Have you ever heard of the Frankenbrief? Or ever looked at your job brief, something is wrong but you just can’t put your finger on it… That will be the Frankenbrief raring its head.
What is a Frankenbrief?
Much like the monster after which it has adopted it's name, the Frankenbrief is frightening to look over, can have the ability to scare people off and is, generally, entirely misunderstood. As a job brief is being pieced together, there may be the urge to start harvesting elements from other job positions in order to create one role that seems to cover it all. Great in theory but, if poorly constructed, can become increasingly difficult to fill.
In recent times, we've experienced several Frankenbriefs presented to us. Of course, working with an agency means that you have the luxury of hearing their advice and working with them as industry specialists however their advice might sometimes be difficult to accept, especially if you're keen to see your creature come to life. Ironically, it is the creation of such requirements that is creating a modern day skill shortage of a different kind.
What are the signs of a Frankenbrief?
Are you having difficulty actually giving the role a position title? Is it some sort of designer slash mac op slash admin slash web guru slash marketing slash coffee runner slash PHP developer slash model type position? Are you aiming to find a Junior with a minimum 5 years experience? Or a Senior Designer who should also be responsible for all the Desktop Publishing plus a little bit of admin on the side? When you have elements that seem to collide based on experience or titles that seem to contradict the skill sets required, then you might have a Frankenbrief on the slab, ready to be born.
What could happen if I do have a Frankenbrief?
It isn't so much what could happen as it is what might NOT happen - being that the role will become increasingly more difficult to fill and, therefore, your productivity will continue to struggle. Not to mention your angry and frustrated co-workers (perhaps complete with pitchforks and burning torches) who are having to carry the extra workload. You need to ask yourself some key questions, such as "what is the most important aspect of the role that I need this person to do?", "when is the absolute latest that I can go without this person?", "what other solutions might be available as options if the brief becomes difficult?" We've known of companies that have interviewed up to 10-20 people trying to find the right person and are still holding out - what are the signs to you that the position description may need to be adjusted?
What other options are there?
Is it possible that the person you bring in can have a basic understanding of the additional skill sets required and offer training around them to bring them up to speed? Or is it worth while considering bringing in skilled experts in the more boutique areas to complete jobs (and potentially share a little expertise with the rest of the staff as they go)? If you have someone else within the team with an understanding of a difficult skill set and they've assisted before, perhaps consider training them up. Ultimately, the difference might be having someone there in the next week or having to wait considerably longer for the "right" kind of creation to come along.
Don't let your company become a B Grade horror film with the Frankenbrief as the key monster.
If you are looking to fill a role and need a hand figuring out the specifics or you have a Frankenbrief story of your own to share? Email here and we'll publish your experience in a future Xpose.