Selecting the right people to work in your organisation or establishment is important, you work through the people you select and get things done through other people, therefore choosing the right people to work with you have to be one of the most important decisions you will ever make.

Even if you have a good human resources person to assist you, do not delegate this task entirely. You, as the line manager or employer, are the one who knows best what the new hire will have to do, and you will have to work with him or her.

As a result, make sure you are involved in selecting the right people. This can also save a significant amount of time and effort later on when correcting mistakes, trying to train unsuitable candidates, and possibly having to replace unsuccessful candidates.

Starting with the right person is far more efficient. This unit teaches you various skills to assist you in making decisions that can make or break your career as a manager.

 

How to Write an Effective Job Description

When writing the Job Description, remember to include the most important aspects of the job. Make it interesting and appealing to the prospective applicant! It is acceptable to discuss projects in addition to day-to-day responsibilities – sell the job by painting a picture of what it is like to work in the role. You can even include a link to the department’s website to direct the candidate to more information.

Keep in mind these tips for writing an effective job description:

  • Mention the job title in the summary
  • Highlight the reporting structure for the position
  • Avoid using Penn acronyms or if you do, make sure you explain what they mean the first time you use them
  • Point out where they fit into the team they would be joining, the positions they will manage and to who they will report to
  • List the position’s essential duties using bullet points and focus on crucial responsibilities of the position
  • Mention exciting initiatives going on within the school, department or team that may make the role more attractive

We recommend writing the qualifications in bullet point format. List the specific skills, job experience types and amounts, educational requirements, professional qualifications, or areas of expertise that qualified candidates will bring to the team.

Checklist Tool

This tool will help you to narrow down what you are looking for in new recruits and you can easily build your job description from it. This tool provides six steps that you can follow when needing to fill a vacancy.   Not all steps or parts of steps will apply in every situation, so adapt them for your purposes.

 

Step 1. Know what kind of person you need for the job.

Complete the information in the boxes below for the position you are seeking to fill.

  1. Key outputs expected of the position:
  2. Qualifications:
  3. Personal qualities:
  4. Other skills or requirements:
  5. Salary range and other benefits and working conditions
  6. How and when to apply for the position – the name of the person to contact and contact details, plus the closing date for applications.
  7. What information do you need applicants to provide. e.g.:
  • Full names
  • Contact address and phone numbers
  • Qualifications, specifying the name of the qualification, where you obtained it, the dates you spent achieving it, and any special merit you earned
  • Complete list of previous jobs, including start and end dates, job title(s), responsibilities, and reason for leaving
  • Interests
  • Special achievements
  • Any other information you consider relevant for your application
  • Names and contact information of three referees you can contact
  • Reasons for why you want the job and why you think you would be the best candidate.

 

Step 2: Look in the right places

Make a list of the ways in which you will advertise the position.  You may decide to use one or more of the following;

Your decision about where to look will be influenced by where the best candidates can be found and how much budget you have.

Step 3:  Screen the applicants

If you receive more applications than you want to interview, you can use the following table to screen them quickly, eliminate the less suitable candidates, and identify your shortlist.  You probably want three or four on your shortlist – unless of course one or two stand out.

Essential criteria Yes No (exclude)

 

Distinguishing Criteria Instructions

  1. The table gives each criterion a weighting from 1 to 3 in the second column ( i.e column named ‘Weighting’)
  2. The more important criteria will have more impact on the final score.
  3. A criterion weighted 3 is judged to be three times more important for this particular position than one weighted 1.
  4. Different criteria would be weighted differently for different positions – it is up to you to judge whether or not you want weightings and what they should be.
  5. Now read and rate the various applications and award each a score out of 5 on each criterion.
  6. Finally, multiply each applicant’s score by the weighting on each criterion, and then add up all the weighted scores to get the total for each candidate.

 

  1. Now you can create your shortlist from the highest scores.

 

Distinguishing criteria Weighting Applicant A’s score (ex 5) Applicant A’s weighted score Applicant B’s score (ex 5) Applicant B’s weighted score Applicant C’s score (ex 5) Applicant C’s weighted score
Total

 

Step 4:  Decide what assessment methods to use

    • Interview
    • Screening by biographical data
    • Interview/panel interview
    • Work sample test or simulation
    • Psychometric test
      • Aptitude
      • Personality
      • Other
    • Assessment centre
  • Reference check

Step 5:  Interview the shortlisted candidates:

 

Checklist for preparing for the interview

  • Select a panel that represents the perspectives needed for the decision
  • Provide all panellists with the job spec and agree on a set of questions and decide who will ask which questions.  One way of doing this is to prepare at least one question for each criterion on the job spec – see the question table below.
  • Book a venue that will not be disturbed during the interview.  Switch off all phones.
  • Make sure all candidates know where and when their interviews will take place.

 

Interview record sheet:

Criterion Question Who will ask Notes

 

Checklist for the interview:

  • Introduce yourself and the rest of the panel (if there is one), explain the process and put the candidate at ease.
  • Take notes.
  • Avoid leading questions. Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.
  • Focus on relevant information.
  • Give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions.
  • Close by thanking them for their interest and indicating when and how you will be notifying candidates of your decision.  Confirm what referees you can approach.

Checklist for after the interview.  If you are using a panel:

  • Have each panellist score the candidate first
  • Then discuss and come to an agreement on the ranking of the candidates
  • Check the references
  • Draw up a letter of appointment that contains the conditions of employment.

 

Step 6:  Notify the candidates

Approach the first-choice candidate with an offer.  Once the preferred candidate has signed the appointment letter, then notify the other candidates that they were unsuccessful.

 

Step 7:  Orient the successful candidate

Teach the successful candidate what the company does and how it is being done, the company policies too.

 

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