Not Identifying the Job Properly
Obviously small businesses are not good at documentation and procedures, and this hurts probably more in the hiring arena than it does anywhere else. The two instruments that can help specify the components of the job that you are looking to fill are the job description and the key accountabilities questionnaire.
The concept of the job description is known and understood by most people and yet it is something that is fraught with difficulties.
A more compelling tool is the “key accountabilities” approach that I use. Rather than listing the rather mechanistic aspects of the job description, the key accountabilities looks instead at what the key components of the job are, and what will be the determinant of a job well done.
Instead of a rather dry list of all the things that are expected of an employee, this looks forward to the first review and identifies the elements that will determine whether an employee has been successful or not. By looking back from an expected position, it becomes much easier to identify what success is unnecessary in order to be successful in the position.
The use of this tool also avoids what I like to call “flying elephant syndrome”. This is where you put together a job that comprises two very disparate elements that simply cannot be carried out effectively by the same individual.
Examples of this would include:
- A bookkeeper making sales calls
- A sales person required to handle project management on their orders
- An administrative assistant managing technical staff
Many times the solution to the “flying elephant” problem is to reclassify the job and to split it up into components based upon behavioral stylesand functional job components that belong together.
See the article Key Accountabilities for a fuller description of this technique