• victoria@greenjaygroup

Three Top Tips for Effective Job Design

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

Job specs, job descriptions, person specifications: whatever you call them getting your job design right can feel like an impossible task, particularly if you are looking to overhaul your current process. But it needn’t be.

Getting your job design right can help you to spot current and future skills gaps, give your people clear training and development plans and identify your succession planning to save you recruitment and training costs as well as ensuring that you retain your top talent.

Here are three top tips to make your job design work for you.

1. Recruit for what you need, not what you want

We all know how it goes. You're asked to pull together a job description or job advert and you start to think about what you want in your new hire. You need someone who can do a handstand and eat a doughnut. But wouldn't it be amazing if they could do a handstand, eat a doughnut and recite the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody? Or even better, what if they could do a handstand, eat a doughnut, recite the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody and do a bit of fly fishing at the same time?

Woah there - all you need is someone who can do a handstand and eat a doughnut, so build your job description and job advert around these skills. You can train the other skills if you really need them and they can then be used to stretch and challenge new hires further down the line.

2. Flex it

A 2018 YouGov study into flexible working revealed that 58% of UK workers would choose to start work earlier than 9am if they could leave earlier than 5pm.

In addition, the study found that when asked about what makes a ‘good job’ flexibility was the third most important factor (61%) behind a sociable and friendly working environment and high pay.

Perhaps most interestingly, the study also found that flexibility was important to people of all stages and different ages and yet only 42% of people reported that they had a role which allowed them to work flexibly.

When you’re reviewing your job design why not assess each role in terms of the flexibility it offers. Do you need someone full time to be sat at their desk every day or could you accommodate a part timer, someone who could do compressed hours, a job share or remote worker? If the answer to any of these is yes then you could open that role to a whole new talent pool which will make recruiting easier as well as increasing your chances of being perceived as a ‘good employer’.

3. Grow your own

Let’s do a little thought experiment…

You wake up one morning to find that the rest of your leadership team are in a lottery syndicate and they’ve hit the jackpot. You head into the office to find that they have decided to pool their winnings to buy a remote island and you are left to run the business alone while they spend their days drinking margaritas by the pool (hey, at least you’ll have a cheap holiday retreat now). What do you do?

a) Panic and start to call every agency in town to help you to replace all of the vacant roles at considerable time and expense


b) Take a gander at your up-to-date succession plans and inform the relevant people in the business that their time has come to shine

This example might sound extreme, however a study conducted by The Wilmington Trust found that 58% of the 200 small businesses they surveyed did not have a clear succession plan in place. Succession planning is critical to business continuity and can be such a simple thing to implement.

Do you need some help to get your job design working for you? Green Jay is a strategic HR consultancy that can help you to recruit, retain and develop top talent. Get in touch today for a free consultation and we'll help you with all aspects of your talent management.

#talentmanagement #orgdev #HR #flexibleworking #Bath #Bristol #startup #scaleup

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