Category Archives: Human Resources

TOP 5 Keys to Writing a Brilliant Position Description

Writing a position description (aka job description or job specification) whether it be your own or a direct report can sit on the spectrum of interest anywhere from “I’d rather watch paint dry’ to “let me start writing Ben-Hur”.  If you were told that writing a job description and writing it well is the foundation for managing people effectively would you look into writing one?

A position description is a formal document that summarises the important functions of a specific job, using clear and concise language. It should accurately represent actual duties and responsibilities as well as job specifications.

A well written job description performs a number of important functions; it helps people focus on targeting the right candidate for a vacant position, It describes the skills and competencies that are needed to perform the role,   It defines where the job fits within the company hierarchy, It forms the foundation for the employment contract and it is a valuable performance management tool. For the employee they answer two very important questions, What do they expect from me? And What do I need to achieve to be successful in this role?

Well look no further because this week the team at Happening People have put our heads together and come up with the Top 5 Keys to Writing a Brilliant Position Description

Remember – it may seem daunting  but ultimately the benefits you will gain from being able to use this tool to effectively manage the members of your team will outweigh any hardships you face putting it together.

1. Get Started

Planning the structure of the job description is relatively simple and does not vary too much, description to description. You need to consider :
Job title, Department name, Reporting structure, Key responsibilities, Output or results expected Required skills and competencies, Physical and mental requirements,  Background and/or education, include Salary band, accountabilities, authority, Relationship to other key roles and technical and people skill requirements.

2. Ask for Input
Now that you have the basics in place, it makes good business sense to show it to other areas of the business – most importantly those who will rely on the output from the position you are putting in place. Ask them to highlight the most important responsibilities and the measurements they’ll use to identify success. For example is it accuracy, speed or volume? Taking the time to understand what is needed from the position will be crucial when recruiting and when assessing  individuals currently in the role.

3. Duties and Responsibilities
This is a major section of the job description and spending a large amount of time on this section will assist you in managing the incumbent to success in this role.
Identify the major parts of the job with short headings that start with action verbs. Listing specific job function headings will allow you to more easily group related tasks. You may find it helpful to list all tasks that the position must do, group those that are related, and then determine the appropriate heading.  Top Tips:

  • Limit this section to eight current essential duties and responsibilities each of which accounts for more than 5% of the position.
  • List them in descending order of importance and prioritise them by indicating the percentage of time spent on the duties.
  • Use clear and concise language; closely related duties should be grouped together in one responsibility statement.
  • Avoid gender-based language.

4. Make it Inspirational
IQ Partners a HR firm in Canada offer this piece of advice ‘Job descriptions shouldn’t just be informational… they should be inspirational!  Here are some points to consider;

  • Use a natural voice that conveys some of the personality of your companies.
  • Avoid clichés and keep the business jargon to a minimum.
  • Ensure the most appealing aspects of the job are highlighted and stand out.
  • When you’re done, read it back to yourself and ask the question ‘Would this role be something I am interested in pursuing?”

5. Superman is not Available
Once you have completed the job description have a look over it again, read through the responsibilities, key results and required skills to make sure they’re realistic. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and create something that only Superman or Super  Woman could achieve. The rule of thumb here is to stick to the most essential elements of the role and use it as an evolving document.

Writing a job description and writing it well is the foundation for managing people effectively, Happening People offer a Corporate Training Program “Managing People for Performance” which includes Designing Role Descriptions.
If you would like to know more ……..
Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com

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Filed under Human Resources, People Management, Positive Psychology, Professional Development, Recruitment

Top 5 – How to Attract TOP Talent

The law of attraction is the name given to the theory that “like attracts like” and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, you can bring about positive or negative results.  While there is no scientific basis to this theory it has gained incredible ‘street cred’ over the years to explain why you link up with the things you do.

So how does this theory hold water when you consider how your organisation hires its people?

Let’s consider one of the corporate giants, Google.  Recently Universum an Employer Branding Company voted Google as the most attractive employer. In the  global rankings based on the employer preferences of students from a vast array of countries including Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India,  Japan, UK, and the US,  Google topped as the most attractive employer in both ‘business’ and ‘engineering’ categories.  This comes as no surprise to most people who know of Google’s corporate philosophies of providing a balance of work and fun.  The law of attraction appears to be working for Google; they attract hardworking, fun seeking employees who cultivate the same brand philosophies they espouse.

Whilst a corporate philosophy of work life balance is one way of attracting candidates to your company there is a host of other ideas that need to be considered.  There is no one magic bullet; you need to invest time in ensuring all areas of your organisation are sending the same clear and coherent message to the candidate market to attract the right candidates .

Happening People look at 5 areas of the hiring process where you can influence the talent you attract in our Top 5 – How to Attract Top Talent to your Organisation

1. Make the Hiring Process as Streamlined as Possible
Right from the word go your organisation needs to provide a very easy and clear system to attract talent.  You need to be up front and clear about your intentions and processes, from expressing to the job market the role you have available to what you are looking for in the ideal candidate.  If you are using an agency to recruit, choose one that values what you do, that wants to be as transparent as possible, if they are cagey on details with you they will be with your candidates too.

2. Social Media
Linked In is the most used social media platform for candidates to find out information about an organisation according to The Talent Board, a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to call organisations attention to the corporate employment candidate experience.   Make sure your social media strategy is focused on attracting the talent you seek. Top tip:  Apply this idea to your Career Site on your own website.  This is ‘the’ number one research tool candidates use to find out about your organisation.

3. Behavioural Interviewing
The Behavioural Interview Process is a structured interview style derived from the belief that past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour. It is used as a sound platform to assess a candidate’s suitability and likely success in a particular role, commonly referred to as ‘a candidate of best fit’.  The benefits of this type of interviewing opposed to more traditional methods is that  through the behavioural interview process you are able to elicit information and examples of previous work performance  to assess capability and competency and thus choose the candidate of best fit.

4. Hire Good People Managers
Here is the Law of Attraction in hyper colour! Top talent likes to be surrounded by other top talent.  They like to have career direction and development.  They liked to be coached towards improvement and stretched to perform at new heights.  When they feel they aren’t performing they seek help to turn that around.  What they need is a great people manager one who understands how to build teams, coach individuals to perform at their best and one who can drive both to new heights with strong motivational techniques and an understanding of personal drivers.  Mr or Ms Mediocre Manager has no place here!

5. Good Induction Program
Once you have brought somebody into the organisation, you need to give both them and the organisation the chance to shine.  Having a structured 100 day plan worked out for them even before they start is one of the best ways to proceed. This is your time to get the record set as to your expectations of them as an employee and their reward and recognition for being part of a fantastic team and organisation. You also get to find out what really makes them tick and learn where their key skills fit with the business.

 If you work for an organisation that has been struggling to attract the right candidates, help is available. Happening People can assist your organisation identify top talent with our Behavioural Interview Corporate Training Programs
(click here for more info) or call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 or go to www.happeningpeople.com

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Filed under Human Resources, People Management, Positive Psychology, Recruitment, Uncategorized