Recruitment: Begin with the end in mind

Ange Connor

Recruitment: Begin with the end in mind

When trying to fill a vacancy every client I have ever worked for wants the same thing; to find the best person for the job. Someone who can perform all (or the majority at least) of the tasks to a particular standard and someone who has the right attitude and fits with their team. Finding that person is another thing all together! This is where the position description comes in to play.

The Position Description is the first crucial step in ensuring you get the outcome you want when you are next hiring. I also think it’s the most over looked step of the recruitment process. I’ve heard many times comments such as “lets just get the advert in the paper or online and worry about the PD later” or “yeah we’ll get the PD finalised and have it done by the time we have someone ready to start” or even worse “we don’t need a PD, all the information for the job is in the advert.” Every time I hear comments like these the alarm bells start ringing.

Do you ever set off to travel to a destination and say “oh don’t worry we’ll check the map on how to get there once we arrive.” No. Stephen Covey’s famous quote, “begin with the end in mind” rings true. I’ve heard thousands of times in all different types of scenarios: begin with the end in mind. The recruitment process is no different.

Having an accurate and detailed position description is your road map for ensuring you hire the right person for the right job based on their skills, experience and attributes. If you read last week’s blog, what the savvy job seeker wants, you’ll also know that having a PD available for candidates to use in determining if they should apply is crucial in attracting the best talent.

To make sure you get the outcome you want when you’re next hiring, here’s my thoughts on how to get the PD just right:

  • Make sure it’s current, don’t simply pull out the old PD from last time you filled the vacancy, maybe many years ago; positions change. Make sure the PD reflects what the job looks like now.
  • Get the detail in there. The PD should provide clarity around what the responsibilities of the role are. It’s not as detailed as working instructions on how to do the job but it has more detail than the big picture strategic plan. What are the responsibilities the employee is going to be performing on a day to day basis?
  • Where does the position fit in the bigger picture? It’s important for the reader to understand where and how they would fit in to the organisation. Having information about who they report to and how many and what positions report to them sets the scene for the role.
  • Give a snapshot of the business. Provide a brief statement on the company, the department the role sits in and a big picture statement on the main purpose of the role.
  • What’s needed to do the job? Provide information on what skills, experience and attributes are required to do the job and give an indication on whether it’s essential, desirable or preferred. While it may be your wish list of skills and experience, be careful not to set the bar too high and scare people off. Be realistic about what you can work with and for the right person if they don’t have particular skills and experience consider if you can train them.

The PD isn’t only crucial in the recruitment process, it’s crucial for the ongoing management of the employee when they are in the job. It’s the document you’ll use to assess their success in the role and for identifying areas for further training and development. It’s also pretty crucial when it comes to performance managing an employee, however if you begin with the end in mind when you are next recruiting, the likely hood of your next hire being “right” will be much higher.

How important is the position description in your workplace and has having position descriptions in place helped improve your recruitment process? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this week’s blog. Would you like position description templates to help get you started? Contact us today for your free template guide.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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