I’ve often noticed how organizations publish a job description when a position becomes available, but they don’t have a specific benchmark to compare candidates against. An organization may know what they'd like a new employee to do, but they may not have a clear idea of the temperament and intrinsic skill set that the job requires of the new employee. Without this critical piece of insight, how will they know they’ve hired the best person for the role? For many organizations, the best way to find this information is by going beyond the job description, and instead creating a job profile.
In my training sessions, I often stress to HR and hiring managers that it's crucial for them to be knowledgeable about the work required and the positions needed to support the mission of the organization and fulfill company goals. As the foundation of any high-quality talent management system, job profile creation is a great way to do this while simultaneously supporting compliance.
So, what does creating a job profile entail? It starts with a job analysis, which looks at the tasks an employee may be required to complete within their role, and how those tasks affect the organization as a whole. Performing a job analysis can help establish criteria for the knowledge, skills and abilities that an employee may need to have so they can do their job effectively:
- Knowledge - information that an employee needs to have. This may be a combination of individual knowledge and shared team or organizational knowledge.
- Skills - learned actions that assist with the completion of a task.
- Abilities - enduring traits or capabilities that may stimulate or deter the completion of a task.
If the position already exists, it's also a good idea to interview incumbents, co-workers, supervisors, suppliers, clients and subordinates who are in close alignment to the position that's being filled. This will help alleviate any misunderstandings around what the job entails, which could affect your benchmark criteria. One of the easiest ways to do this is by completing a job analysis assessment, like the McQuaig Job Survey.
Once the job analysis is complete, the benchmarks themselves have to be set. At this stage, confirm which criteria are core to the position, and which are nice-to-haves. This way, the job profile is flexible but includes core competencies that can help to better inform the selection process. If multiple participants helped with the job analysis, it's common to blend each participants' results into one average set of benchmark. At McQuaig, the Job Survey tool can perform this action in just a few seconds, creating what we call a "composite job profile."
After the benchmarks have been set, your job profile is ready to go! When you're ready to start assessing candidates, keep your job profile handy. Consider comparing candidates' temperament and cognitive abilities against the job profile by using assessment tools like the McQuaig Word Survey and the McQuaig Mental Agility Test. Assessing candidates against your newly-created benchmarks will help you find the right person faster, and fill that position sooner.