Engagement Practice _ 4: Create a Realistic Job

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Description with a Short List of Critical Competencies

When search teams create too long a list of job requirements and competencies

that the ‘‘ideal candidate’’ must have, they are unwittingly narrowing

their pool of candidates, since fewer candidates could possibly pass the

screening. They are also laying the groundwork for another problem later

on—that the new hire will not be able to meet the performance expectations.

To prevent either of these problems, take care to create a realistic list

of only the five or six most critical competencies needed for success, preferably

stated as natural, motivated talents, not as technical or knowledge requirements.

For example, a successful customer service representative needs

not just the knowledge of the company’s products, but also the natural

ability to not take customers’ anger personally. The more your organization

has done to determine which competencies distinguish top performers

from average performers in various job categories, the easier it will be to

list them.