Gone are the days (or at least, they should be gone) of standardized job descriptions, using monolithic titles and marketplace assumptions to convey the opportunities that companies have for the right candidate. Enter: The Information Age…of Transparency.
Today’s qualified candidate expects a clear and concise description of not only the technical requirements of a job, but the long term possibilities of life with the right company. And not only do they expect it, but they have the ways and means to demand it. Information and insight have never been more accessible.
In this age of information and transparency, it has never been more important to construct the right job description. For the best candidates to fill a company’s hiring needs, have never been more capable of discerning the pros and cons of such opportunities.
The first thing a company must do when constructing a job description, is to set the proper expectations. Beyond technical requirements, candidates are ever more acutely aware of the interpersonal and soft skills necessary to win a position, and to excel thereafter.
A proper job description can establish expectations for the company, and for the candidate. It can communicate clearly, the needs of an organization that lie within the realm of experience and education, but also within the candidate’s personality and aspirations.
Setting the right expectations will make the remainder of the candidate acquisition process much, much easier.
Describing the Opportunity
To begin constructing the right job description, always include the following:
– Job Title – An obvious inclusion, but take the time to give thought to how employees feel about their ‘label’.
– Job Summary – Avoid cliché descriptions of commonly recognized job functions Instead, focus on a candidate’s ability to affect positive change and growth in an organization. This is where to differentiate or “Title” from “Role”, or give clarity to the title label.
– Skills and Qualifications – Don’t just focus on the transactional elements of the position, but include the “why” that drives each technical bullet point.
– Company Mission – Today’s top candidates don’t want to settle for an opportunity for career stability, they want to know the overriding mission of the organization they’re working for. Don’t be afraid to explain this. In fact, embrace it.
– Career Potential – Just as today’s candidates aren’t satisfied with the promise of occupational stability, they’re also not satisfied with the ambiguous assumption that career incumbency translates to upside potential. Don’t be afraid to share career track and/or potential future positions that may be won if the candidate executes at a high level.
While it may seem mundane and ‘black and white’…paying attention to how the technical requirements of a position can be illuminated by setting proper expectations and providing adequate and necessary descriptions, can make a world of difference to the thoughtful candidate.
Communicating your Vision
There are few things as overstated yet under-utilized as a company’s opportunity to communicate its vision. To consumers, to supply partners, to employees and to potential employees.
Effectively communicating a company’s vision can make the difference between an uninspired and apathetic workforce, and a company culture that is absolutely “on fire” to achieve the company mission.
It may not seem possible to instill this type of meaning into a simple job description meant for someone that has no experience with a company’s product, process or values. But that is exactly why job descriptions are such a tremendous opportunity.
Instead of waiting for a first, second or final interview to share the company vision with and into the thought process of a new hire, utilize the immediate and ‘obvious’ opportunity of a job description to get a head start on establishing your candidate connection.
Why the Best Candidates Care About Your Job Description
You might still be wondering if a thorough and meaningful job description is really that important in the candidate acquisition process. But to that question, I ask you this: Does it seem important to you?
If you’ve made it to the end of this article, my assumption is that your commitment to the success of your organization is unquestioned. My assumption is that you have a sincere desire to contribute to an organization that aspires to grow, to prosper and to give. And if my assumptions are correct, then I can also assume that a well-thought, well-communicated, meaningful job description would also be important to you, should you be looking for the right company to join.
And if I’m right…I think you already understand why the right job description is critical to attracting the right talent.