How to Match Job Attributes to Employee Profiles: Theory and practice

job attributes

When you are looking to hire someone new in your organization, how can you accurately find out whether an employee has the right qualities required for the role? This is the question that many hiring managers and recruiters ask themselves. To make the best hiring decisions, you must first know precisely what job attributes you are looking for. Then you need to use effective techniques to find those qualities in candidates.  

What Are Job Attributes?

Job attributes are the qualities required of an incumbent to make them successful in the position. If you want to find an individual who is ideally suited to the role you’re hiring for, then you need to know what the job attributes are. Some positions will require the person to be incredibly resilient, naturally friendly, or detail-focused. The job attributes for each position in your organization will vary according to the tasks of the role in question.

Attributes generally refer to soft skills or personal characteristics as opposed to hard skills or technical abilities. This may include agreeableness, honesty, extraversion, helpfulness, and more. On the other hand, technical abilities are more focused on which software people know how to use and what processes they can undertake.

The Theory of Matching Job Attributes to Employee Profiles

When you are hiring for a new position, you will have to write a job description. It is during this time that you sit down and thoroughly think about what it takes for an individual to be successful in this role. The soft skills and characteristics you come up with are the job attributes. Once you know what these are, you can start looking for applicants with these characteristics.

In theory, matching job attributes to employee profiles is simple. Once you have determined the characteristics you are seeking, you can look at an employee profile and figure out if they match what you are looking for. However, it is not always as easy to put this into practice as it might seem. Candidates don’t always mention soft skills in their cover letters and especially not in their resumes.

How to Put Matching Job Attributes with Employee Profiles into Practice

So, how can you effectively match employee profiles with job attributes? We have a few tried-and-true techniques for locating suitable candidates with the characteristics you require for the position.

Put the Job Attributes in the Job Description

A mistake that many employers make is to define the job attributes but then not add these to the job description. By being extremely clear about what you’re looking for, you offer applicants the chance to show you how they meet your criteria. Candidates who are passionate about landing a position will tailor their applications according to your requirements, including the keywords you have used. This makes it simple to see not only who has put effort into their cover letter and resume, but you should be able to search by keyword and see who has included the words you used.

Seeking Applicants

When you’re looking for applicants with specific skills, you must first think about where you might find these people. Depending on the job attributes, you may want to advertise the role through different mediums. If you’re looking for someone with direct communication skills, you may want to proactively reach out to people through platforms such as LinkedIn. Someone with this trait may appreciate your direct approach. Alternatively, if you’re seeking an extrovert, social media may be the place to find them. Tailor your job ads and where you post them to attract the right types of people.

Recruiting Software

Cover letters and resumes only offer limited information. After all, resumes are expected to generally be less than two pages and cover letters just one page, depending on the industry you are in. By using recruitment software to determine the strengths of candidates, you can find out far more about your applicants.

Recruitment software can parse resumes and cover letters to determine whether a candidate possesses the required job attributes. Then it can send you a list of the applicants who best match what you are looking for. Save yourself time and money by outsourcing this time-consuming task to software that can do it much faster than you ever could.

Pre-Employment Assessments

Another excellent way of screening candidates for job attributes is through pre-employment assessments. These tests can be valid predictors of how successful an individual could be in a role. Simply search for a test that can assess candidates on the job attributes. The results will offer you objective insight into who best matches your job attributes and has the skills required to succeed in this role.

For these assessments to be valid predictors of success, you must select tests that are highly relevant to the role. Basing your choice of test on the defined job attributes will ensure this. For example, if you are hiring for a receptionist position, valid job attributes may include being friendly, good attention to detail, and excellent organizational skills. The factors you look for will change depending on the available role.

Structured Interviews

Structured interviews provide you with the opportunity to select interview questions ahead of time, based on the job attributes. You can find or write questions that will specifically delve deeper into whether the candidate has the desired characteristics.

Even better, structured interviews are a great way to compare candidates. You are asking each person the same questions, so their responses are easily comparable. This can help you when you are trying to figure out who may have the best skills for the position.

By explicitly stating the job attributes you are seeking in the job description, you can know both what to look for in a candidate and show a candidate what it takes to be successful in the position. Screen candidates using assessments, recruitment software, and structured interviews to determine who has the qualities you are seeking. This can simplify your recruitment decision and help you to choose someone who has the best chance of success if hired.

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