Case Study – Getting creative when you can’t find everything you want in one candidate

Two years ago, a local business owner was referred to Stapleton Consulting because they had an employment challenge.  Their challenge – recruiting the right person for a job that included things like office management, accounts and sales.  When Catherine Stapleton from Stapleton Consulting took over the recruitment, the advert had already be posted and applications were coming in.

Majority of applications did not fit what the Client was looking for or needed.  The job advert was not very clear on what they were looking for from applicants. The current employee was due to leave in two weeks’ time and the team were already busy enough.

First things first, we put a pause on the recruitment and worked to clarify the ideal candidate profile and job profile with the Client. We then went about finding the right person amongst the applications received, as the Client was not keen to readvertise.  After about 6 weeks, the Client successfully appointed someone to the role.

Unfortunately, this person was not the right fit and the Client was back to square one. Towards the end of the employee’s tenure, Stapleton Consulting had been working with the Client for almost 9 months, on another HR matter. The Client approached Catherine to firstly vent and then seek advice on how to manage the challenging employee.

Our Client was frustrated because the employee didn’t seem to be grasping the role or be coping with the workload as expected. During this conversation it become clear that the Client was expecting too much from the employee and there was something wrong with the job design.  With the benefit of hindsight, if we were to recruit again, the ideal candidate would be unique and almost impossible to find.  To have sales and accounts expertise in one person, is rare.  It was unfair to think that this employee had all the skills and expertise required for this unique role, when in fact they didn’t from the get go.

The business was experiencing growing pains.  Change needed to happen in order for the team to cope with this growth.  To future proof the business for change and minimise risks, we got creative and turned this one position into two.  A job share.  Meaning the Client could recruit two people with different but complimentary skills.  They would work closely together and share their knowledge so they could back each other up during the busy times.

The second attempt to recruit was much easier and quicker. Both were roles filled within 8 weeks.

The job share has enabled key business functions to be sufficiently resourced.  The team can operate as normal during busy times and you wouldn’t know if staff are on leave.

After almost 18 months, the job share arrangement is still in place.  Both employees have successfully learnt each other roles and re-engineered key administrative and accounts processes.  The business is now more effective and the Client’s risk of losing valuable organisational knowledge and IP due to turnover has been minimised.

We would love to share who the Client is and details of their other successes but they would prefer to remain anonymous.  The nature of our work is sensitive and we respect our Client’s requests for discretion and confidentiality.

Nonetheless, our Client would like to make it known that this experience has opened their eyes to other ways of organising the team and designing business processes.  This change and others like this has translated into great financial outcomes and a skilled team engaged in their work.

Got a jack of all trades type role that you can’t seem to keep someone in for long?  Then are you trying to find too much in one person?

Stapleton Consulting can work through a job analysis with you.  We will offer up recommendations, how to reorganise functions and responsibilities so finding the right talent for your team is quicker and easier.   Get in contact today.