Frustration-Free Job Postings … A Myth?

Job SeekerWhen it comes to hiring, it is important to understand and translate the necessary KSAs into a job posting.  This is more important than using keywords to create the meta tags to find resumes that may match.  My reasoning is that if we create better job postings, we will be able to accurately identify people with the KSAs we need.  My assumption is the goal is to find the best match as quickly as possible without frustration.  I don’t focus on the best talent.  There are lots of people out there who can fit the job; besides, in many cases we can’t afford the best talent.

Some think we do that now, but by far the majority of job postings still use a quick list of responsibilities and duties alone or with very little skill bullets or situational details.  If we want the best fit, we exclude a large population.  I don’t propose to remove these areas, rather I propose we get better at detailing them.  I also propose removing preferred qualifications in favor of the actual qualifications.  We use the term ‘preferred’ without qualifying what that means, creating ambiguity.  As a result, we are overwhelmed with resumes that have very little to do with the jobs we post, and that is frustrating for everyone on both sides of the process.

What about job titles?  We change job titles like changing shirts.  I don’t think we do this to get more closely aligned with the actual job, we do this to compete with other job postings, but is it working?  How are applicants supposed to find the job if we keep changing job titles? I’m confused about the logic here; it does not make sense to me.

Writing good job descriptions takes time and effort, but it is not difficult.  The ideal job posting includes lots of action words and situational details.  In the past, I inherited job descriptions that had been rehashed for years.  They included a job title and a list of responsibilities and duties.  The title often changed, but the content did not; at least not enough to reflect the job at that point in time.

Aside from a formal job analysis with the employee, I applied a bit of a project management approach to creating a job posting that works well:  identify the stakeholders, the tools and tasks used on the job, the processes and procedures required of the job, and finally the environmental factors – situational details.  Presenting the job description in this manner helps applicants to quickly and more accurately gauge their fit.  It reduces frustration for both sides, I think.

My job posting template includes the job title, company information and culture, job environment, stakeholders, tools (all of them), tasks required to be completed along with ‘other’ tasks as required, required processes (not procedures), minimum (forget preferred) professional credentials, compensation range depending on experience, and finally benefits.

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