Sustainable Employees
Step 3 – Job Analysis/Job Description

How many have accepted a position and found out that the position that was described during the recruitment process wasn’t the job that you accepted?  How many people have accepted a job without receiving a job description?  Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon in business, especially in small business.     

STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPANY/DEPARTMENT AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADING

STEP 2: SELLING THE COMPANY AND POSITION TO TALENTED CANDIDATES

·         PART A:  WHAT IS AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

·         PART B:  HOW TO CREATE AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION

·         PART C:  HOW TO CREATE A MANAGER’S VALUE PROPOSITION

STEP 3: JOB ANALYSIS/JOB DESCRIPTION

STEP 4: DETERMINE HIRING PROCESS

STEP 5: WHERE TO FIND THOSE TALENTED CANDIDATES

The output of a good job analysis is a good job description.  In the ideal situation, every single employee should have a job description and each year, that job description should be evaluated to ensure that it is still accurate.  We are going to review the importance of a job description, how to conduct a job analysis, and what to include in the job description.

Why is a job description important?

There are two main reasons for a job description:

·         Recruitment process:  helps determine salary, explains what experiences and education are required for the position, information can be used in job advertisements, and develop interview questions based on duties;

·         Guide the employee:  employee will understand the employer’s expectations, the basis for performance management, employee cannot say “that’s not my job,” and a legal document that can help the employer defend themselves against wrongful termination or discrimination charges.

How do you conduct a job analysis?

First, you need to determine who is going to do the analysis.  Typically, the best person to do the job analysis is the person who knows the job the best.  If possible, have someone else in the organization that has a strong understanding of the position to review the job analysis to ensure accuracy.  If someone is currently in the job, you can ask them to track everything they do.  This will allow you to know what the tasks are for the position.  In this analysis, pay close attention to how the tasks are being completed.  What methods are used?  What equipment/software is used?  What are the qualifications needed (training, education, certifications, knowledge, skills, and personality traits).  Gather as much info as possible.

What should a job description contain?

Now that the job analysis is completed, now you have to organize the information.  Here is what a job description should contain.

1.       Summary Statement – One or two sentences that explains the purpose of the position.

2.       Functions of the Position – Specific details of what the job entails.  In this you can prioritize different functions.  Some companies will even explain how much time is expected of each job function.

3.       Evaluation Criteria – Detailed explanation of the employer’s expectations of the employee.

4.       Organization Structure – Explains where this position fits into the organization and who it reports to and who are the direct reports, if any.

5.       Requirements of the Position:  List of education/certification requirements as well as experiences that are necessary.  Some companies will even list preferred requirements.

6.       Compensation – Salary range for the position.

7.       Miscellaneous Information – Location of the position, travel requirements, work environment, work schedule (days/hours), department, job category (exempt, non-exempt), position type (full-time, part-time, intern, contractor), and number of hours.

There are many templates that are available online and in MS Word.  I recommend that you find one that works for you.  If you need any more assistance with this, please contact me at ben@brlconsultinggroup.com. 

Step 2, Part C in the Recruitment Process

Most people have never heard of a Manager’s Value Proposition, but every manager has one.  Think about your favorite boss that you ever had.  Why were they your favorite boss?  Those reasons are the manager’s value proposition.  How do managers separate themselves from managers from other companies?    

STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPANY/DEPARTMENT AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADING

STEP 2: SELLING THE COMPANY AND POSITION TO TALENTED CANDIDATE

  • PART A:  WHAT IS AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT
  • PART B:  HOW TO CREATE AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION
  •  PART C:  HOW TO CREATE A MANAGER’S VALUE PROPOSITION

STEP 3: JOB ANALYSIS/JOB DESCRIPTION

STEP 4: DETERMINE HIRING PROCESS

STEP 5: WHERE TO FIND THOSE TALENTED CANDIDATES

In our last post, we reviewed how to create an Employer’s Value Proposition.  One of the key areas that you should express in the EVP is the management style. When we look at management style, we are talking about the companywide management style.  Every manager is different.  While there may be similar styles or management policies at a company, each and every manager has a value proposition and should learn how to promote that to potential candidates. 

