Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How Your Job Descriptions Are Maintaining Mediocrity

If your goal is to hire people who need to be told each and every thing that needs to be done, as well as how to do it, you are on the right track!  Keep up the good work!

If your goal however, is to end up with a great, high performing team, I suggest you work on shortening those job descriptions, and perhaps not even thinking about them until after you’ve hired.  And yes I am going to tell you why….

Why your current job descriptions need to go:

·      They fail to accurately describe success in the job

·      They do not accurately list real life expectations

·      They often define responsibilities too narrowly, keeping people from jumping in and helping where needed

·      They may exclude people you would love to have working with you, and who are turned off by the description of the job

If you are like most people, you are hiring to fit a job description.  You post an ad with the job description; people reply, noting how they fit the job description; and you hire the one(s) who seem to best fit.

How’s that working out for you?  Your team is like the Chicago Bulls from the 90’s?  Full of superstars is it?  Everyone working to achieve a common goal, yes?  Maybe not…  Let’s try again.

I’d bet you have a person or two working for you that you would love to clone, right?  If you are very lucky, or good at hiring for qualities, you might even have more than two of these “Clone Worthy” people. 

What is it that makes them ‘clone worthy’?  Is it that they carefully follow their job description each and every day, checking off tasks as they go?  Are they constantly stopping to ask you what to do next, or how to do something?  Do they complete the tasks they are told to do, and nothing more, nothing less?  Do they keep their mouths shut, silently obeying orders like good soldiers?  Probably not.  I’ll bet they have no idea what is on their job description!
Do your clone worthy people even fit your job description?  Do they meet your current ‘requirements’ for the job?  If you just met them would you hire them for this job?

More than likely they:

·      Are self-responsible

·      Take pride in their work

·      Are confident, with a realistic assessment of their strengths and weaknesses

·      Are intelligent, though perhaps not well educated

·      Are humble, and teachable

·      Are honest, and trustworthy

·      Appreciate the freedom to figure things out

·      Communicate clearly and respectfully, and listen to understand

·      Are generous, dependable, and have a good attitude

So, I have to ask, why are you hiring for anything other than this list?  Stop using your job description for hiring.

Now… you still need to change your job description so it gives the desired outcomes of the role, while allowing the great ‘clone worthy’ people the freedom they need to do their best work.

·      A few lines are all you need… a paragraph at most. 

·      Describe what your ‘clone worthy’ people are like…

·      Include the qualities you are looking for in your next superstar

·      Include the desired results…

·      Keep it simple… remember, the right qualities are important here…

·      You can train skills, you can’t train qualities

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