“In the business world … each job has certain requirements that must be met in order for that job to be done properly and for that organization to survive and prosper.”
~Ron D. Burton

In recruiting and hiring new employees for your organization, it is important to understand first what the job requirements are. What skills, abilities, training and experience would a candidate need in order to perform the job duties as they currently exist?

Changes in Responsibilities

While job requirements change over time, it is important to have a clear and current understanding of how the job serves the organization and its customers, and to implement that understanding in a job description. In fact, one of the most effective ways to implement change within your organization is to alter the job description to include the newly desired duties and responsibilities. This will institutionalize the changes and make them part of the expectations for the position.

Once the description is in place, it serves as the basis for how candidates will be sought, interviewed, measured against requirements and hired (or not).

Two Things Keep the Hiring Process Legal and Effective

Requirements for an efficient process and a legally compliant selection all must be based on what the job description indicates. And the process must be applied consistently, that is, without bias. The two best protections you have against discrimination allegations are choosing in a job-related manner (what does the job require?) and acting consistently with each candidate.

The Job Description Drives the Process

The Job Description serves as the basis for every step that follows:
* Development of Interview Guides to use when screening, interviewing and engaging the candidate with the organization and its job needs;
* Comparison of candidates to requirements and assessment of likely success in the position;
* Determination whether the candidate can perform the duties, will enjoy the position, and is likely to remain in the job/organization;
* Orientation to the organization and job, along with initial training in job duties;
* Additional training and development for improved performance in this job or development of skills related to another job description;
* Determination of performance effectiveness and periodic appraisal;
* Basis for corrective measures, coaching or additional training to improve performance; and,
* Ultimately as the basis for retaining the employee in the position or not, and determining whether to offer more responsibility or promote the employee.

In our next two articles, we will discuss effective hiring strategies and will again address job needs as the best starting point for recruiting. We will describe how to determine the personal behaviors, skills and motivators of candidates likely to succeed in the position, as well as a benchmark against which to compare job candidates.