Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great” says:

“People are not your most important asset. The right people are”.

Investing time in hiring the right people for your organization is well worth it. Finding an ideal fit for your organization will relieve you from the worries of micromanaging people. Other benefits that you will certainly realize include a surge in productivity, less conflicts, and faster growth.

But an obvious question is who is the right person for your organization and how to find one? Some questions that can help you discover what an Ideal Employee Profile (IEP) looks like could be as follows.

  • Who are the existing employees who excel at this role and what are their qualifications?
  • What is the workload related to this position and what personality traits are required to fulfill it properly?
  • Why did the previous employee to a similar position fail, resign, or was dismissed?

Asking questions like these will help you figure out the skillsets and traits you need to look for in the future employee.

In order to hire the best of breed workforce, you should invest some time in developing an Ideal Employee Profile (IEP) for each position within your organization. This will act as a standard document and will assist you in your search to acquire ideal employees for your organization.

Wondering what an Ideal Employee Profile is and how to build one? Let’s dive into this subject further.

What is an Ideal Employee Profile (IEP)

To make the concept simple, let’s break down the term. The word Ideal means “desired” or “preferred “. Whereas the Profile refers to the list of skills, abilities, personality traits, experience, and qualifications of your employee.

Collectively, “A document that enlists all the ideal skills, qualifications, and traits of your employee is called an Ideal Employee Profile (IEP) “.

An Ideal employee profile is a valuable resource for hiring managers since it helps you throughout the recruitment process. You can refer to this document while:

  • Advertising for the job
  • Finding the best channels to approach a potential candidate
  • Screening and shortlisting the candidates
  • Developing a job description or revising it
  • Assigning additional roles and responsibilities to an employee

How to build an Ideal Employee Profile (IEP)

Once you have decided to make an Ideal Employee Profile for each job position within your organization, start gathering the data and building the profile side by side.  Below are some suggestions on how to build an IEP.

1. Talk to the Department Manager / Supervisor or Subject Matter Expert

The first source of information for an HR manager to build an Ideal Employee Profile for a given job role should be the people who are already working in that role. These individuals know the job details in depth, and are experts in their field.

Arrange meetings with these experts and while doing so ask questions such as:

  • What is a superior performance for you in this particular position?
  • How much experience in a certain skill will help you achieve the desired job objective?
  • When interviewing developers, what programming language, framework, or software development related skills are must have for the developer position.
  • What educational background do you think can help you deliver a quality output?
  • What kind of traits and soft skills do you expect to find in the ideal candidate?

Answers to these questions will help you start developing your Ideal Employee Profile document. They can help you draw conclusions from the answers of experts such as the candidate needs perfect English writing and research skills, strong verbal communication skills, courteousness, openness to criticism, ability to take initiative and multitasking, etc. Similarly, you can find the answers regarding experience and education and can list these in your Ideal Employee Profile document.

2. Review Job Description in Detail

If you have a previously developed job description related to this position, dive deep into this document, and figure out what the candidate is expected to do. You can also make changes to this document based on new demands, challenges, and requirements of the position. If the HR team collaborates with the right stakeholders and brainstorms on skills needed to perform a particular job in an ideal manner, they can come up with the right list of skills and abilities that can be part of an Ideal Employee Profile.

3. Observe Your Top Performers

Your top performers are inspirations and role models for the rest of the employees. Remember that you have a chance to bring in top performers in your company once again if you analyze the traits of your current top performers. This will help you develop a standard for specific work roles and help you choose candidates who meet the criteria.

4. Consider the Overall Organizational Culture and Values

Organizational culture and values affect the employee and their level of motivation to work within an organization. Your ideal candidate is the one who can easily adjust to your culture and is flexible enough to learn and adapt quickly. For example, a company that values diversity cannot afford to hire a person who has a conservative mindset and is not open to other cultures or religions.  In this case, “openness to diversity” should be one of your ideal employee traits and necessarily be a part of an Ideal Employee Profile (IEP).

5. Research Requirements of Similar Jobs

Another good source of information to develop an ideal candidate profile is to look at similar jobs within your organization, your competitor’s organization, or find standard requirements of this particular position around the globe. A little bit of research can help you in this regard. You may overlook something, but this activity will help you expand your knowledgebase. As a result, you will be able to prepare your ideal candidate profile in a more comprehensive manner.

6. Enlist General Traits that you want in your Employees

There are some general traits that an organization wants in most of its employees. This depends on the industry type, company’s mission, goals, and culture. For example, a chamber of commerce wants most of its employees to possess top-quality communication and customer service skills because the majority of the workforce must interact with the members of the business community on a daily basis. As a manager, you should add these general skills and preferences to your Ideal Employee Profile.

7. Don’t Overlook the Behavioral Traits

Behavioral factors are often the most neglected factors when it comes to recruiting. That is why you end up hiring a highly skillful individual, perhaps more skillful than needed but his/her behavioral attributes are not a perfect match for the job. For example, the job is to prepare research-based documents for businesses operating in various industries.  The employee you hired can draft excellent reports, but when it comes to comments and suggestions, the employee is not open to that, whereas your company prefers to obtain expert opinion and comments on documents to make them error free.  Here the trait “openness to criticism” should have been mentioned in the Ideal Employee Profile to avoid any issues and conflicts.


An Ideal Employee Profile is a significant document, and the Human Resource department should invest time and energy in developing perfect IEP’s for each role in the company. This will help you boost organizational productivity and employee retention. I hope that the above-mentioned tips and tricks will help you in understanding the subject in detail and practically developing IEP for each job within your organization.