When you think of a job advert, it’s usually skills based. A list of things that the ideal candidate should have experience or knowledge doing. Only a small section of the usual job advert is given to describing a candidate’s attitude or approach to work. Yet this is usually the most important part of hiring!

Finding the right candidate for the job.

Job adverts are not just a way to get candidates’ CVs on your desk. There’s no point getting 50 applicants if the majority of them are ill suited to the job.

If a candidate has all the skills and knowledge, but isn’t a good cultural fit, they’ll end up clashing with their new colleagues and leaving (or getting asked to leave). So often my clients say “Our retention on the whole is really good – the only person(s) we got rid of just didn’t fit into the team.”

Similarly, if they get hired for a job that’s a perfect skill match yet leaves them unmotivated and unexcited, then they’ll leave (or get asked to leave when their productivity doesn’t meet expectations).

Firings are 99% of the time due to attitude (not skills). Yet there’s little attention given to this on the average job description template! Hiring is not just about finding someone who can do the job, it’s about finding someone who wants to do the job. That way, they’ll be motivated, productive, and invested in the business.

Next time you’re hiring, check if your job description ticks the following boxes:

  • Does it describe the job accurately?
  • Does it clearly show how performance will be measured?
  • Will it be attractive to top candidates?
  • Will it motivate candidates to perform at a high level?
  • Does it offer some insight into the interview process that will follow?

Save time in the long term by investing a little more time at the beginning of your recruitment process.

If you want to learn more, you can listen to Episode 6 of the Scaling, Failing & Prevailing Podcast! I spend 45 minutes discussing start up recruitment and retention with Adelina Chalmers and James Parton at the Bradfield Centre in Cambridge.