How job profiling can help you get the right person in the right place |

In a tight labour market, it is more important than ever to make your recruitment process work as well as possible. Now of course, a recruitment process consists of many different parts. Candidate selection, candidate interviews, assessments and evaluation. But there is another important phase in this process. A phase that is often underexamined, but which is perhaps the most important step in choosing a new colleague: job profiling. 

A job profile provides insight into the behavioural characteristics needed to successfully fill a specific position. Ideally, job profiling should therefore take place at the beginning of every recruitment process. Only when you know exactly what the requirements are for a particular position can you start looking for a person with the behavioural characteristics required. 

Bad match

We all see it happen. A job posting for the same position shown every few months on LinkedIn or job boards. Chances are that time after time, there has been a poor match between the position and the candidate. Perhaps the candidate did not fit the culture of the company. Or the experience or education of the new colleague did not match the role requirements. Or maybe mutual expectations differed too much.

Now, what if you could rule out all these aforementioned causes of poor fit in advance? Because that is exactly what a job profile is all about. Beginning the process by establishing what the organisation is really looking for and needs is essential, so that it is clear to everyone involved what the ideal colleague looks like.

How does job profiling work in practice?

The moment a position becomes vacant within an organisation, it is wise to get together with colleagues who are knowledgeable about what the role involves, such as the new colleague's manager and someone from the HR department. The aim here is to come to an agreement on which soft and hard skills are required, align expectations and decide together on the behavioural traits that are important for day-to-day operations. In addition, it is also wise to look at which traits are already present in the team and which traits are lacking, which could be filled in by a new colleague.  

In addition to looking at personality traits, we also recommend thinking about learning ability requirements at this stage. Will the new colleague be working in a fast-paced, dynamic environment? Then it is advisable to look for someone with high aptitude for learning. If, on the other hand, you are looking for someone for a job involving a lot of repetitive work, someone with an average learning ability will be more suitable.  

Kill your darlings

The most important, and immediately the most difficult, part of this process is to make clear choices. Because as we all know, there’s no such thing as a 'purple squirrel’ candidate. Be critical of what is really necessary to fill the position, but leave out characteristics that are not a must. For example, are you looking for an addition to the finance department? Then you need someone who can work accurately. But does a person in such a position also necessarily need to be a team player and not have a nine-to-five mentality? Perhaps the latter two characteristics are less relevant. And do you have a vacancy open for a sales manager? Then look for a networker who is easy to contact, but place less emphasis on administrative skills, for example. 


Job profiling is not only relevant during the recruitment process. It is an excellent tool to use during any sort of reorganisation. When jobs change and internal shifts take place, it is necessary to rethink who fits where. Job profiling can be used as a communication tool to arrive at the right choice together. What exactly are we looking for within a particular role, what does it require from the individual, and what kind of potential is needed? But also, what is the best place for people for whom there is no longer a role in the organisation? The great advantage of this is that you really zoom in on the individual and deliver tailor-made solutions. 

Job profiling is also a good idea in internal recruitment. When it comes to promotions, especially to managerial positions, it is wise to look at someone's potential in an objective way. A good employee who has been with the company for years is not automatically the best candidate to advance to a managerial position. An objective tool, such as job profiling, helps to make the right choices for internal vacancies.

How can we help?

You can imagine that it can be difficult to get to the core of what is really needed for a particular job. Therefore, in the Thomas platform, you can view common job profiles. Think for example of a profile for sales roles, but also for financial and administrative roles. The templates are based on decades of research, and provide insight into specific requirements to optimise performance. It is also possible to create a job profile via your personal Thomas account, so you can immediately see which candidate fits best, based on the results of the Behaviour assessment

From experience, we know that there is no such thing as a 100% perfect match. But we also know that you can get extremely close. Want to know how to work with job profiles in the Thomas platform, or do you feel the need to discuss the best way of filling a particular vacancy?

Please contact us, we will be happy to think along with you.