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Building a Successful Job Description: Part 2 - The Art of Gaining Alignment with Your Hiring Team
Putting pen to paper and understanding the fundamentals of your job description
Gaining alignment with your hiring team stakeholders is crucial before posting an open role. It ensures shared understanding, efficient recruitment, suitable candidate attraction, enhanced candidate experience, and reduced bias. Follow these practical steps to foster collaboration and achieve successful hiring outcomes.
The success of any hiring process depends heavily on effective collaboration and alignment with hiring team stakeholders. One critical step in this journey is gaining alignment before posting an open role. When you have already worked with your team to build a comprehensive job order form, it might seem like you've achieved sufficient agreement. However, true alignment goes beyond form completion; it ensures that everyone involved shares a common understanding of the role, its requirements, and the recruitment strategy. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of gaining alignment and provide practical tips to foster harmonious collaboration within your hiring team.
Before delving into the specifics of gaining alignment, it's important to understand what alignment means in the context of the hiring process. Alignment refers to the shared understanding, consensus, and agreement among all hiring team stakeholders regarding the open role, its requirements, and the recruitment strategy. It ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal, with a clear vision and unified expectations.
Importance of Alignment in Hiring
Gaining alignment with your hiring team stakeholders is crucial for several reasons:
Efficient Recruitment Process - When the entire team is aligned, it streamlines the recruitment process. You avoid unnecessary delays, miscommunications, and rework caused by differing opinions or misunderstandings about the role. Efficient alignment saves time, increases productivity, and enhances the chances of securing the right talent quickly
Attracting Suitable Candidates - Alignment plays a pivotal role in attracting suitable candidates. When your team has a shared understanding of the role and its requirements, they can create compelling job descriptions, develop accurate candidate profiles, and craft effective recruitment strategies. Such alignment enables you to target the right talent pool and increase the likelihood of attracting qualified candidates who align with your organization's needs
Enhancing Candidate Experience - Alignment directly influences the candidate experience throughout the hiring process. When stakeholders are aligned, they can provide consistent information and a seamless recruitment experience. Candidates feel valued, engaged, and gain a positive perception of your organization, regardless of the touchpoints they encounter during the process
Mitigating Bias and Subjectivity - Alignment helps minimize bias and subjectivity in the evaluation of candidates. By establishing clear criteria and a shared understanding of what success looks like for the role, stakeholders can make more objective assessments, reducing the risk of unconscious biases affecting the selection process
Steps to Gain Alignment
Achieving alignment with your hiring team stakeholders demands proactive efforts and effective communication. Here are practical steps to guide you towards this crucial goal:
1. Appoint one person to lead the job order creation:
Having a designated leader responsible for creating the job order brings clarity and accountability to the process. This person takes the lead in gathering the necessary information, writing the job description, and structuring the requirements. They coordinate with other team members, collect their input, and incorporate it into the job order. This appointment ensures a focused and consistent approach to creating the job order, preventing confusion and inconsistencies.
2. Appoint one person to actively poke holes in the job order:
This role is crucial for quality assurance and critical analysis of the job order. The person assigned to this responsibility examines the job order from different perspectives and tries to identify any potential weaknesses, gaps, or areas that may lead to misunderstandings. By actively challenging the job order, this individual helps refine it and ensures that it is comprehensive, accurate, and aligned with the team's objectives. Their role is to act as a devil's advocate to improve the overall quality of the job order.
3. Appoint one person to make decisions if there are areas of misalignment:
In any collaborative process, disagreements or misalignments can arise. To avoid delays or unresolved issues, it is important to designate a decision-maker who has the authority to make final decisions if conflicts occur. This person can evaluate the differing opinions or viewpoints and take necessary actions to resolve the misalignment. By having someone responsible for decision-making, the team can maintain the momentum of the hiring process and avoid prolonged debates or stalemates.
4. Set up a one-hour kickoff meeting to review the job order:
This meeting serves as a starting point for the hiring team to review and discuss the initial job order draft. It allows everyone involved to discuss the requirements, responsibilities, qualifications, and any specific details about the position. By discussing the job order together, the team can clarify any uncertainties, ensure a shared understanding, and align their expectations.
5. Schedule two 30-minute meetings to conclude alignment:
After the kickoff meeting there may be several iterations and revisions to the job order. It's important to schedule dedicated time for the team to come together and discuss any changes made. These meetings help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any modifications or feedback are addressed and incorporated into the final version of the job order. By concluding alignment in these meetings, the team minimizes the risk of miscommunication or conflicting interpretations.
6. Regular Check-ins and Updates:
Maintain regular check-ins with your hiring team stakeholders to ensure ongoing alignment throughout the process. These updates provide an opportunity to address any emerging concerns, clarify doubts, and adapt the recruitment strategy as needed. A good cadence is a recurring, 20-minute meeting every two weeks to confirm alignment and review progress of the open role with the internal hiring team.
Alignment is something that has to be earned by taking the time to meet with all the stakeholders in the process. It’s a lot of work but a critical step before posting an open role. It ensures a shared understanding, consistent expectations, and a unified approach towards recruitment. It’s essential that the hiring team can truly disagree and commit to any points of contention before speaking to candidates.
By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can foster effective collaboration, enhance efficiency, attract suitable candidates, and mitigate bias in your hiring process. Remember, alignment is an ongoing effort that requires continuous communication and active engagement. By prioritizing alignment, you set the stage for a successful recruitment process that yields the best-fit talent for your organization's needs.
In the next part of this series we’ll discuss utilizing the job order and internal alignment meetings to build out a candidate-facing job description.
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