Many employers are still using profiles they developed years or even decades ago. While there are some credentials that are still important for certain positions, most important in all employees are their learning practices, relationship skills, ability to identify and seize opportunities where they can add value, and their readiness to adapt continually.
Often business leaders and managers make the mistake of looking for employees who think and behave as they once did – employees who will be willing to pay their dues and climb the ladder. But strict adherence to the job description, obedience to authority and loyalty to the organisation are no longer the most valuable traits in employees. In fact, these traits may undermine the critical thinking, personal initiative and ad-hoc team-building that is so necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly changing workplace.
To find the best workers, you need to reconsider obsolete assumptions: job-hoppers may be the most flexible and adaptable workers. Workers with short attention spans may be the most comfortable with new technologies. An applicant with an “attitude problem” may also be the most entrepreneurial, original thinker. And workers who demand tons of feedback and immediate gratification are likely to be the people most tuned-in to today’s accelerating pace of change.
Before you start a recruitment campaign, it is important to clarify exactly what kind of applicants you hope to attract. Profiling is actually the most important element in selection: If you have given thorough attention to building a profile of the ideal applicant for the position you are seeking to fill, the selection process is all about finding the applicant who best fits the profile.
Brainstorming the position to be filled
- Why are you seeking to hire someone right now?
- What is the role you envision for your new employee?
- What tasks, functions, and responsibilities do you want the person to assume?
- Do these tasks, functions and responsibilities require specific skills and/or expertise? If yes, what kind of skills? Do you need someone who already has the skills or will your organisation be training the person?
- Is the position a high contact position or low contact? With whom and to what extent will the person be interacting?
- Will the person have a fixed set of clear goals every day? Or is a lot of the work ad-hoc, unpredictable, and more like a moving target?
- Will the person be working regular hours or irregular? Describe the kind of time commitment involved (length of hours, predictability, duration of employment)?
- What are some of the hidden rewards/benefits of the work the person will be doing?
- What are some of the hidden difficulties/frustrations of the work?