Job Descriptions: Not so Easy Yet!

This week I attended a speech given by Brad Smart, author of Topgrading and a recognised expert in how to hire successfully.

What struck me most from his presentation was his declaration that almost all of his corporate clients send him job descriptions that are unclear and would most certainly lead to a mis-hire.

I read Topgrading in November of 2010. Reading that book was my first step in the process of improving how we recruit. I was so impressed that I attended a two-day course of his in December, 2010 and that became the next step in the journey.

The goal of creating clear job descriptions:

Then, last year we started implementing the RSTMM system (Recruit, Select, Train, Manage and Motivate) system from Brett Henyon Consulting.

I have learned the best first step when recruiting is to perform a job analysis and set up official job standards with clear and measurable accountabilities. This not only helps in recruiting, it’s also an essential first step in the RSTMM process.

A year ago we set ourselves the goal of creating clear job descriptions. I have not yet delivered fully on this, but it is my intention to do so before the end of the year. However, this is not something I can do on my own; I will need everyone’s help to get this done and make Qualifirst and even better place to work.

The art of creating job descriptions is always made to sound easy. In Brad Smart’s 300-page book, the topic warrants only five pages. But here’s my quandary: creating accurate job descriptions is a critical step in the hiring process, yet most companies get it wrong.

If almost everyone gets it wrong, why does everyone think it’s so easy? Why does it only deserve five pages?

Brad Smart’s answer is he phones his clients and in 45 minutes he transforms the poor and unusable job description into a great scorecard he can use to select great candidates. That’s an immediate solution for his clients, but how does that help us?

It also means that, for each job that exists at Qualifirst, we are at least 45 minutes away from a great scorecard. Close, but not close enough to be effective.

We have made a commitment. The Qualifirst community deserves clear job descriptions, and we will ensure this happens. We will start by meeting people in groups, starting in Toronto next week and in Vancouver the following week, in order to receive necessary input.

I am asking every team member to participate fully and to take the time to provide all the information we need. It is only with everyone’s help that we can achieve this goal by the end of 2014.

I am counting on every member of our national team to help make this happen.

Weekly Quote and the vision:

“The Ideal Motivational Environment: – Team members are achieving their goals – Team members are a great match for their job. – The team functions at a high level and the members truly care about one another. When you have all three your team will be unstoppable”

Brett Henyon.

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