Thanks to Malcolm Hughes from The Work Point
An area of recruitment that I often see neglected by employers. Sometimes it's not considered at all, and when it is, it's hardly ever in enough detail. It's...
The Person Spec (ie. defining the kind of person we need)
Defining the kind of person we need is not the same as defining the role, and yet many employers only plan in terms of ‘the role’.
It is of course vital to a successful recruitment process that we hire a person who can perform the role not just to the minimum standard we need, but preferably much better, so naturally it's imperative to create a very clear ‘profile’ of the person we’re going to look for.
We need to give careful thought to the education level, qualifications, skills, experience and personality of the person or persons we’d like to find, and if we haven’t already done so, establish the rate of remuneration we're likely going to need to pay to attract the most capable people available for our role.
We need to strike a balance between (a) the existing salary scale / rates in the organisation, (b) the current market rate (NB. if you’re not sure what that is, you can check it out by looking on-line for vacancies similar to your own) and (c) what we think we can afford.
Remember, we’re looking for the best person possible for our role, so if we can’t match the market rate, we’re probably going to have to re-think our strategy.
Is there something about your organisation (in addition to remuneration) that will be particularly attractive to high quality applicants? For example, has your organisation won awards? Can you offer exceptional potential for career progression? Do you offer regular training / CPD opportunities? Can you offer additional benefits such as free on-site car parking, in-house canteen, work-from-home opportunities, flexi-time to help people avoid rush hour travel, an attractive pension scheme, private dental or health cover?
A little imagination and a package of relatively low-cost benefits can often transform a seemingly low wage or salary into an attractive and competitive proposition.
A factor which is often ignored completely is personality.
It’s just as important to consider a candidate’s personality as it is their skills and experience.
Imagine if you will, the outgoing, chatty, people-person you might associate with a field sales role. Now compare that with the more reserved, analytical and studious personality that you’d associate with (say) a solicitor, accountant or engineer. They are (usually) quite different personality types, and whilst in this example the differences are quite marked, many people do, perhaps surprisingly, find themselves in a career to which they just aren’t suited, and some of them may well apply for our role. Understandably, many employers find themselves with staff whose personality simply isn’t suited to their role despite their academic and / or their professional qualifications!
Imagine if you were to hire a field sales person who would rather be sat at their desk analysing the sales figures instead of being out meeting and building relationships with clients. He or she is unlikely to be the best choice for a field sales role!
We also need people who will fit well with existing colleagues in our organisation. If our role involves working closely alongside colleagues in a close-knit team who all contribute to decision making in say, a Kaizen Group or Quality Circle, and our new recruit wants to make all the decisions themselves, team-harmony (and our new employee) could very quickly be heading for trouble!
Assessing candidate’s skills and knowledge is usually much easier than assessing their personality and help may be needed with profiling. The good news is there are specialists who can help with very affordable services. A specialist will help specify the personality type we need for our role and organisation, and then assess candidate suitability before interview to save time. If you need a referral to a specialist please email or call.
Agree with colleagues
All these criterion must be absolutely clear in your mind, on paper, and agreed with colleagues (as appropriate) before beginning the search.
We’ve produced a step-by-step guide on how to set up a simple recruitment process. If you’d like a copy you can download and read it instantly, here: