Investing time getting this right saves you a load of time and effort later.
Providing a clear, straightforward and accurate description of a role gives you most of what you need for recruitment, selection, performance management, development and succession planning. This is a great place to invest time and effort, in order to reap benefits later on.
Take for example the simple interview, research has shown that the effectiveness of an interview (i.e. how well it predicts performance in a role) is significantly increased when the role has been analysed and clarified beforehand.
Beyond the statistical research, role definition simply makes sense – knowing what is expected and what is required will attract more appropriate candidates, ensure they are recruited using appropriate techniques and allow individuals and managers to measure and develop performance.
We start by getting a broad understanding of the role, where it fits within the organisation and how it helps to achieve the overall business goals. If it is an existing role we will ask for existing documentation relating to it as a starting point. If it is a new role we will spend time with those who have identified it as a need, to understand their vision for the role.
The process often involves engaging a number of different people linked to the role – including those doing the role, the manager, team and peers or interdependents – and those with a clear understanding of the future requirements of the role.
There are a number of approaches we can take, depending on the nature of the role. We use a range of robust techniques such as repertory grid, critical incident technique, visionary interviews, process evaluation or even focus groups in some situations – and we will explain all of these to you so you can choose what’s best for you. Ultimately we look to develop a clear and accurate description of the role by outlining what is required and how tasks need to be approached.
From all of that analysis work, we produce a job description and/or person specification. The insights we gain can also be used to develop competency descriptions and competency frameworks – and this is usually the basis of an assessment process design.