I would like anyone who’s ever been a job candidate to enjoy my next statement. Employers like preparing job descriptions as much as you like writing your resume. That’s a fact.
Most employers are bad (as in really bad) at writing them. A simple glance around the job boards, social sites, and corporate websites will substantiate my claim.
Cyberspace is filled with job descriptions that are too long, short, detailed, ambiguous, boring, and so on. What’s worse, most employers treat these acclaimed descriptions as their list of requirements and demands and leave nary a trace of what they offer the candidate or employee.
Job descriptions should serve as vehicles for employers to sell their company to the job candidates. They can be the employer’s resume for the job candidate.
As a job candidate’s resume should highlight his or her accomplishments and experience conveying what the candidate offers the employer, the job description should communicate what the employer offers the job candidate. Done correctly, employers can also highlight the experiences they’d like the job candidate to possess.
In Interview Intervention (which I offer free to anyone ambitious enough to click the link), I highlighted what I consider the fourteen best job interview questions to ask a job candidate (along with effective responses).
It’s my belief, that when asked collectively, these questions will yield 80-90% of what the employer needs to know regarding the candidate to make a sound hiring decision. Of course, the remaining information related to the particular individual’s trade needs to be addressed as well.
Imagine the response from prospective employees if you could provide them your responses to these questions as a preview to what you offer them!
Let’s take a look at the fourteen questions along with the type of information you can provide.
- Why would you leave your current company? Let us share why you should join our company.
- Why do you want to join our company? Let us share more regarding why you should join our company.
- What unique skills do you offer? Here are the skills we need for an employee to be successful in this position.
- How will you benefit from joining our company? Here’s how you’ll benefit by taking this position with our company.
- What is the first act you’ll perform when you start? Here are your immediate responsibilities.
- If you were still working here three years from now, what do you think your most significant contribution would be? Employees who have worked in this position have progressed into
- Describe a situation when you and a coworker disagreed. We provide an environment where our employees are free to express their ideas. Here’s how we do this in a productive environment that benefits the company and our employees.
- Describe an ambiguous situation that you organized, resolved, or executed. We provide our employees autonomy to manage their functions and be creative.
- Describe a situation when something went wrong. Here’s how we resolve issues when they arise.
- How do you educate yourself? We offer training to ensure our employees are knowledgeable in their areas.
- How would your coworkers describe you? Here are testimonials from former and current employees who have held or currently hold this position.
- What motivates you? Here’s how we keep our employees motivated.
- Do you prefer working as part of a team or by yourself? This position works as part of a team. Here are the team members!
- Describe your ideal boss. Here’s the individual who manages this position.
I realize not every item will be appropriate for all positions, but you get the idea.
The typical job description looks like this:
We’re company ABC and we’re awesome.
A list of everything under the sun.
Nice to Have Skills
A list of everything under the stars.
We offer good stuff like medical and dental.
What if you opened your Job Description Word Document and chose EDIT then SELECT ALL and then hit the DELETE key and reformatted it to something like this?
Yes. We are in fact awesome. Here’s why…followed by the general corporate blah blah.
She’s the bomb. Here are her profile and accomplishments and accolades. We had to trim it a bit because she’s so fabulous we could gush all day, but we don’t want to make this too long.
Who wouldn’t want to work with this bunch? Smiling pictures, biographies, team volleyball and mud-run pictures or whatever else is appropriate. Toss in people from other departments who will interact with the employee in this position.
What you get to do!
Here are your responsibilities and opportunities to learn.
We believe in career and personal growth. You’ll learn these great things on the job and also be eligible to take these training programs.
Your Career Opportunities!
People that have previously been in this position have moved into position ABC, position XYZ and so forth. The possibilities are endless!
Feel free to lay it on thick.
What We Need from You!
…and here’s what we want.
I know some of you are probably laughing or getting ready to pick yourselves up off the floor. Try my way for two weeks and tell me what happens.
Another article you might want to check out is How Strong is Your Employment Brand?
As always, I’d love to hear from you: What are your insights on preparing job descriptions?
In other exciting news, The Hiring Prophecies: Psychology behind Recruiting Successful Employees is now for sale!