Performance Based Job Descriptions Up the Odds of Hiring Right

August 16th, 2011

Hiring authorities often say that hiring the top performers is at best a 50/50 chance.

When job descriptions are written they usually list requirements for years of experience, education, industry of experience, functional skills and personality traits in addition to outlining the duties to be performed, in essence – creating a template for ‘experience based’ hiring.

Consider the concept of ‘performance based’ hiring in crafting your next job description – define first what you and your company consider to be superior performance for the position.

An experience based job description emphasizes the ‘having’ rather than the ‘doing’. A performance based job description will take into account behaviours and core competencies in the right proportions to ensure that key deliverables are met. It focuses in on whether a candidate can really do the work at high levels, if he/she has enough energy, team skills, technical ability, and related competencies.

For Example:

Having: 5 years industry experience
Doing: Key Deliverables: Major Objective: Establish Far East office to generate $5mm/month within 15 months

Having: 5-10 yrs sales mgmt exp
Doing: Key Deliverables: Sub-Objective: Hire 3 key sales mgrs within 120 days

Having: US market experience
Doing: Key Deliverables: Rebuild and train US direct sales group within 6 months

Think of it this way: What does the person have to do to be successful? This process will clarify expectations, refine the candidate pool and improve the recruiting/closing process. In addition, it will provide very measurable and specific results on the success of the candidate.

Define the work that really needs to get done – then look for people who have done it!

Author:  Dawn Longshaw, Managing Director Professional Recruitment

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