During an interview, most managers focus on gathering information from the candidate.  A good manager will gather information from the candidate AND sell the company to the candidate.  A great manager will gather information from the candidate, sell the company AND themselves to the candidate.  When a candidate leaves the interview, they will evaluate if they want to work at that company, but more importantly do they want to work for the hiring manager.

Where to start?

A manager needs to do a self evaluation.  After that is completed, have your employees evaluate you as a manager.  And after your employees, compile all the data and determine what you believe are your key selling points.  Then review that information with your supervisor.

How to present the manager’s value proposition?

During the interview, explain to the candidate your expectations of your direct reports and then explain to them how you manage.  Be authentic during this part.  Don’t make up qualities that you wish that you had.  I recommend that managers always give a tour of the work area during the hiring process.  Remember that the candidate is going to pay a lot of attention during the interactions between you and your employees.  If you, the manager, has presented their value proposition properly, a candidate will be able to make an educated decision on where they want to work.

Next week, we are going to review how to perform a job analysis and write a job description. 

Step 2 – Part B in the Recruitment Planning Process

Step 2 – Part B in the Recruitment Planning Process

I apologize to my avid readers that I took last week off.  My family and I have been under the weather and have finally started feeling better.  In the last blog post, we reviewed Part A of the Second Step:  What is an Employee Value Proposition or as it is commonly referred to EVP.  This week we are going to review how to create one. 

STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPANY/DEPARTMENT AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADING

STEP 2: SELLING THE COMPANY AND POSITION TO TALENTED CANDIDATES

·         PART A:  WHAT IS AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

·         PART B:  HOW TO CREATE AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION

·         PART C:  HOW TO CREATE A MANAGER’S VALUE PROPOSITION

STEP 3: JOB ANALYSIS/JOB DESCRIPTION

STEP 4: DETERMINE HIRING PROCESS

STEP 5: WHERE TO FIND THOSE TALENTED CANDIDATES

In order to create a sustainable employee population, you must have a strong message tofor current and potential employees.  In this project, you are going to need to gather information, analyze the data, and determine how to present your EVP.  One thing, I always like to remind everyone is that you are not trying to appeal to the masses.  You want to appeal to the candidates who will perform well at your company.  Yes, you should have some qualities that appeal to the masses, but most likely some of the qualities that you like about your company, someone else may not and that’s ok.

Gather Information:

You need to evaluate your current employees and company.  The areas that you want to focus on are:

·         Location of the company, condition of premises

·         Growth opportunities

·         Atmosphere and culture

·         Social events

·         Flexible hours

·         Management style

·         Benefits

Did you notice what I left out?  Still haven’t figured it out yet?  Salary.  I’m going to assume that you pay people the norm.  Do you know what airline pays the least, yet has the highest customer service ratings?  Southwest Airlines.  Do you think their EVP is, “We pay less than everyone and that’s ok?  No, their EVP tag line is, “At Southwest, you have the freedom to be creative, dress casually, and have fun on the job. Employees also enjoy free travel privileges, and great benefits like profit sharing, matching 401K, medical and dental.  While, I’m not saying salary is a total non-factor, it is not something that typically differentiates yourself from your competitors nor does it tug at the heart strings of why someone will want to work for you.

You will want to send out a survey to your employees.  In that survey, you will want to include the following questions: Why did you accept a job here?  What are the top three reasons why you enjoy working here?  What is the management style like?  What about the hours do you like?  Are there any specific benefits that you and your family find beneficial?  What are the growth opportunities here like?  What do you like about the location and the building that you work in?

Now that you have gathered the data, it’s time for the analysis.

Data Analysis

Hopefully you’ve used an online survey tool, such as Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com), so that you can aggregate all the information.  Now, you want to look at trends in each question.  You may  noticepeople really like the brand new facility that they are working in.  This is a differentiator that you will most likely want to include in your EVP. 

