If you cannot effectively describe a position, you cannot effectively hire for it. Oftentimes, historical assumptions about the background, educa- tion, and skills necessary to do a job shape job descriptions. Analyze these carefully. If the current description says the candidate needs to have 10 years of experience, why is that? If there is a clear rationale, then include it. What if a well-qualified candidate with 8½ years of experience wants to apply but doesn’t based on the description? What if the same person does apply, but your screening process eliminates him or her based on that one requirement? Review each of the performance requirements you established in the job analysis and ask these questions:

  • What does the person need to be able to do?
  • What kind of initial evidence would indicate this person can do the job?
  • Are these historical assumptions?
  • If the candidate does not have the “traditional” education or experience, what other evidence would tell you he or she could perform the duties of this position?

Take a look at the current job description you have on file for the position you need to fill. Is it accurate? Does it match up with the job analysis you performed on that position?