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Four Essential Tips to Follow When Recruiting for a Job You Don't Know

how to hire for a job you dont knowWhen you first started your business, you were aware of the basic positions needed to keep the business running smoothly. This morning, you had a meeting with other internal stakeholders and it was strongly suggested you needed to hire a Think Tank Engineer. Whoa, wait a minute…are you sure?

What does a person in that position exactly do, and how would they benefit your company?  Before you hastily post the position when you aren’t even sure what the job entails, follow these 4 essential tips:

1. Do the homework

Find out if a need truly exists for this position. Discuss with other decision-makers in your organization some of the following questions:

  • What type of responsibilities are expected?

  • What role would they play in the scheme of things within the organization now and in the future?

  • Can the business afford to hire a person to fill this position?

Once you receive answers about the proposed position and determine an essential need to recruit someone, it is time to delve deeper and find out what the position necessitates. One resource available is from the U.S. Department of Labor—the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), which is a database of occupational requirements and attributes. Type in the job title you are curious about and voila—a Summary Report appears, detailing the tasks associated with the position, knowledge required, skills, abilities, education requirements, certifications, work styles, work values, work activities, interests, and wages & employment trends.

Another resource available to check for the salary range is the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which has data for more than 800 occupations in more than 400 industries. Furthermore, this site has the capacity to drill down by region, state, and metropolitan area. 

2. Construct the job description

After your investigative work, you have determined what is important and are ready to create the job description. Keep in mind how the candidate will interact with other employees within the organization. Ask yourself, does the job description accurately describe what is expected, such as, qualifications, experience, and education required? What department or personnel would they either manage or work alongside? Are the company core values expressed so the candidate is aware of your company's corporate culture? Once the job description is written, discuss it with the appropriate personnel to fine tune and make adjustments, if necessary. 

3. Re-evaluate the information gathered and discuss how it will affect your company

Based on the research collected, you have detailed the requirements and expectations for the newly created position. You now have a pretty solid understanding of the type of candidate you want to hire. However, before the recruitment process, take the time to re-evaluate because it is important to discuss how this position will potentially grow over time. Have you evaluated how this position would impact the company’s bottom-line over time?

4. Let the interviewing begin. 

Once you have posted the position, you are ready to review resumes and start the interview process. It might be helpful to include the employee(s) directly affected by this position, such as the reporting manager, an employee they would work alongside, and/or one direct-report, if applicable. This should allow you to check out the chemistry amongst the recruit and other employees, and it provides an opportunity to discuss their opinions about the interviewee. Besides the necessary technical skills, you will want to make sure the potential candidate is a good ‘cultural fit’ for the organization.

Sometimes new tasks like these can take up more time than you initially expected. Find out how you can free up more of your HR team's time to actively work on tasks like this by outsourcing some of your HR administrative functions to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

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Recruiting & Employee Retention

Greg Hermanson

Greg Hermanson is responsible for the recruiting and hiring of SWBC employees—a number which has grown from 400 to more than 3,500 since he joined the company in January 2005. In addition, as Vice President of Human Resources, he is responsible for employee relations and plays a key role in the performance management process. Greg and his Staffing and Employee Relations teams have helped SWBC to maintain the culture that facilitated our organization being named one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Texas” by Texas Monthly.

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