While I don’t hold all the answers, there are certain critical things that you, as a business, can and should do, to create a more meaningful, precise and value driven recruitment/hiring process.

This will help you:

– Attract more of the right skills

– Reduce the risk of dropouts within the first six months of starting

– Compete on value added, rather than just monetary value

This is a series of articles that will touch upon critical areas. Today, the first focus is on job descriptions/specifications.

When you are opening a role in your business, do you:

– Instruct HR to draft a job description?

– Google for a job description?

– Pull up an old job description and make some tweaks?

While not necessarily a bad thing, the above approach is incomplete and generic. Doing any of these three things stops you from identifying the critical requirements that you need, and it stops you from observing the nuances of your own organisational needs.

I’d like you to try these instead, and supplement with the above where necessary:

Give HR (if you have an HR Department) the freedom, space and time to sit down with the team where the vacancy occurs and ask them what they need, what critical issues they are dealing with, and, what they need more of and less of. This will help your HR professional identify the pain points and focus on delivering ‘right medicine you need’

Reach out to someone doing this job elsewhere: an acquaintance, an old colleague, a friend. Ask them to spend one hour of their time with you to talk to them about their job, the skills they use, the issues they face. This will help you capture an expert’s opinion on critical skills and compare those against your expectations.

Work backwards: Identify the results you need the new hire to achieve first to gain clarity over the competencies required, both technical and soft

When identifying the results, focus only on a maximum of five critical areas that would make this hire a success and draft the requirements based on the skills needed to achieve those results.

This will help you avoid irrelevant, generic skills and it will also help you gain clarity on the areas you cannot compromise on (must have’s) and the areas you can compromise on (training & development).

To learn more about how to approach writing job advertisements with substance, check out Fran’s webinar on the matter here

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