Creating a Role People Actually Want to Take - Part 1

Worst job

I’ve taken a role briefing on literally thousands of occasions.

I’ve even filled some of them! Across these many and varied roles I’ve acknowledged that there’s a huge variance in the way that roles are constructed.

This contributes largely to how successful the recruitment exercise is and the subsequent performance of the hired candidate.

For once I’m not going to tell you what to do. Why?

Well there’s a variety of approaches that I’ve seen work before, meaning that there is no single way that’s right. Seeing a successful outcome is going to be impacted upon by how your business is structured, the culture, the workflow and the little bit of magic that makes your company (probably the leadership).

So what I’ll do is outline some important factors along with a few approaches and the inherent challenges and benefits with these approaches.

I’ll give you the first half this week and will conclude next week.

  1. First consider what outcomes you want to see from the role, rather than the tasks that need to be completed. I call this the top-down approach. For example, rather than “debt collection”, I’d suggest focusing on something like “cash flow management”. It will keep you present to the business problem the role seeks to alleviate, and give the employee clarity on their part in organisational success – and its importance. After all, cash is king!
  2. If this is tough, try the bottom-up which is more task oriented. This is people’s natural propensity as they think in departments and jobs when it comes to recruitment. See above for the issues inherent with this approach.
  3. Notwithstanding the contradictions in 1&2, create key output metrics and objectives for the role to meet. People crave challenge and underutilisation is an unnecessary waste that will lead to dissatisfaction. Why not make it a stretch target?
  4. Key internal relationships – who does this person have to work closest with? What are they like to work with? Is it important for the newbie to blend? Seriously, if there are some challenging personalities you’ll want to consider that before hiring.
  5. Are they customer facing? If they’ll be dealing with your livelihood provider then presentation, decorum, service and warmth may all be a factor. As a customer, I’m astounded by some hiring decisions of people that clearly don’t like other humans!
  6. What growth prospects really exist? Are you a proven (not just ambition wise) high growth company? Hiring someone ambitious only works if you can satiate their desire and capability to grow…

Thanks for reading, you can read an additional 7 approaches here.