Have you read your job descriptions lately? Or anyone’s job descriptions? Generally, they are obtuse, vague texts more concerned with listing job requirements than actually explaining what the job really is. Written by lawyers and HR experts and almost never the hiring manager, they do as good a job describing the job as a fortune cookie does describing your future.

And yet, all of us rely on them. Whether its because we think we have to use them, or because it seems like a insurmountable task to re-write them all, they remain, as they likely always will.

What needs to change is the expectation that they have to be the sole channel through which information about a job is conveyed. If you can’t change the job description, you can focus on all the content and stories and ideas surrounding it.

The only reason job descriptions seem to be okay is because everyone else relies on them, too. This won’t last long.

Take a look a look at the job descriptions of similar jobs at “great companies” and “poorly-perceived” companies, and you’ll see that the job descriptions themselves are roughly the same. What’s different is the company, the employer brand, which is understood via the stories told about it.

 

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