Win-Win Friday: Elevating Hiring Practices

It’s no secret that finding qualified applicants for incredibly demanding positions within the ranks of middle and entry level orchestra administration is no simple task but are we making this already difficult task even more difficult thanks to unrealistic expectations or failing to use applicable criteria? Joe Patti posted a terrific article on this topic on 8/24/15 and as it turns out, the topic is fairly popular right now and Patti references posts on this topic from Seth Godin and Vu Le.

Adaptistration People 020For the most part, the field spends a great deal of time and effort focused on executive level hiring practices but similar efforts focused on middle and entry level positions has fallen woefully behind.

As a result, it isn’t unusual to see some of the boilerplate requirements, skills, and experience from those executive level positions spill over into job descriptions for the remaining openings and given the contemporary viewpoints on all of this, it seems as though that’s not the best thing we could be doing as a field.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the adage reap what you sow comes into play here in that the more time spent making JDs using copypasta, the less likely you are to attract and identify an individual who is actually best suited for the opening.

There’s so much good conversation going on with all of this right now that you should do yourself a favor and read through the links above. For those who create JDs and interview candidates, you’ll appreciate the reality check and for those of you looking for positions, it will help you identify a potentially exceptional employer.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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