During the data analysis, there are two areas of data that I want you to pay close attention to.  The first one is the opinions of your top performers.  They are the employees that you want to attract so you need to better understand what they like about your company.  The second area is illustrated in the diagram above.  If you take a look at it, you will notice that there are 5 categories of needs.  The bottom two needs, physiological and safety needs, are what current and potential employees expect from an employer.  The top three needs, social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization, are where your EVP should focus.  This doesn’t mean you should turn your back on the bottom two needs, but if you focus on only the bottom two, then you will not differentiate yourself nor will you attract top talent. 

Now that you’ve seen some trends, noticed what your top performers like about the company, and outlined some of the top three needs that differentiate yourself from competitors, you need to promote your EVP.

Present your EVP

This is actually pretty simple.  On your website, have a careers page and feature your EVP on it.  It is also effective if you have employee testimonials that mention those qualities that you are highlighting in your EVP.  When posting job ads, start and close with your EVP.  When you give a candidate a tour of your facility, mention your EVP in action. 

Now that we have shown you how to create your company EVP this week, in the following week we are going to review how to create your Manager’s Value Proposition.

Step 2, Part A in the Recruitment Planning Process

In last week’s blog, we reviewed the first step of the recruitment planning process.  This week we are going to review the first part of the second step. 

STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPANY/DEPARTMENT AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADING

STEP 2: SELLING THE COMPANY AND POSITION TO TALENTED CANDIDATES

·         PART A:  WHAT IS AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

·         PART B:  HOW TO CREATE AN EMPLOYEE VALUE PROPOSITION

·         PART C:  HOW TO CREATE A MANAGER’S VALUE PROPOSITION

STEP 3: JOB ANALYSIS/JOB DESCRIPTION

STEP 4: DETERMINE HIRING PROCESS

STEP 5: WHERE TO FIND THOSE TALENTED CANDIDATES

Businesses spend a great deal of time and money developing a brand so that they can differentiate themselves in their industry in order to attract customers.  At the same time, very few businesses spend time and money on attracting top talent.  It is imperative for a company to develop an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) in order to have a sustainable employee population.

What is an Employee Value Proposition and why is it important?

Simply, the EVP describes the characteristics and appeal ofworking for an organization.  It describes the culture, benefits, and the way it conducts business.  The two biggest problems that companies encounter when developing an EVP are as follows:

·         They fail to differentiate themselves from other employers.  Differentiating your company is one of the most difficult aspects of developing an EVP.  Matching up what candidates’ desire in an employer and what you have to offer is difficult enough.  Then your company has to determine a couple key differentiators that will appeal to a candidate when comparing your company to other employers.

·         They fail to live up to their EVP.  Some companies paint a picture of what it is like to work there and it is a masterpiece, but when the candidate becomes the employee, they soon realize that the masterpiece is filled with false promises.  When this happens, you will have a disenchanted employee who will most likely becomean ex-employee. 

Creating a strong EVP message to candidates can bring powerful results.  Research by Corporate Leadership Council found the following:

·         Improved the commitment of new hires by up to 29%.  Our take, - How many people jump into the pool?  How many people test the water with their toes?  A company wants their new hires to jump into the pool! 

·         Reduced new hire compensation premiums by up to 50%.  Our take, - A successful EVP will translate to real dollars.  Take for example a candidate who is comparing two job offers.  The salaries are $60,000 and $70,000.  Without any additional information, most people would assume that the person will take the $70,000 a year job.  But if that $60,000 position comes with a corporate culture which fits better with the candidate, a more appealing benefit package, and allows for telecommuting two days a week, then the candidate may believe that this  company has more total value than the other.

·         Increased likelihood of employees acting as advocates from an average of 24% to 47%.  Our take. -  Employees, who are advocates for their company, take better  care of their customers, miss less days of work, reduce recruiting costs by letting people know when the company is hiring , increase sales because that positive attitude is contagious, and lend to a much better workplace environment. 

Part B of Step 2 will be posted at the beginning of next week.  Part B will share how a small business can create an effective EVP.  

Step 1 in the Recruitment Planning Process

In my previous post, we identified the steps that a company should take during the planning stages of the recruitment process.  I have changed the order a little and added one more step from my previous blog post.  Today, we are going to focus on Step 1. 

