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4 Steps to Boost Your Recruitment Success: Steps 1 and 2

Are you an HR specialist responsible for finding new employees for your company? Then you know this can sometimes seem like an impossible task. After all, the quality and fit of new employees can significantly influence the long-term success of your organisation – so you want to make sure you get it right every single time. 

We compiled a few helpful things to consider as you go through the four major steps of successful recruitment. In this first of two blog articles, we will take a look at how your preparation for the recruitment phase can make all the difference.


Step one: Defining the responsibilities

You probably have job descriptions for your various job roles – but how useful are they, internally (e.g. for annual assessments or promotion decisions) and externally (for your recruitment)? If in doubt, revisit these documents, ideally in collaboration with the responsible line manager:

  1. Create a comprehensive task list.
    It should contain everything that is expected from this job role on a regular basis.
  2. Sort the list by importance.
    Start by comparing the first entry with the second and decide which of them is more important. Then take the third and so forth until you have the most relevant task at the top and the least relevant at the bottom of your list.
  3. Add time estimates to each task.
    You can either use hours (“Task XYZ: 8 hours / week”) or percentages of the overall working time (“Task XYZ: 12 percent”) to set your estimates for your tasks.
  4. Highlight top tasks.
    All tasks and responsibilities on your list that require at least 10 percent (or 4 hours / week) of the job holder’s working time, can be considered to be the top tasks for this job role. (If you have a task at the bottom of your list that meets this criteria, there is an obvious disharmony between importance of the task and its time consumption. You should then investigate if it’s more important than you previously thought or if it should maybe be removed from this particular job role.)


Step two: Defining necessary skills and experience

Step one was the first half of your job profile for a given role within your organisation. This is the second half:

  1. Define matching requirements for each task.
    Take a look at the task list you just created and determine for each top task which education, knowledge, skills, and experience a job holder needs to have to perform this task expertly.
  2. Separate the wheat from the chaff.
    Look at your list of requirements and identify those that are not essential, but rather beneficial for any given task: Is a specific university degree really essential or is it more important that the job holder has the skills and knowledge usually associated with that degree? Do you really need to define how many years of experience someone should have – or is it maybe wiser to define in which areas you expect professional experience? Be as brutal as you can so you end up with true essentials.
  3. Scrutinise your list of essentials again.
    Ask yourself how difficult it would be to teach a new recruit an essential skill or piece of knowledge if they didn’t have it. If the answer is “It probably wouldn’t take a lot of time.”, move the essential over to the desirable category.
  4. Did you only consider knowledge, skills, and experience?
    Don’t forget to think about character traits and personal preferences: Are there any you need to include because they are essential to performing this job well?

After you have concluded these first two steps for a job role, you will have a high-quality job profile that will serve as a most valuable basis for your actual recruitment – which we will talk about in the follow-up article about steps three and four.

Also, don’t just stop there! After you followed the steps for successful recruitment and your ideal candidate has accepted the job offer, can you now pat yourself on the back because your work is done? Not exactly. Therefore, also read the blog article Eye-opening Onboarding Tips: Best Practices to Welcome Your New Hires.

Now it’s time to put this job profile to good use and initiate the actual recruitment process. Read 4 Steps to Boost Your Recruitment Success: Steps 3 and 4.

For more information, download Russell HR Consulting’s eBook The Seven Deadly Sins of Employment.


Christine Funk

Marketing & Social Media Manager

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