How Do We Create ‘Ideal’ Employee Job Profiles?

By Staff Report

Dec. 1, 2015

Dear Only the Best:

You raise an interesting question, especially at a time when many manufacturers are short-handed and hoping simply to find someone with enough related experience to perform the basic duties on the job description. Your question shows that you believe there is a ROI for digging deeper to select someone with a close match to the “ideal” job requirements.

In fact, the more closely the person you hire matches the “ideal” profile, the more confident you can be that the employee will learn job duties quickly, enjoy the type of work performed, and adapt readily to the personal and interpersonal aspects of the job.

Understanding the job is the first step in a successful hire, and creating a position benchmark — an outline of the “ideal” personal characteristics that lead to successful job performance — is the easiest way to gain that understanding.

Here are the steps in developing a job benchmark:

Step 1: Select the position and three to seven subject-matter experts (SMEs) who have a handle on the job’s key accountabilities.

Step 2: Facilitate a discussion with the SMEs to identify, rank and weigh the Key Accountabilities. This will ensure that you have a consistent picture of the position and its impact. Ask questions like:

  • What is the purpose and objective of this position?
  • How does this position affect the delivery of the product or service to the customer?
  • How does the effectiveness of this position affect the company’s bottom line?
  • How does staying abreast of industry knowledge impact the success of this position?
  • What results reflect superior performance?
  • Do these results explain why the job exists or how the job is done?
  • How might we measure these results?
  • What obstacles hinder creating these results?
  • Are the results significant to the organization?
  • Are the results dynamic, motivating and in alignment with the organization’s values?
  • Who are the position’s internal and external customers?

Step 3: Then, keeping in mind what the SMEs said about the role, determine the personal characteristics that will be needed to be successful in the position. In addition to related job experience and education, your list may include individual preferences for working with people, or ideas, or tools and equipment. It may provide insights into the personal style characteristics, learning agility, motivations, values and communication style of the ideal candidate. 

If you are able to integrate pre-hire testing into your process, to make the benchmarking process easier, look for an assessment that automates the benchmarking process, such as Prevue Assessment, so SME responses are automatically compiled into a profile of the ideal personal characteristics for the job.

Then, use a variety of selection tools — including pre-hire screening and testing, as well as multiple interviews and job simulations — to help you to identify the person who is best-qualified.

While some employers will opt for the quick route, using gut instinct, by taking the time to develop a solid job benchmark, and matching candidates to the benchmark, the trade-off will be lower turnover, higher performance, and happier customers.

SOURCE: Patsy Svare, The Chatfield Group, Nov. 23, 2015.

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