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Creating a New Job Role: How (and Why) to Nail It

Talent is increasingly hard to attract. In fact, LinkedIn recently named Austin the hottest job market in America. In July alone, Austin posted a 14.3% increase in year-over-year hiring, compared to a 4.6% increase nationally. So if you’re an Austin employer, it’s critical to keep the top talent you have and to rediscover ways to compete for new talent before someone else beats you to them. You may need to get crafty to do so, perhaps even creating new job roles designed to keep and attract top employees.

Keep Who You Have

Why do good employees quit? You could blame it solely on compensation, but you’d only be 22% correct. Look at these reasons Gallup recently uncovered:

  1. Career advancement or promotional opportunities: 32%
  2. Pay/benefits: 22%
  3. Lack of fit to job: 20.2%
  4. Management or the general work environment: 17%
  5. Flexibility/scheduling: 8%
  6. Job security: 2%

Top talent, especially those who have been at an organization for more than two years, are in a vulnerable position to leave. Giving them the opportunity to create a new job role could decrease their reasons for leaving by 65% by satisfying their desire for career advancement and a better job fit and even changing the way they view their work environment and flexibility options.

Attract Superstars

Have you ever met someone at a networking event or interviewed someone for a job they weren’t a right fit for and thought, “I don’t have a job for them now, but I don’t want them to slip away!”?

It’s acceptable—and even common practice—to create a position for them, especially if you have a hunch hiring them could impact business growth or finally fulfill an important company goal. They key to doing this is to be open to opportunities. When a top industry player or employee approaches you about introducing a new job role, hear them out. And if you’re talking to or interviewing a candidate who’s perfect—but just not for any existing job—ask them what their ideal job would be and take copious notes.

How to Make it Work

Simply creating a new job role to appease a VIP employee without careful planning can backfire. It can diminish company morale and create debilitating inefficiencies. But approach it the right way, and it can have the opposite effect. Start by:

  1. Identifying the problem it will solve. This problem should be one that is either well known within the organization or easily explained. Perhaps the problem is as small as alleviating a specific team’s work overload, or it’s as significant as fulfilling a new company vision. Then, match employee or candidate’s skillsets with what it will take to solve the problem.
  2. Providing the numbers to back it up. Have a clear idea of measurement when it comes to the value the new role is expected to bring. How might it increase sales or efficiencies? How long should it take to move that needle? How does the cost of the new role balance out the value it will bring?
  3. Taking small steps. You don’t need to jump head-first into a commitment. For current employees, Video Blocks Founder Joel Holland recommends using the lean approach. “Create an MVP (in this case, a Minimum Viable Position) by using some spare time to prove the new post would be profitable and productive if implemented,” he offers. If the employee is serious about the job change, find out ways to incorporate some of the new duties into their schedule and give it a trial run. For others, consider a temp-to-hire arrangement. Typical temp-to-hire positions run about 90 days, which is a decent amount of time to get a sense for its value. A temporary staffing firm can help you sell the benefits of a temp-to-hire position to the talent you want to attract.

Above all, communicate with the rest of the team about the job role and why it’s being implemented. A new job role can easily be derailed by a lack of team acceptance. With the right planning you can produce a win-win: have or keep the top talent you want while creating roles tailor-made to catapult your organization’s success.