3 months ago by Mike Pye

​What Is an Impact Statement and Why Do You Need One?

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30% of job seekers have left a role within 90 days of being hired. This is an expensive problem for businesses that invest time and money in hiring the ‘right’ people. Only to start the process all over again just three months later.

There are many stages to the recruitment process, most of which have been improved upon. With the notable exception of one aspect: the job description. Now leading HR thinkers believe we should replace job descriptions with impact statements and we agree.

In this blog, we look at what impact statements are, the benefits they bring to organisations and why we’ll be adopting them as part of our best practice recruitment process.

What Is an Impact Statement?

Every organisation wants to recruit people who will be a great fit for their culture. Employees who are aligned to the organisation’s values and who will quickly integrate with colleagues and deliver the organisation's mission.

However, job descriptions often lack detail or fail to express how tasks should be delivered and what the deliverables should be. Making it difficult for the right people to apply and placing undue pressure on the rest of the recruitment process.

Which is where impact statements come in.

 Like a job description on steroids, impact statements are designed to reframe roles placing outcomes at the heart of recruitment. The aim is to get really clear on the hiring organisation’s expectations and to close the gap between these goals and the candidates’ understanding of the role.

 Impact statements have three main attributes. They:

1. Include an explanation about the purpose of the role

2.  Clarify what success looks like in terms of outcomes

3.  Set out the behaviours that will define success

By setting out performance expectations from the very beginning, performance management is catapulted from something you do when an employee lands forward into the hiring process.

Why Is It Important?

With a third of job seekers leaving roles within the first three months, organisations need to get to grips with effective hiring. And that can only be achieved by understanding the reasons people leave.

According to the research, the main reasons for leaving a role within 90 days were: 

Two out of three of these issues are dealt with directly by impact statements. Integrating company values and making the job role and desired outcomes explicit ensures candidates enter the recruitment process with their eyes open.

To do this effectively, organisations must be clear on their values and have a set of aligned behaviours. And managers must be able to identify how these behaviours should be demonstrated in the role.

What If We All Had Impact Statements Not Job Descriptions

By being really specific about a job role, behaviours and outcomes, impact statements put the focus on
performance and fit from the outset. This delivers many benefits:

 1. Candidates are given a solid insight to the role and what’s expected enabling people to apply for meaningful work

2. There are no surprises when a new employee starts their role

3. Onboarding is easy as organisations and candidates are well-matched and staff are engaged from day one

4. Everyone on the team is aligned to the organisation’s mission and values so everyone pulls together for the same cause

5. Success is easily identified so:

a. Candidates have the best chance of providing good examples during the hiring process

b. New hires can focus on delivery from the outset and assess and improve their own performance

c. Managers have clear measures - both task and behaviour related - to assess performance and provide guidance and feedback very early on

With all these benefits, impact statements should have a positive effect on turnover, particularly within the super-costly 90-days of starting window.

Why We Are Adam Are Adopting Impact Statements

As leading recruiters, we’re keen to use best practice recruitment processes. Which is why we’re in the process of replacing our job descriptions with impact statements.

We can only do this because we’ve become super clear about our job roles. We did this by working with our people to understand exactly what each role entails and what success looks like. We also place a huge importance on living our values so including our values-led behaviours in the recruitment process makes complete sense.

We’re sure that impact statements will make our roles and expectations even clearer, attracting only those candidates who will be a great fit for the team and our business.

Introduce impact statements to your organisation by working with We Are Adam. Get in touch on 0161 359 3789 or at hello@weareadam.com and find out how we can help.