Here’s the scenario: someone with a long tenure leaves a position at your organization for a new opportunity. You dust off their job description, maybe add a line about seeking digital savvy candidates, and go ahead and post the open position. This is how your organization has always done it and generally, it has worked. But there’s a better way.
When a position opens up, it is always worth the effort to reassess how it fulfills your organization’s needs. This certainly applies to senior and executive level positions but is still a best practice at all ends of the corporate ladder. A crucial step when re-evaluating a position is identifying the stakeholders involved in both shaping the role and working with the employee who finally fills it. A board member, for instance, might disagree with the position’s supervisor about the skill set needed or the priority responsibilities for the position, and that conflict can make it hard to clearly reassess the position.
This is usually the point Arthur Diamond comes in. We serve as an intermediary (and some have said therapist) to help different stakeholders gain clarity on what they are looking for (in candidates and the role), understand what they learned from predecessors in that position, craft the job description, and build the roadmap to successful matchmaking. As a third party we are in an envious position when helping a client fill an open position, as we are able to both handle internal candidates without making the process personal or political, and we are also able to be more nimble in how we approach a competitive organization’s talent.
It’s very tempting to fill an open position as soon as possible and timing certainly is key, but resist the urge to just recycle a predecessor’s job description. Set up a process you can undertake internally with key players or consider bringing in an outside perspective to ensure that when you fill that position with a candidate that has potential to stay at your organization for years, it’s the strongest match of both the right position to fill organizational needs and the best candidate for that re-evaluated role.
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