Casting a Wider Net: Job Requirements – Part 3

By this point you’ve eliminated all job requirements that you couldn’t support with compelling reasons and toned down your rhetoric to attract candidates capable of excelling in the role, but still leaving them challenged and motivated. Today we’ll consider the difference between an implementor and a problem solver.

Before you even finish writing your job posting, have a good understanding of whether you’re looking for an implementor or a problem solver. These are core personality differences. You will not find one person happy doing both. Let me explain.

An implementor is skilled at rolling out a pre-determined solution. They’ll ¬†assess the situation and go through the steps to make the solution work. They’ll deal with issues along the way and see to it that everything works as expected. Other than the actual implementation, they don’t bring much intellectual capital to the table. They can’t, don’t feel comfortable to, or won’t push back on ill-conceived requests with probing questions, offer alternative solutions, or design one of their own. They are less apt to think on their feet and go off-script.

A problem solver¬†doesn’t think too hard about the solution you may have asked for. They want to know why. What is the core problem you’re looking to solve, and how is this option or alternative going to get you there? They have the skills to implement, but won’t be personally or professionally fulfilled simply filling orders. They bring their own background, experience, and intellectual capital to the mix. They often push back with questions and come up with alternative solutions. You can try to corral them and have them follow the script, but that isn’t what they were born to do. Eventually they’ll get frustrated and move on.

Think long and hard about which of the above personalities you’re looking for in this role. Problem solvers without question bring more value to the table, but you need to be prepared to engage them and let them contribute. If you are confident with your strategy, decision making, and problem solving abilities already in place on your team, perhaps an implementor will make fewer waves, and they’ll certainly be cheaper.

Whichever you decide, make sure your candidates are a personality fit. You’ll both be far happier that way.