A large part of my job is talking through the results of personality assessments. People want to know if there are any potential issues with a candidate and if the candidate is well suited for a role. However, if there are no job benchmarks in place, it’s difficult to answer those questions. How can we tell if a personality type makes sense for a particular position in your company?
The only way to do so is to understand what your requirements are – and these requirements are determined by using job profiles to set benchmarks. From experience in talking with different clients, we have some anecdotal information on what’s helpful in different positions, but when you go through the process of developing an ideal profile, you can clearly see what any concerns or opportunities would be. Here are a few recent examples of my clients discovering the benefits of setting job benchmarks in their hiring process:
I just got off the phone with one of my clients to help them finalize the benchmarks for 3 different roles. To develop these benchmarks, they first obtained input from 2-3 stakeholders for each position. Then, we reviewed the results, discussed any variations in opinion, and arrived at what the final job profile should be. They're focused on personality, and they help my client to determine whether a candidate is the right fit for a role. Using benchmarks, my client is able to more accurately determine if someone is naturally inclined to demonstrate the behaviours that are necessary to do well in the job. If that natural fit isn’t there, they know what to ask and listen for during the interview, to see if the candidate’s experience has allowed them to learn how to do those things.
Pro Tip: Finding it tough to decide between 2 great candidates? Here's how a job profile can help.
Another one of my clients works in an organization with very linear career paths. They want to hire people who are going to be able to progress along that path and fill future requirements. We developed job benchmarks for each stage of advancement by obtaining input from relevant stakeholders, and we found key differences in the personality required at each level. Now, when they assess entry-level applicants, they can see how each applicant may perform further down the line. By matching candidates to each job profile, they get a more holistic understanding of each candidates' potential - beyond the first role they're hired for.
I also work with a lot of external recruiters who are helping their clients to find the right people. One of the things I’ve heard a few of them say is that the actual process of building these job benchmarks helps them to flush out all of the details of the role with their clients. The exercise is beneficial for both the client and the recruiter, since they get a better understanding of what they’re looking for. When everyone’s on the same page, the recruiter can deliver candidates that are more aligned to what their clients expect, and there's a higher chance that they'll find the right fit sooner.
Job benchmarking helped the University of San Diego set more than 300 students on a path to career success. Download the case study now!
Setting job benchmarks is a critical element of a streamlined hiring process. Understanding what someone needs to succeed in a position, and being able to compare candidates against those job requirements, may be something that you already do, but a more standardized approach can drastically improve your hiring outcomes. Consider setting more official benchmarks – you might be surprised at how it affects your HR processes!