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From The MRA Newsletter
Broaden Job Descriptions to include Role Profiles

By John Loven, MRA
Adding a "role profile" to a job description can increase hiring accuracy. A well-crafted role profile may align with MRA Profile results more concretely than a traditional job description.

An excellent article in the December 2008 newsletter from stresses the shortcomings of the typical job description and recommends creating an accompanying "role profile" to increase hiring accuracy. A well-crafted role profile may align with MRA Profile results more concretely than a traditional job description.

Good documentation about a job pays off in hiring, bench-marking salaries, performance reviews and team-building. The information needed for each kind of decision is different and changes over time. We must collect the needed data on a regular basis to ensure that it is used to the best advantage. With many companies looking at post-layoff restructuring, this information is critical to prevent wasteful trial-and-error team building.

Basically, job descriptions are high-level overviews of basic skills a person needs to perform the role's functions. The document typically lists various tasks to be done and the prior experience that the company believes is necessary for successful execution. It also includes information such as the title and reporting structure. Note that important aspects like leadership/followership, social skills requirements, degree of regulation, and management style are not normally specified. Yet these are critical to good job fit, smooth communications and long tenure.

A role profile is a more comprehensive instrument, providing information not found in a basic job description. A role profile often contains an explanation of the company (or group) strategy and describes the corporate culture. It also details the critical skills, accomplishments and competencies expected of a successful employee. The role profile can specify to what degree the employee is expected to
    1.  Lead

    2.  Follow

    3.  Work in teams

    4.  Work in isolation

    5.  Do repetitive work

    6.  Juggle shifting tasks and priorities

    7.  Innovate

    8.  Conform to strict standards

As you see, these are strongly connected to MRA Profile results. The individual's Ascendency and Sociability greatly affect items 1 through 4. The Emotional Accommodation and Readjustment address 5 through 8. For a fascinating and scholarly discussion of "role" within organizations, see A Framework for Consulting to Organizational Role by Krantz and Maltz.

In some cases, companies use individual development plans or personal goal-setting documents that constitute role profiles. In many smaller companies, jobs are quite flexible. Roles may change often as the company evolves. Here, role profiles would specify the need for flexibility rather than specify the precise needs.

Both job descriptions and role profiles are valuable when used together and the role profile is important to maximizing your ROI on MRA Profiling.

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