Why Success Profiles Make Sense for Proactive Positions

Attracting, screening and bench-marking candidates for proactive roles is easy.  However, most organisations are using traditional position descriptions for this purpose which is WRONG!
Your traditional position description is designed to be exclusive to that job. Position descriptions say to a candidate, “Do you meet the mandatory and preferred criteria?”. It is a screening OUT tool and quite narrow in focus. It is not designed to say “If you do not fit this position you may be suitable for others within our organisation”.
A success profile is targeted at a range of positions or a type of person. It may be for a vertical job family, ie: Mining Engineers, IT Consultants or Financial Planners. Success profiles can also be for a horizontal group of employees, such as female executives, people who speak multiple languages. The key is to understand what represents diversity and success for your organisation.  This is not hard, but it does require creativity and consideration regarding screening and self-assessment.
So what is the difference between position descriptions and success profiles?

      Position Description

Success Profile

Targeted at a specific role, it describes the “ideal” candidate

Purposefully targeted at a skill group and/or segmented group (e.g. Location/Females – Summary)

It enables a candidate to gain a 360 view of the position

Provides a balanced view of values, business objectives, technologies, innovations for the group

The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is relevant to the position:  Why would someone want to do that job

EVP is based on the organisation and the  segmented group

It contains Mandatory & Preferred Criteria and Job Dimensions

Contains weighted range of weighted competencies and skills (this is important)

It enables you and the candidate to qualify out

It enables both you and the candidate to qualify in

It can be used on Career Sites or Job Boards

It is used in Micro Sites and across Social Media channels.

Success profiles raise some interesting questions:

  • Can you score a candidate against a success profile if weighted competencies and skills are used?
  • Can you align your future organisational skill/diversity needs (workforce planning) to success profiles?
  • How do you ensure your position descriptions and success profiles are aligned?
  • How do you attain the segmented EVP information to use in success profiles?
  • Will success profiles eventually replace position descriptions?
  • How do you and a candidate assess/screen against a success profile?
  • Do success profiles appeal to more your Gen Y and Gen Z-type candidates?

In summary, success profiles can be a targeted tool to attract desired groups of employees to your organisation. They do require some lateral thinking about how, when and where they are used. However if an organisation is looking to embark on developing Talent Communities they are a vital part of the picture.
Follow Trevor Vas on twitter  @trevorpvas.

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