30 July 2018
If you want to grow, you can’t feel shackled by a job description.
Alex Klein, Cofounder of Kano
How often do you look back at the job description you read when you first moved into your current role? Those prescriptive paragraphs that tell you what you need to be and what you will spend your days doing?
I would hope you don’t read it very often! There is nothing more dangerous for your development than being constrained by a job description or title.
All too often we hear these grand job titles, but what do they actually mean? To me, it doesn’t matter what your job title is or what your job description says. If you’re passionate about an area of the business, and you know that you can make a positive impact there – go for it!
As employers, it is essential to empower your teams to find their own journey. Sticking rigidly to job descriptions effectively puts a big barrier around your team’s potential. You never know what they could achieve if you don’t give them a chance!
That’s one of the reasons that we don’t hire based on CVs at UKFast. We look at attitude and personality. We have an incredible psychometric test that builds a real picture of each person – including their passions and the way they learn and communicate.
Learning about the person not the job
Using these tests, we’re able to find the right team for a person and let them run with their role. For example, people with a high caring gene are a natural fit for our customer support roles, for account management and as people managers.
There is nothing worse for productivity or morale than having someone in the team who is unhappy in the role they’re doing. Their CV fits the spec, and they have the skills needed for the role, but they’re not passionate about it. You will never get the best from a person in this circumstance, and they will never get the best from their career.
When you enable people to follow their passions and grow their area of the business, the results are phenomenal. I have seen this first hand. I remember hiring Joe Cravagan as a personal trainer seven or eight years ago, he is now the MD of our construction firm UKFast Space! Equally our CTO Neil has worked in Linux, networks and data centres, and is now leading our DevOps department as our CTO.
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, talks about getting the right people on the bus, before you find them the right seat. Once you have the right people on the bus, you can find their seats. Once you have superstars on your team, people who fit your culture, they can move from role to role – or seat to seat – to follow their passions.
At the end of the day, you can’t predict what is around the next corner or who someone will become in a few years’ time. By empowering your team to carve their own path, you may find yourself going in a direction you’d never thought of!