Am I being unreasonable to think that if you need something doing you should hire an appropriate, proper person i.e. someone who is qualified, someone who knows what they are doing and someone who has an interest in the subject matter? If you are the party doing the hiring you surely want to cast your net wide enough to capture a good selection of strong candidates?

Why the heck would you ever try and recruit for a person to fulfil a role consisting of two totally unrelated skillsets? ‘Come on Alan, that would never happen …….would it?’

Imagine you are at home and water starts leaking through your ceiling because of a burst pipe – you need a plumber, like pronto! So you search for plumbers in the area with a call out service. I bet you are not looking for plumbers who can also do flower arranging – right?

Equally if you saw a plumber advertising a combination of such services you would be questioning their commitment and the seriousness applied to each discipline. Are they a flower arranger doing plumbing on the side or a plumber who likes to play with flowers? (No offence intended to flower arrangers).

What has caused this mini rant?

As a consultant always on the lookout for interesting contract assignments I monitor job adverts on a daily basis and often see Business Continuity roles advertised with a requirement for another skillset as part of the role. Occasionally the links are very spurious and whilst I don’t want to embarrass an organisation behind an advertisement I saw this week it can be a £%@p approach! It basically devalues each discipline. (Just for the record, they didn’t actually need a flower arranger – this is just to illustrate my point).

Whenever I read an advertisement combining Business Continuity with, let’s say flower arranging, I immediately question how seriously the organisation is taking their Business Continuity Planning (and conversely their flower arranging). Conflicting priorities could arise – ‘we have a major incident’. ‘Yes, but the tulips need putting in vases first’. ‘Huh?’

As stated above, by asking for both skillsets the primary effect is to severely limit the gene pool of candidates so the organisation is potentially losing out on good, qualified specialists. If it was down to me, when it comes to a topic as important as Business Continuity I want to be sure I have hired someone who can do the role rather than someone who dabbles, or has a working knowledge. Get serious!

Now, I also get it that some organisations may have decided that maintenance of their Business Continuity programme doesn’t warrant a full time person, so if they want to hire someone they will have to give the person something else to do for the rest of the week. Why not simply recruit the person on a flexible or part time basis?

The frustration for subject matter experts is having built up your credentials, qualifications and experience over a number of years, only to find that you’ve neglected your ‘flower arranging’. What a complete lack of foresight!

So my plea is this – decide what your organisation really needs and get serious about each topic.

If there is a close link or overlap between the two skillsets then perhaps a combined role could be appropriate but it’s definitely worth determining which aspects of the role are the most important, which discipline requires the greatest credentials, the most experience etc. There will need to be a logical development path for candidates across the disciplines to increase the likelihood of people having gained sufficient relevant experience in each.

If there is no link between the skillsets think about what it is the organisation needs. Does such a person actually exist? Is there a need for the roles to be combined?

Hopefully by now the plumber has arrived to fix your leaking pipe and is not getting distracted by the spring blooms he passed on his way to your door from his van ……………

If you need any help with your Business Continuity programme let me know, if you need help with your flower arranging try elsewhere.

March 21, 2017 at 5:48 pm
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Category: Business Continuity
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