Magic of a creatively written Job Description!
In the age when ‘job descriptions’ have become laundry-list of tasks and sucking jargon, when a smart company weaves a crisp story in the job description, it springs urge to explore the invitation. As a whiff of fresh breeze, a poetical job description sets your pulse racing; it intrigues curiosity with blend of challenges and excitement, subtly introducing you to the organisation culture and people. The art of story-telling is the ‘creativity’ that sets companies apart by appealing to the ‘right’ candidates from among the best!
I have been spending some time on LinkedIn to review some jobs. I simply can say, around 70 percent of the job descriptions (JDs) written are very close to the euphemistic, laundry-list. HR JDs are even worse. Pathetic grammar and syntax, spelling errors, repetitive rendition of same tasks in the name of Key Responsibilities, Functional Responsibilities, Key Skills Required, etc. Worst is HR rep who is posting these JDs are not even reviewing it to check if it will fit and external audience. JDs are loaded with company’s internal and exclusive terminologies that are Greek and Latin to an external candidate. It just not only confuses the candidate but reflects very poorly on the lackluster and casual attitude of the HR department. Interestingly, now the department that advertises for hiring is called “Talent Acquisition.” The acquisition of talent by people who have diluted the meaning and sense of talent. Unfortunate fact is that the million dollar HR bosses, Corporate Communication department and the top bosses in business seem completely oblivious of this deterioration in the job advertisement.
This is the time to clean up and turnaround the tainted ‘Talent Acquisition’ departments in such poor companies.
Larry Bossidy and Jack Welch and many industry leaders made it very clear that, “nothing that they do is more important than hiring and developing talent.” It seems in India; at least the talent acquisition piece is in wrong hands in many companies. Though this may be a global disease!
Even when we know we have such a mess to clear in the talent acquisition departments, we cannot afford to lose!
Let’s bring the change with being creative in writing the JDs. This shall change the focus and perspective and will automatically invite better people in Talent Acquisition functions and we will see the positive change. Also as, Socrates said, “The secret of Change is to focus all of your Energy, Not on fighting thee Old but on Building the New.”
Just read below, how some companies are making ripples with the art of story-telling or creativity in writing JDs.
Test Automation Engineer
Medium is seeking an inquisitive, tenacious and thorough engineer who loves to break things in order to keep us honest about what we're shipping.
An outstanding Test Automation Engineer believes testing is a collaborative process rather than confrontation. You get involved with feature development on day one and follow it through release.
You have the team's trust and power to say "we can't ship that."
Great example of a jargon-free writing, “who loves to break things in order to keep us honest about what we’re shipping.”
How often do you see the word “trust” in a technical job description? In any job description?
They should find a better verb to replace “seek,” but that’s a quibble.
Compare the Medium (www.medium.com) approach to the typical, which in this case comes compliments of Intel:
Title: Sr. Test Automation Engineer
Location: USA-California, Santa Clara
Job Number: 704967
We are in search of Sr. Quality Engineer with 5-8 years of experience working in the mobility domain with Android or Windows platform. The candidate will be responsible for defining test strategy, test methodology as well as leading, testing and managing the test execution and results on Intel products.
He/she should be experienced in development and implementation of test automation and tools for validating various interfaces across each of the components. Responsibilities will also include analyzing HW/SW quality, identifying potential problems early in the product life cycle and ensure that the product quality issues are resolved in a timely manner.
Instead of the standard rhetoric on collaboration, Medium’s description for the front end engineer job shares:
You’ll be working with and supported by a world class team of designers and engineers. Your teammates on the front end will include @fat, @dpup, @dhg,@dustin and more.
What a cool technique.
Clicking on one of your future mates springs you to his/her personal Medium page.
That’s what I’m talking about.
That’s how job descriptions should be done.
Take a look at the example below-
Job Title: Senior Communications Consultant
What most accurately describes you, PR person or storyteller? If the latter, keep reading.
We’re retooling our consultancy to take a holistic approach to communication campaigns. Think earned media + owned media. Our programs increasingly blend traditional PR with thought leadership, digital properties, social media, SEO, etc. – all underlined with the type of storytelling that has relevance to the target audience as well as influencers.
Regardless of the assignment, clients come to us for a combination of brainpower and passion.
Naturally, this particular role calls for smarts, op-ed grade writing and a track record in triggering client reactions ranging from “Well done” to “I’m naming my first born after you.”
Here are a few specifics that start to dig below the surface of the type of person we’re after:
· In a world where anyone can access a digital megaphone, we believe content based on storytelling techniques is the answer to sustaining thought leadership campaigns. Are you the type of person who flags anecdotes during evening reading?
· It’s not exactly enduring or endearing if you only reach out to someone when you need something. Yet, most communicators only contact influencers when a client has a news announcement. Do your interactions with influencers deviate from the norm, reflecting more of an industry source?
· We don’t expect you to be a SEO guru (or live on Mt. Sinai), but ideally you know how to scrutinize a title tag in the source code.
· Are you a brave soul? While everyone seems to “zag,” do you know how to a) develop thinking that “zigs,” and b) counsel clients with strength of conviction on the benefits of going the “zig” route?
We suspect these qualities call for at least eight years of experience.
If our thinking resonates, we’d love to hear from you.
Here’s how the description for a corporate communications manager kicks off:
Facebook seeks an experienced Corporate Communications Manager to support its global monetization efforts and programs. The successful candidate has strong experience in developing and executing high-profile communications initiatives, is an excellent writer, and has knowledge and interest in the concepts and technologies for online and interactive advertising. This is a full-time position based in our main office in Palo Alto, CA.
Now there’s a phrase that sets the heart of a communication professional racing –
“… to support its global monetization efforts and programs.”
And what’s with the cold verb “seek”?
I’m guessing that 90+ percent of companies use the verb “seek” in their job descriptions which doesn’t exactly humanize the communication or differentiate the gig. From there, the Facebook job description erodes into the standard bullets that could be used by any XYZ company.