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Snail porridge, anyone?


Snail porridge is how I would describe a job and person specification which is an ambitiously unusual combination.  I've had a few of these in my time and, sometimes, the recruiting organisation really does need someone with a mix of skills, experience and qualifications which is challenging, to say the least.


It's important to be clear from the outset that snail porridge is available - but it's quite rare - that you will probably have to wait some time before you can get a reservation at a restaurant which serves it and, finally, it will cost you more than either a plate of snails or a bowl of porridge.


If you are intending to recruit someone into your organisation, spending time on a comprehensive job and person profile is an absolute necessity.  And when you've finished your specification, run it past a few people who know the market well.  Finding quality candidates is always a challenge but don't make life even harder for yourself if your requirements are unrealistic.  Are there alternative ways in which you can address your needs?  Do they really need to be combined into such an unusual mix?  If so, how long are you prepared to wait - and pay - for this person?


If you really, truly want snail porridge and you've taken advice, you know what you're letting yourself in for and nothing else will do, then at least you're venturing out into the recruitment market with your eyes wide open.  What you want to avoid above all else is to get three months into the recruitment campaign and then decide that perhaps your specification was a little unrealistic and perhaps you should consider compromising.  You will have wasted a lot of time and effort.


So save yourself some pain and just pause to take advice before you go to market with a snail porridge specification.

case studies

Janet Henson-Webb has many years of experience helping organisations to clarify and specify their resourcing requirements.  Read the Case Studies and contact her for further details.


"What you want to avoid above all else is to get three months into the recruitment campaign and then decide that perhaps your specification was a little unrealistic".