Whether you work in a growing startup, a small family firm, or the HR department of a large corporation, you may find yourself having to hire for a job you don’t understand at some point. Whether it’s a job posting for an engineer, a CPA, or a nuclear physicist, the complexities and nuances of some postings can stump even the most seasoned hiring manager or recruiter.

However, just because you don’t understand the position doesn’t imply you can’t contribute to a good hire.

Make research friends

What should you do if you don’t know how to perform anything on your computer? You’ll most likely do one of two things: look up a DIY remedy online or consult an expert. You could even do both. And it all counts as research.

You should use a similar technique when hiring for a job you don’t understand. You’ll conduct some study about the role, and you’ll supplement it with in-person research by speaking with credible sources (e.g., the supervising manager or unit head).

6 internal tactics to assist you learn how to hire for a job you don’t understand

The more complex or specialised a work, the more intricacies you must be aware of. Try the following steps to become acquainted with the position and its nuances:

Examine the job description

The position description (PD) is the most significant resource you should have at your disposal. Take a hard look at it, emphasising the important elements of what an individual will need to bring to the table from day one. The employment description, like with any hire, acts as an excellent standard while you analyse incoming candidates.

Examine exit interviews

What did people say about their jobs and responsibilities? Did they believe they lacked experience, or that they were overqualified? This stage will provide you with useful information on what to look for while analysing resumes as well as material for interview questions.

Make time for research

Make yourself as knowledgeable about the subject as possible. Investigate the types of certifications required for the position. Learn what technical terms mean and how to pronounce them by conducting internet vocabulary searches. This will give you a better notion of what you’re looking for. (The fact that you’ve done your homework may even give candidates a better impression of your organisation.)

Conduct interviews with recruiting supervisors

Hiring managers are familiar with the policy manual, but they are also familiar with the unwritten rules that applicants must follow in order to be successful in the available position. Inquire with these folks for that information. If necessary, make changes to the PD. If necessary, adapt or alter interview questions based on what you learn.

Conduct interviews with people who are in the same or a similar position

People in similar positions will provide you important information that people need to know to be successful in the role. They can also suggest questions to ask. They can also inform you what kinds of transferable abilities will be useful in the employment. If at all possible, try to shadow these persons on the job. Again, you may be able to ask better questions of interviews as a result of this experience.

Conduct an interview with the main decision-maker

While the key decision-maker – or anyone above the hiring manager – may not have the same technical skills as the perfect applicant, they may be able to provide you with information on who would fit best into the culture of the specific department as well as the larger organisational culture. They are vital stakeholders, so make every effort to obtain their perspectives.

4 outside resources for recruiting a position you don’t understand

When you don’t have any internal resources to turn to, you can often locate help outside your organisation.


Investigate speciality groups where people who do what you’re looking for congregate. Seek assistance and counsel. Who can say? You may not only find skills and phrases to assist you improve your PD, but you may also find intriguing people to interview.

Professional organisations

These organisations operate primarily to help their members advance their careers while also enhancing the reputation of the entire field. As such, they can be fantastic resources. They may be able to determine the education and certifications required for specific positions. They may also assist you in determining whether you are confusing positions; you may find that you need to hire for two separate types of positions. Finally, several of them have industry-specific job sites that might help you reach a larger talent pool.

Social networks

Contact other HR experts and CEOs in your sector. Small business owners can connect with their colleagues in their community through organisations or message boards. Other persons in similar positions at other organisations may have been employed for the same post you are looking to fill. Inquire about what you need to know and what questions to ask in order to create a good hire. They may also know about possible prospects.

Expert recruiters

While their services are not free, specialist recruiters know how to discover what you need in a short amount of time and have the tools and networks to swiftly link you with experienced individuals.

Read More: Conversational Recruiting Chatbots: Enterprise Fast Screening Guide

Stay connected!