Chicken or Egg?


What comes first?
The Job or the Person?

Within the recruitment process is the job specification written first to help find the right person, or if the right person is found, is a job moulded to suit them?

What are the short and long terms goals for this role, department and business in general?
What are the boundaries, what areas are flexible? How does this role fit in with the existing team? How does this help the organisation grow? The candidate must be able to do the job or your business will never achieve its goals.

You must first write a job description and determine the key competencies needed right now and in the future.

Do you mould the business around the current team and people available or develop the best structure for the business needs then find the people to fit within it?

As with the chicken or egg dilemma there is rarely one right answer. You may be growing or need to restructure to keep up with change or a new direction of the business. Within your existing team you may have some ideal people to fill some of the roles, but then others
may have good qualities and skills, but don’t fit as well with your new plans.

Ask yourself…

Are our goals and objectives finalised and agreed – is senior management on board? If anything is unclear about your organisational objectives, make sure you get agreement before moving forward.

How realistic are your plans? If you have designed an amazing organisational structure, but the business cannot justify the costs then forget it. What is practical, affordable and gives you room for growth?

Focus on what the business needs to move forward. The business needs must come first or there will be no business and no jobs for any of the existing team.

What skills, qualities and potential for growth does the existing team have? Do they have hidden talents that have not come to the surface in their current roles – could they be explored and developed?

If the right opportunity and training were available, could the existing team be developed? Do you have a successful sales person you are thinking of promoting to a sales manager role? They may be a great networker and love being in front of the customers, but can they cope and do they have any interest in administration, process and management. Are they best concentrating on their own sales or can they congratulate others and massage other people’s egos?

Often a great new business person needs the thrill of the chase to feel satisfied in their role. What seems like natural career progress can be a very bad move both for the employee and the business. Someone who can at first be perceived as an introvert and not a great team player might actually have great attention to detail and a slight change in role could be the making of them, turning them into a valuable asset to the business.

You may have someone within the business who is always quick to criticise and not seen as a popular person within the organisation, but given the power to implement the changes instead of criticising other people’s ideas they may flourish in a senior management role.

So is it the chicken or the egg?

More often than not, the person must fit the job – not the other way around!

If you try to shape new jobs around your current employees, you may keep some of them happy for a while, but in so doing, you might not only disappoint many others, but you may well not meet your organisation’s longer-term objectives.

You must…

Think long and hard about what is needed.

Write a clear Job Description agreeing an Ideal Candidate Profile.

Determine the absolute must-have competencies and experience you need for right now and the future development of the company.

Be flexible enough to realise that if you meet an absolute superstar who can bring things to the business that you did not even know you needed then think of how you can mould a role around them.

And so the debate goes on!