With the lack of available skilled labour seeking work now, hearing that our key employees are planning their retirements may cause us heart palpitations. Labour shortages are everywhere, local and international, across all sectors, and the impact is widespread. The causes are many and varied, including employees deciding to retire.
A few high-level steps to follow include assessing the current position, identifying skills required, hiring, onboarding, and mentoring. At the very beginning, however, is assessing the position; do this as soon as possible. Find out:
• Hours worked – is overtime worked often? Not at all?
• What other positions are engaged with this one – As a client of mine says, “Who owns the ball and who plays with the ball?”
• Does the position align with other functions being done in other roles?
• Is this still one position or is it now two?
• What responsibilities/duties occupy at minimum 5% of the position’s time on average over a full year?
• What are the top three priorities of this job?
These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered with the current employee in the position. Probe them to make sure you can capture what they likely take for granted.
While job descriptions may sound boring or feel like they box people in, don’t sweat it. Unless you’re in a unionized workplace that has stricter boundaries, think of a job description as an outline of expectations for you and the employee. Rarely does any one employee have or do everything we want, so make the new description(s) malleable while also documenting. You can create a job description and tweak it to match the new hire and leverage their assets as you grow together.
Here are a couple of videos I created on workforce building that you may find informative.