Job advertisements may hold the key to better hiring

Hiring the wrong person for a position can have a major impact on overall organisational performance. Whether it's the lost productivity that comes from lower staff morale or increased turnover, having the wrong staff in place will leave an organisation struggling to compete.

Fortunately, there are an increasing range of productivity solutions that businesses can use in order to ensure staff are performing at their highest. However, recent research suggests that, at least when it comes to avoiding a bad hire, the solution lies in the job description an organisation posts for a new position.

According to the study by the University of Vermont, the approach companies take to job descriptions often leads to them hiring the wrong staff members. In particular, the study suggested that job descriptions focus too heavily on the qualities they want to see from a new worker – such as qualifications and previous experience.

Instead, high performing staff members are actually attracted to job descriptions that focus on what the company can offer to the applicant.

The study is based on just under 1,000 applicants who responded to a number of job openings. These positions were divided between those with job descriptions that were focused on what the company could offer and those that stated what the organisation was looking for in an employee. Applicants were then ranked based on how suitable the employer felt they would be.

The research found that those descriptions which fit into the former received three times as many highly ranked applicants. The study's authors speculated this was because highly skilled candidates were more likely to be more selective when applying for a position and therefore would only apply for jobs that met their expectations.

Clearly, building a high-performing workplace requires a comprehensive approach at every level of the organisation, including both hiring and managing staff internally. By addressing these two areas, companies will be able to avoid poor hires and build a high-performing team environment.

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