to work at your company. What kind of person will be a good fit with your culture? For example:
Amity is a fast-growing customer success company that loves collaboration and teamwork throughout the organization. Our ideal candidate has experience in customer success, customer service, or a related idea. He/she is a fast learner and will work with Sales, Marketing, and Engineering to improve customer relations. The candidate will gain skills in project management and inter-departmental collaboration.
Don’t saturate the introduction, or the overall job description, with promotions for your company and why it’s the best place to work—that’s not the purpose of this job description.
Make the content about the position, i.e. what applicants can bring to your company and how you can help them grow, in turn.
Keep this section brief so people aren’t reading multiple paragraphs about the company and a vague description of the job before finally getting into the details.
Purpose of the position
This is a quick summary of what the ideal candidate will do in terms of goals. This is where those short- and long-term goals you came up with for the role description will come in handy. These goals can be for the role itself or the CS team as a whole. For example:
Purpose of the position:
- To increase customer loyalty within the existing customer base.
- To help the CS team reduce churn by 10% within the next two quarters.
Having metrics in this section is a plus because it tells applicants you have measurable (and hopefully attainable) goals in mind for them.
The list, also, doesn’t have to be long. Quality over quantity is really important here. You don’t want to overwhelm applicants with all the goals they need to achieve before they’ve even applied!
Responsibilities of the position
The responsibilities entail how the ideal candidate will work with the rest of the company to achieve the purpose of the position. Are there specific teams they’ll need to work with, like Marketing or Engineering, to accomplish projects?
Present a list of short bullet points with the goals and projects the candidate will work on, so applicants know what to expect. They’ll see if these are tasks that they’ve done before, ones that they want to gain experience in, or ones that they aren’t interested in.
You can also include what they won’t be responsible for, so applicants know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. For example:
- Work with developers to improve the product based on customer needs; but not responsible for customer support and ticket management.
- Help the Chief Customer Officer to create a churn reduction plan.
Telling applicants what other teams they’ll work with is a strong indicator for those who are looking for a specific type of CS position, like one that works with developers and not just Sales. This is also useful for applicants to avoid companies who just rebranded support or account management as customer success.
You can include who the candidate will be reporting to, as well, if you know that information at this stage. If you have a full-fledged CS team, it makes sense for your new hire to report to the VP of Customer Success (or a related executive). However, with newer customer success teams, this can be grey area. Should the CSM report to the VP of Sales, the CEO, or someone else? This is something that will come up in the interview, so it may help to be upfront and put this in the job posting.
The number of bullets in this section is up to your discretion. Remember, this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of every little thing the candidate will do. Be practical and narrow down the job to describe specific priorities that applicants should be aware of.
Experience and background
You’ve told the applicants about their future in this position, but now, you need to know about their past. The qualifications and prior experience necessary to achieve the goals you mentioned in the purpose will be here, including history in your industry. For example:
Skills and experience we’re looking for:
- Post-Secondary degree or certificate in a business-related field (e.g. Marketing, Sales, Communications).
- 2+ years B2B customer success or related field (e.g. customer marketing, customer service).
- Loves taking initiative and helping others.
- Exceptional attention to detail and multi-tasking skills.
This isn’t just a certification section. It’s also for soft-skills, i.e. the qualities that you learn from on-the-job experience, not a textbook. Again, this doesn’t need to be a grocery list of items, but you should mention those top 4-8 things you just need to have in a good candidate.
Remember when we said to write the description of your ideal candidate? Well this is where you get to put all those little things that make an A-level candidate an A+ one. What are the experiences and qualifications that aren’t necessary but desired by your team and company? For example:
Bonus qualifications (these aren’t necessary but will put you at the top of our list!):
- Experience working in SaaS companies (specifically CS software is another plus!).
- Management experience and leading team-oriented projects.
- Portfolio of improvements you made in your last Customer Success team. We love metrics!
This list should not be as long as your preferred experience section! On that note, if you decide to include this section in your job posting, we recommend you have about half as many bullets as you had in the prior section. You don’t want applicants to feel like you’re looking for an unrealistic candidate, or that it’ll be next to impossible for them to get an interview.
Compensation and benefits
Compensation and benefits go beyond just salary. Applicants want to know how you plan to measure their success. How will you track your new hire’s progress? What kind of metrics do you use? This biggest question is, are these metrics going to affect the new hire’s salary?
You may have to take a step back here and consider if there will be commissions and/or bonuses based on revenue. Be clear about this as some may prefer such salaries.
Posting Your Customer Success Job
That’s it, you’re done writing! But don’t jump the gun and publish your job posting just yet. With any piece of writing, it’s always best to get another pair of eyes to make sure everything is copacetic.
Once you’re ready to publish, get the word out by asking colleagues to share it within their professional circles, like on LinkedIn.
About the Author
Elakkiya Sivakumaran is a Technical Writer at Amity. She enjoys interdisciplinary writing (who said English, Classical Studies, and Psychology can't mix?) and learned almost everything she knows about English grammar from high school Latin. She is currently studying English and Classical Studies at the University of Waterloo.More Content by Elakkiya Sivakumaran