How Flexible Can Hirers Be?

It is important to identify exactly what and who you want to hire, but just how flexible can hirers be?

Getting it right will ensure that whoever you engage to do the search has a clear understanding of what to look for and ultimately present you with a short-list of candidates that fit your requirements.

Detailed job descriptions and person specifications are of vital importance to this process. They describe exactly what the employee’s role will be, in case there are disputes later. They also direct the recruitment process and provide proper guidance to your chosen recruiter, saving everyone a lot of wasted time and energy.

After all, if you wanted a chicken and avocado salad sandwich with mayo for lunch, you wouldn’t ask your colleague to bring you back a ‘sandwich’ and hope it contains what you want. Would you?

A job description provides the employer, potential applicants and the eventual post holder with a clear outline of what is required in the job. The Person Specification is a profile of the personal skills, qualifications, abilities and experiences you will look for in the recruitment and selection process.

Both help with managing performance of staff, because they describe the knowledge, skills, behaviours and general standards needed to do the job. They can then be used for assessing performance during reviews or for disciplinary actions if necessary. You should write the person specification after you have written the job description.

However, with virtually zero unemployment and uncertainty about the future, good candidates are currently in short supply and high demand. This means that you might need to be flexible on the type of individual that might fit in. They may not have the ideal background or level of skills or qualifications that you seek, so it’s important to share with whoever is conducting the search just how flexible you can be. This means highlighting the ‘essential’ characteristics from the ‘desired’ and even grading the ‘essentials’ in order of importance. This will give you and your searcher a much bigger pool of candidates from which to choose. And if they don’t yet have the qualifications, perhaps you can provide a study package? And if they don’t have quite the experience yet, they soon will have if they work for you.

To get back to that sandwich analogy, you may end up with just a plain chicken or an avocado salad sandwich, but at least you can eat it and maybe add your own mayo.

Patrick Associates can provide you with detailed job description and person specification proformas that you can use to ensure every aspect is considered – before you start grading them in order of importance. Please request your copies now.

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