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  • Writer's pictureJosh Kiernan

Going Beyond Experience: Embracing an Evidence-Based Approach in Job Descriptions

Updated: Feb 14

In the dynamic landscape of talent acquisition, the significance of job descriptions remains unwavering.

But the conventional approach of crafting job descriptions based on experience and qualifications is evolving.

HR leaders are increasingly turning towards an evidence-based methodology to shape quality job descriptions, realizing that a nuanced and data-driven approach holds the key to attracting and retaining top talent.

typing on laptop

Every innovator and founder who has successfully grown a business has wrestled with the idea of how to find and retain top talent.  Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce, stated


“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth.  Hiring was - and still is - the most important thing we do.”


In fact, it’s the age-old question every hiring manager faces as they try to find the best candidate for their role. 


Should I go with the candidate who checks all the boxes on paper? Or do I go with the candidate who my gut says is right for the job?


Evidence shows that most hiring managers will go with their gut.  This explains why seemingly perfect fit candidates often don’t make it past the first round of interviews. 


While there is something to be said for this approach in terms of building a successful working partnership, it often leads to a less than successful outcome in terms of performance. 


If we know this, then what is the solution?


Enter evidence-based hiring.  Sounds simple, right?  Well it is and it isn’t.  While it’s seemingly simple in theory, it is often challenging to get the right data in place to execute.  


What is evidence-based hiring?


Evidence-based hiring is a hiring process that is focused on data and relies on solid, objective information to assess candidates.


The first step in the evidence-based approach is to define what talent and success means for your organization and the role itself. 


Say you are hiring a developer and they have the right coding credentials - but what other attributes do they have which could make them sink or swim at your company? 


Evidence-based hiring requires that you collect data on your top-performing employees to define what success looks like.  Then you can work backwards and craft a series of interview processes which will measure how your candidate aligns with these success criteria. 


Part of this process will include defining specific interview questions, using targeted assessments, and understanding how the candidate aligns with your company’s values and culture.



How to implement an evidence-based hiring strategy


HR leaders play a pivotal role in implementing an evidence-based hiring approach.  As the driver for the hiring process, it’s critical that HR leaders communicate and collaborate with hiring managers to leverage data analytics and craft evidence-based job descriptions. 


This ensures that your job description will align with the culture of the company as well as the expectations for the role.


One often overlooked component of this system is the internal feedback loop.  To ensure long term success with this strategy, HR leaders should spearhead feedback at set intervals to follow the success of hired employees. 


It’s recommended that these metrics be evaluated against their job performance at 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, and 3 year intervals.



What’s in it for me with evidence-based hiring?


Now that you have your criteria defined and feedback intervals identified,  you’re ready to implement evidence-based hiring and begin to reap the rewards.  As you utilize this approach you’ll likely notice:


Shorter timeline to fill vacancies:  Clear and comprehensive job descriptions lead to better screening of candidates, a more streamlined interview process, and more confidence in the hiring process.  This results in shorter hiring cycles.


Reduced Turnover and Increased Retention: When candidates have a clear understanding of what the role entails, it reduces the chances of mismatches between expectations and reality, thereby lowering turnover rates.


In addition to these benefits, you’ll experience cost savings and enhanced employee satisfaction as a result of this process.


Job descriptions to support successful evidence-based hiring


Job descriptions have traditionally revolved around qualifications, skills, and experience requirements.


With this shift to not only reflect these skills but also include the evidence based criteria, it allows HR leaders to create more defined job descriptions.


Solutions like Mosh JD’s software accelerate this process of building, collaborating, and maintaining job descriptions. 


Mosh JD’s solutions can:



In a market where attracting and retaining talent is paramount, the role of a quality job description is critical.


Are you looking to transform your job description catalog? Visit Mosh JD today to learn more!


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