Help Wanted!

All job descriptions are not created equal. Many are written by HR managers who are not always in sync with the needs of the hiring manager. Many are the classic definition of a camel: a horse designed by a committee. Often they are a “wish list” of what several stakeholders want in the future employee. But every once in a while, we see a job description that is short and to the point. It includes a brief bio on the company, the job requirements and what the expectations are both short and long term. All good recruiters, after seeing a job description, will have a discussion with the hiring manager about what is needed in the optimal candidate. This Needs Analysis is usually a fairly lengthy conversation about what attributes a candidate must have in order to be considered by his/her future manager.

Last week I had the pleasure of talking to a hiring manager who was able to articulate exactly what he was looking for in a candidate. When I asked him what are the three most important qualities he wanted the prospective hire to have, he was able to spit them out without hesitation in clear, simple language. I left that meeting thinking to myself, “I wish they could all be
that way.”

Writing job descriptions is usually an acquired skill. It’s not taught in most business schools. But, the necessity of producing a job description that will attract the best candidates as well as position the company in a positive way is paramount to a firm’s strategy of assembling human capital who will achieve the long term objectives of the organization.


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