Ask these key questions of your recruitment process 

In this week's blog, Steve Butler highlights the value of carefully evaluating roles before pressing "post" on a job listing:

We had just lost a valued member of staff.
She was one of our best administrators, who had started off as a PA 10 years ago, and then gradually been promoted.

She was efficient, reliable and a pleasure to work with.

It was no wonder that her colleagues were eager to find a replacement who was “just like her”…but that’s not what they ended up with. Not at all!

You see, at the end of the recruitment process, we hired a man in his mid-50s who had had a long career managing a retail store, and was looking to wind down his responsibilities and work hours as he approached retirement.

A 9-5 job suited him just fine, and while he didn’t have a traditional admin background, we were satisfied that with his experience in management and retail, he would not only be organised and efficient, but excel at customer service.

And that suited us very well too!

It turned out to be an excellent appointment.

But it would not have been possible had we not taken a bit of a “breather” before advertising the role, and spent some time re-evaluating what we wanted from it, and who might have the necessary skills to do it well.

We did not take it for granted that the role would stay exactly the same, or that the person who filled it would be fairly similar to the outgoing member of staff – even though we were very happy with their performance.workplace-people

This is a mistake we had made before when someone resigned.

We automatically rushed to advertise for the exact same role and the same person, either because we were under pressure to fill the role, or we just didn’t see any reason to reimagine it.

But the result is that we missed out on a golden opportunity to think about each role more deeply – and to attract the very best candidates.

When we took a bit more time to think about it, a new approach made sense.

After all, it had been a good few years since the last time we advertised this job, and our needs had evolved.

The mix of skills on the team had changed, along with the service we now offer and how we go about it… and that meant that what we’d consider a great team had probably changed too.

For example, there is much more emphasis on creating a diverse workforce today than there was a few years ago. And much more openness to hiring people part-time, long-distance and on different types of

So when you’re next hiring, key questions you might ask include:

  • What is this role, and what is its value - to the company and to the customer?

  • If our company is evolving fast, what might this role look like a year or two down the line?

  • How does this role fit in with the rest of the team or department?

  • Does it need to be done full-time, or could you accommodate a job-share, part-time or another kind of arrangement?

  • Who is the best fit for this role? What kind of temperament or personality traits are best suited to the work and your team culture?

  • What kind of skills will someone need to excel at the job?

If you don’t already, then question yourself on every element – as if you were writing this job description completely from scratch.

Many companies have benefited by opening up to populations that have long been marginalised, like mothers returning to the workforce, or people from other industries with relevant personality traits or skills.

So every time you advertise a job, take this as an opportunity to strategically rethink it.

Is this something you do regularly? What questions do you ask, when re-imagining the roles you’re advertising?

Write back and let me know your thoughts!

Posted by Steve Butler

Topics: Age diversity, Recruitment


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