Outside the Job Description

Andrew Hill, Senior Advisor - Carroll Consulting

Frequently, when we take on a recruitment assignment, the position description (PD) can be one of the last things we look at - but it is often the first thing a client wants to discuss. Clients may have a list of duties the predecessor did well, or not so well, to ensure past successes can be replicated and certain mistakes avoided. This background information will absolutely help with the recruitment process, but written lists will only take you so far. More and more we need to ensure we are focusing on candidate behaviours if we are to truly determine whether someone will be the right fit for your organisation.

During a recent networking group, we discussed occasions when candidates who perfectly matched the PD and shined during the recruitment process, then struggled to perform to the required standard when in the role. The cause being that behavioural requirements of a role, like multitasking and juggling priorities as an example, are not often identified as important for success in conjunction with the PD during the interviewing process. The result being that a candidate with a structured background can look more appealing on paper when focusing on past employment duties, but they may not have the right soft skills needed to execute the role in a different environment.

So, what’s the solution? Crafting open-ended probing questions around scenarios will encourage the candidate to describe a time when they had to do something specific, the steps taken and how they managed the process, which will give you the assurance that their personality as well as skillset will be culturally aligned to the company. Typically, the soft skills or attributes outside the job description that I see as common to most environments are communication, accountability, collaboration, problem solving and adaptability. It’s important to understand that these skills will mean different things in different environments. 

When undertaking a new hire, spend some time thinking constructively and critically about your business. Do you know why someone would want to come and work for your organisation? Complete a SWOT analysis and list your longer-term objectives and reasons for success. Outline daily and weekly rhythms and understand what will give the new hire job satisfaction plus what’s likely to frustrate them. Explore the behaviours you desire and the positive attributes other staff display, then look to replicate these during the recruitment process.  

Please feel free to reach out to discuss this topic further w: www.carrollconsulting.com.au | ph: 07- 3833 6288

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