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Is The Job Spec Obsolete?

Posted On: 23/01/2017

Today’s employment landscape is almost unrecognisable from that of twenty years ago. A new generation of millennial workers and continuously developing technology have redefined the way in which we search and apply for jobs. As a result, recruitment and HR teams have adapted their methods for attracting and hiring potential candidates, meaning many traditional recruiting practices are now obsolete. So what’s on the way out? One of the very first things that a potential candidate will see: the job spec.

While job specifications may still play a small, obligatory role in searching for a job, when it comes down to finding the right candidate the individual comes first and the role itself comes second. Of course, certain roles do require specific qualifications and skills, but we are now in a working world in which an employer’s brand and its people are its biggest assets.

With that in mind, ensuring that an individual is the right fit for a business must come before the potential candidate’s qualifications, experience or anything else that sits in the job specification. This has become one of the most influential aspects of recruiting. Hiring an individual who just simply is not a good fit for the business could have disastrous results; a lack of unity and harmonious sense of teamwork in the workplace will have an adverse effect on the work being produced and staff morale, which ultimately runs the risk of being filtered down to clients and customers.

Choosing to hire a candidate with more experience than an individual with the right personality could be a costly mistake for businesses, with the price tag attached to replacing a member of staff around £30,614 per employee according to Oxford Economics. This is why HR and recruiting teams are increasingly disregarding CVs to ensure they make the right hire first time. Tailoring interview questions to get a true glimpse of the candidate’s attitude and enthusiasm is just one approach to this, forgetting the traditional and monotonous questions such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” and instead asking more considered questions such as "Tell me about the relationships you've had with the people you've worked with. How would you describe the best ones? The worst?”

While certain skills on a candidate’s CV can bring practical benefits to a job role, personality, drive and style of communication can bring much more. Long gone are the days when a candidate is turned away for not having enough years’ experience, as employers seek to get to know the individual instead of what they have summarised on paper.

 

To find out more about recruiting and HR practices, get in touch with the P3 People Management team today.

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