Effective Job Analysis – why bother?

As a retained executive search firm, when we are approached by our clients with a mandate, our first priority is always to qualify the search, to make sure that it’s “real”. This means reviewing with the organization the why, what and how of the position, answers which they will be able to give only if an internal job analysis was performed on the client side.

Search is a costly process, an investment on the part of the search firm and the client, so we want to be certain that our services are truly indeed needed before moving forward. Our objective is to minimize the risk of the search dramatically changing scope midway through the process; for example a change in the functional expertise required, a shift in position level (global becomes regional), a change of location / country where the position is based, or a change in strategy where the role is just no longer a priority recruitment and cancelled.

So, before going to search, the key things we need to know are:

•    Why does this role (really) exist and how does it fit into the wider organization’s strategy?

•    What results does your company want to see if the role is performed well?

•    In order to be able to achieve those results – what skills, knowledge, behavioral or cultural characteristics does our ideal candidate need?

•    Finally, how critical are those skills? Can they be developed on the job or not etc…?

Overall, a successful job analysis exercise will tell us what someone does when performing a given job and what aspects of job performance are absolutely critical for success. It is these critical success factors that we then need to “hunt” for in the market.

This information is key, not only to build the ideal candidate profile but an accurate candidate profile. The information is also valuable in establishing a relevant job title (reflective of the scope of the role) that will enable us to know who to target across different organizations. Client side, it will set the key objectives for your new hire and be the basis for conducting internal performance reviews.

Win – Win – Win

Overall, the information gained by performing a job analysis exercise will allow your search firm to better partner you; with the results forming the basis of our overall assessment and candidate selection process. As a hiring company you will be able to get the best candidate for a given role, also offering the successful candidate a career move that is in-line with their aspirations and career objectives.  This means that we will be able to offer the candidate we headhunt a concrete opportunity for growth and at the very least a medium-long term career path perspective.

Our role as headhunters is not only to identify names (something we know your internal  team is  also very qualified to do!), our real value is our understanding of the market landscape and our ability to attract and inspire the right talent to exchange what they have currently for the opportunity we are presenting to them.