STEP 1: UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPANY/DEPARTMENT AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADING

STEP 2:  SELLING THE COMPANY AND POSITION TO TALENTED CANDIDATES

STEP 3:  JOB ANALYSIS/JOB DESCRIPTION

STEP 4:  DETERMINE HIRING PROCESS

STEP 5:  WHERE TO FIND THOSE TALENTED CANDIDATES

What are the short-term and long-term goals of the company/department?

This is a pretty simple question, which can lead to a very complex answer.  If you do not know where your organization is heading, then how do you know what you need? If you don’t have a long-term strategy, then lets work on that first.  Write down two to three Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG, for more info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hairy_Audacious_Goal).  Once those BHAG goals have been identified, break down those long-term goals into short-term goals.  This way you are working backwards.  Then, determine what the organizational structure should be in order to achieve the short-term goals and then those Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  Now you know where the organization is going.  A successful recruiting company understands where they are going and what their structure should look like. 

Evaluate the current talent pool.

Now, that you have your BHAGs and have identified a structure that will achieve those goals, it is time to evaluate your current employees.  Pay close attention to your leadership, sales, and technical roles.  For a small business, the owner is typically the sales manager, the ops manager, the accountant, and many other positions.  As the business grows, she will have to relinquish some of those duties.  Although there is no current need, she knows she will one day have to either hire or promote from within a sales manager to assist with the increased bsuiness.  She needs to now evaluate her current sales team and identify any current employees who have the ability to become a strong sales manager.  If none are identified, then this organization will need to look for leadership qualities in their next sales rep.  Its important to think about how your current employees will fit into the future organizational structure.   

What is the organizational culture of the organization?

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make in the recruitment process is hiring for the position and not the company.  Anytime you hire someone you are hiring them for the company to perform a specific role.  In order to hire a good employee, they must be a good fit for the organization and have the knowledge, experience, education, and skills to complete the job.  Some people disagree and believe that hiring for culture fit is irrelevant.  But I counter that an organization that is similar to Dell, which its culture of operational efficiency and cost management, will look to attract different types of employees than a company like Apple would, with its cultural emphasis being on innovation.  While there are employees that would work well in both companies, there are also employees that would excel at Dell, but not at Apple, and vice versa.

If you feel that your company could benefit from a change in its current organizational culture, then you need to add employees and managers that will foster that “new” culture.   

Look for Step Two: Selling the Company and Position to Talented Candidates next week and and feel free to forward this blog on to any of your friends, family, and coworkers who are managers or business owners. 

A recent conversation on recruiting …

I had a conversation with a business owner that told me that ”it was easy to recruit great sales reps.  It only takes a couple of weeks to find a candidate for a job vacancy.  Interviews are to see what the person looks like.” 

This wasn’t the first time I had heard these things.  After I asked him a few questions, I realized that he did not truly understand the recruiting process or how to plan a recruitment strategy.  Many businesses, both small and large, jump right into the recruitment function with minimal to zero planning.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. -John Wooden

Below, you will find the overall steps that a company should follow prior to recruiting employees.    

Step 1: Understanding your company/department and where they are heading.

  • What is the culture of the company/department?
  • What are the short-term and long-term goals of the company/department?
  • Evaluate your current talent.
  • What is the Employee Value Proposition (EVP)?  Why would someone want to work for your company?

Step 2: Job analysis/Job Description

  • What are the job duties?
  • What are the requirements (skills, knowledge, education, physical)?
  • Will this position typically get promoted into another role?  If yes, what are the requirements for that role?
  • Compensation?

Step 3:  Determine Hiring Process

  • Who brings value to the process?
  • Who are the actual decision makers?
  • How can we identify the candidates that possess the skills necessary to be effective at the job versus the candidates that know how to appear to have the skills?

Step 4:  Where to recruit and how are we going to sell the company and position to potential candidates?

  • Proactive approaches (e.g. employee referral program).
  • Reactive approaches (e.g. job boards).

In the next four weeks, we will examine each step and provide some guidelines to achieve your goal - Recruiting Sustainable Employees.

"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."
-Walt Disney