Monday, April 21, 2014

Throwing Mud at Clients - Part 1

Throwing Mud at Clients

When I first started in this crazy recruiting business and sent out resumes, I felt like I was throwing mud at clients.  Now I know...I was throwing mud at clients!  Through experience, I have learned the necessity of a specific, in-depth position description.

Do you ever feel that either your in-house recruiter or your "hired-gun" recruiter just doesn't get it?  Does he waste your time with resumes/candidates who are just not a match to your current opening?  Is he just throwing mud at a wall?  Is it possible that he doesn't have a complete view of the job?  Has the position been accurately and completely defined?

There are five areas that define a position:
  1. Responsibilities of the position
  2. Needed qualifications
  3. Current size, scope of the department, services offered, target market
  4. Wish list, such as talent gaps in the department
  5. Attraction factor of the company/position/manager, i.e. why would someone want this job?
Items 1, 2 and 5 are used to advertise the position through print, electronic, or old fashioned telephoning.  Items 2, 3, and 4 are used to qualify candidates. This month's broadcast will cover 1, 2, and 5; next month, we'll examine 3 and 4.

The first area - responsibilities - is most commonly defined in the position description.  The trouble with position descriptions is that they are often out of date.  As your company grows and changes, employee responsibilities grow and change.  Despite employee reluctance, it is best to have your employees update the position descriptions annually.  When an employee gives notice, this is a definite "must be done" before he/she leaves.  The best position descriptions are those that list (in detail) responsibilities, the percentage of time per day/week/month spent on that responsibility, and the importance of the responsibility.  Often there is a responsibility that doesn't take much time but outweighs others when it comes to importance. 

Once the responsibilities including percentage of time and importance are defined, it's much simpler to define the qualifications needed for a position.  Qualifications include required experience, training, and education.  

Last but not least is the attraction factor of the company/position/manager. The recession for skilled labor/professionals is over.  Prospects have more choices.  What can you offer? Is your company growing?  Is it known as a "great" place to work?  Do you treat your employees well, offer training, family care, etc.?  What opportunities does the position offer?  Advancement?  Training?  Stability?  Is the manager well liked?  Does he have in-depth experience?  Develop his people?  Recommend them for advancement?

Once the responsibilities, qualifications, and attraction factor have been defined, your recruiter has a good start on finding the right candidate for you.  This is just a start, but enough for him or her to draw candidates to you.  Next time, I'll discuss the importance of defining the scope of the department and your wish list.


Maggie Cunningham, CPC

and remember - 

Life is Good Beyond All Measure!


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