Why detailed job briefs are critical in securing candidates

Salt’s APAC CEO Jacqui Barratt shares her thoughts on the importance of clients providing detailed job briefs.

I last wrote about this very topic back in 2015 and here I am on a Friday afternoon hitting the keyboard because the picture hasn’t changed.

“This role is so critical.”
“People are our greatest asset.”
“It’s so important we get the right person.”

These are typical statements we hear everyday from clients, yet in the same breath we are told, “but I don’t have time to give you a brief”, “we have provided you a job description” or “I have 30 minutes and that’s all”.

As you will all appreciate, job descriptions are interesting beasts. I can comment on at least five in the last week that on working through them were either much like Santa’s Christmas wish list or not truly reflective of the role once we started questioning aspects; the one that took the cake was 11 pages long.

Whilst a job description might have some key information in it, like most documents, we need to bring it to life and truly understand the aspects that are not written down. For example, if I am recruiting for a salesperson I want to know the average deal size or average sales cycle. I want to understand about the customer base, I want to know how this role will be measured in the first 3 months, 6 months and 12 months, and more importantly, I want to know this because the candidates you want to attract, want to know this. They want to know about the manager they will report to and not some stock standard reply — “Oh, they aren’t a micromanager”. That’s great but who are they, how do they like to manage, what frustrates them, what excites them, why are they still there? As I am sure you will have heard more than once, people don’t leave an organisation, they leave a manager, so they want to know who they will be connecting with.

Candidates want to know the challenges and the frustrations — don’t be afraid to give a warts and all view of the role and the company. No role or company is perfect — just like candidates. By understanding the complete picture, that’s where the true art and science of recruitment comes together to make the right match.

Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes for a moment. If you were looking for a job, would you feel comfortable applying for a role that you know very little about, or perhaps only have a job description for?

The more insight and clarity that can be provided, the more likely that we can together identify the right person, who is successful and stays with you. Good candidates always have multiple options, so the more information they have to make an informed decision, the better.

If the role is truly critical and you really do value people so highly, why would giving a detailed brief not be a priority?
 


Are you an employer who needs some help with hiring digital talent? Visit our Employer page to submit a short brief, and we’ll be in touch shortly.

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