Compiling a task inventory for a job is the most simplistic approach to uncovering a job’s “must-have” competencies.

The Important of Creating a Task Inventory

Cataloging the required competencies for a job is necessary to create valid interview questions. However, it often not immediately clear which competencies are “must have” vs. competencies that are nice to have or potentially not relevant at all. Creating an inventory of tasks is much easier, and with this output, it becomes easier to define competencies.

Interviewing Subject Matter Experts

Experts in the job, such as those who currently have or manage this job, should be able to step through the various tasks the job entails. Furthermore, they can indicate the importance or criticality of specific tasks and their frequency. For example, can a task get delayed, or is it essential to occur within a particular deadline? Is this a task that occurs daily or monthly?

Being Specific About Tasks

When recording information, be thorough. For example, don’t merely state, “Produce weekly report” as the task. Instead, include actions and subtasks necessary to complete the job, such as “Collect data from four separate departments, validate data accuracy using X tool, chart results against Y report.” You won’t accurately depict what is truly needed to perform the role if you don’t get into specifics.

Ranking Tasks

Evaluate the importance of each task. By ranking the difficulty of each task and skill set, you can properly evaluate the role once you have a better grasp of the position. Consider which abilities are more critical than others or require more expertise to perform the job; this may differ from what you initially thought. Knowing the tools, software, language abilities, and specialized process expertise required to do the duties will be beneficial.

Core and Supplemental Tasks

Through the collection and evaluation of a task inventory, it should become clear which tasks are core for the job and which are supplemental. For example, some tasks are highly specialized and can only get performed by the person in a given job. In contrast, other tasks might be a shared responsibility across multiple job roles. This differentiation supports the ultimate goal of translating tasks into their underlying competencies and knowing which competencies are “must-haves” to evaluate in an interview.

Foundations of Successful Hiring

Before a candidate can get an offer, multiple candidates must get evaluated. How can you be sure that your assessment identifies the candidate with the competencies required to succeed in your organization?