If you are a Trustee of a museum or heritage organisation, a new AIM Guide called ‘Planning to Recruit A Manager’ will help you to focus on the stages of recruitment that take place before you even advertise, as well as outlining where you can find more information to help with running the recruitment campaign itself.
“In small museums, it’s especially important for trustees to work well with the museum Manager, who might be the only member of paid staff. Taking time at the recruitment stage to stop and think about what you really need and what’s realistic to expect can lay strong foundations for a successful and happy working relationship,” explains Helen Wilkinson, Assistant Director of AIM.
The guide will help you to create a strong recruitment campaign, ensure your organisation is clear about the purpose of the job and how it will fit in, as well as making sure you have considered how to manage, motivate and retain the successful candidate once you’ve found them. Containing tips, advice on designing a job description and handy checklists, the guide outlines good practice and sources of additional support.
“We normally think of recruitment as the process of advertising for jobs and selecting candidates, but truly effective recruitment starts much earlier – with good planning and job design,” says Alex Lindley, author of the guide. “This is the real foundation for a strong recruitment campaign and a great working relationship with your chosen candidate. This guide contains practical advice and support to take you through the steps for recruiting a manager, including job design, key HR and employment law considerations and important things to think about to ensure you can attract, engage and retain a manager who will make a positive difference to your organisation.”
Alex Lindley has also written some top tips on recruiting a Manager for AIM members below. If you have a job that you would like to advertise with AIM, please visit:
Get the right people involved in designing the job. In small and medium sized organisations, a new post or even changes to an existing post can have impacts on all sorts of people, including trustees, other employees and volunteers, so it’s really important to get people thinking about how the new job holder will interact with others when they arrive.
Think hard about the wording and length of your job description and person specification. Cram too much in and you risk making the job seem impossible and the sort of person you want, some kind of super-human! On the flip side, too vague or broad a job description could see your chosen candidate get quickly disillusioned if the job turns out not really to match what was promised.
Consider what skills and experience are really needed for the job. It’s easy – and often reassuring – to ask for a certain level of education or prior experience of museum work. However, for some roles, people with experience outside the sector but in a related field such as hospitality or leisure could have the skills needed for an operational museum role – sometimes more so than someone with experience in a large national museum whose previous roles have been more specialised. Taking a more open approach to applicants’ qualifications and professional experience could increase the number of applications you receive and bring fresh thinking into your organisation.
About Alex Lindley
Alex Lindley is the director of Alchemy, an HR and Organisational Development consultancy, which provides a range of HR, governance, training and organisational development services for the cultural and Not-for-Profit sectors. Alex has worked in Human Resource Management for over 12 years and brings insights from a wide range of organisations to her work, from small volunteer-run museums to international banks—and a great deal in between!