4 Types of Jobs: Thinkers, Builders, Improvers, and Producers


As a leader in your business, are you constantly thinking of ways to improve your company? And when hiring new employees, do you struggle to find a balance between recruiting those workers who can maintain the status quo and those change-makers who can bring the innovations you need to stay competitive?

Successful companies need a mix of team members in different types of jobs for all cycles of business, from innovation and design to production and marketing. 

Lou Adler has written a stimulating article about 4 different types of jobs: thinkers, builders, improvers, and producers. Here’s what people in these job types do.

  1. Thinkers produce an idea
  2. Builders convert the idea into reality
  3. Improvers make it better
  4. Producers do the work in a repeatable manner to deliver goods and services to customers.

Adler says every job has a mix of all 4 work types, and every worker has a mix of the qualities of each one, with 1 or 2 types being more dominant. 

Target Qualities You Need in the Job Description

As an employer, how could this knowledge help you hire better? It can help you write a better job description that targets the qualities you actually need in a new employee. Adler encourages you and/or your hiring manager to identify specific accomplishments the job will require, rather than focusing just on the experience and education you think you want in an employee.

You could write, for instance, “Develop a totally new approach for reducing water usage by 50%,” instead of the traditional, “Must have 5-10 years of environmental engineering background including 3-5 years of wastewater management with a knack for creative solutions.”

How to Determine How a Candidate’s Dominant Traits

As a recruiter or HR professional, a key challenge is identifying a candidate’s qualities, and ensure those traits match what is needed for the job. Are you looking for a candidate who has the potential to build a strategy? You need a thinker. Do you have enough thinkers but have a lack of people with knowledge about how actually move a project or a product forward? Look for those who enjoy hands-on work. Thinking about recruiting through the lens of job types can help your company maintain a balanced team. 

The next step is making sure that team members are getting the opportunities to use those qualities continually. Adler’s point is that for job satisfaction, employers need to provide team members a path to do what makes them tick, and that involves a continuous cycle of new development or your team members will move on to opportunities where they can shine. 

Related content: If you want to write a better job description to target the top talent you need, read the full article

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