The role profiling function can be a heavy administrative burden. Never mind the skills and expertise required in understanding how to put together a useful and complete role profile — what about just getting the profile into a standard, consistent format? Here are a couple of the pains we’ve seen organisations struggle with while trying to manage their role profiling:

Pain 1: Document Formatting

After profiling thousands of roles, we have first-hand experience on just how time consuming — but well worthwhile — the role profiling process is. So why not automate as much as you can in order to focus on getting the document accurate, rather than on the formatting?

But what do I mean by formatting? Formatting in this context means fiddling with organograms, ensuring the number sequence is in order, making sure bullets points are the same, ensuring your paragraphs are justified when necessary, making sure the text and font size is consistent… what a pain! Our experience in profiling has taught us that it takes almost as long to format the document as it does to create and edit the document.

Pain 2: Change Tracking / Flooding your inbox

Sending draft profiles and waiting for suggested changes and sign-off from line managers can and will flood your mailbox.

Trying to keep track of all the emails flying back and forth, together with various stakeholders making various (and sometimes conflicting!) changes to the profile can be an overwhelming challenge. And coordinating communications between those people to find consistency and consensus — almost impossible. And doing that across all the role profiles in the organisation, while still trying to manage which profiles are drafts and which are final and which are signed-off, while still dealing with yet more incoming emails with additional changes? What a pain!

Pain 3: Standalone Document

How do you store the inevitable torrent of Word documents that role profiling can create in most organisations? Predictably, these documents are normally saved somewhere on an internal server, and are sent to the relevant stakeholders when needed or printed and filed somewhere. What a pain it is to find the most recent version of the profile!

You’ve spent so much time and energy getting this document where it needs to be, only for it to stand alone without any context! From our previous post explaining why we do role profiling, you would have learned that the profile forms the foundation for everything HR related — so why leave it all by itself? Adding the information contained in this document to various business systems — such as performance management systems, competency-based interview guides, and job adverts for organisational vacancies — you’ll be required to manually capture the information all over again.

What a pain!