Clarity In Hiring

Employers have to be clear about what they are looking for when hiring.  It is a difficult thing!
The intro to so many job listings these days includes a blurb extolling the virtues of the company filling the position.  This is important information, it’s part of a good promotion campaign, it helps applicants to know a little about where they are applying.
But is this information really relevant to job requirements?  OK employers, include this info if you must, but put it at the bottom!  Job applicants want to know about the job first.
In most cases, applicants apply for positions because they feel comfortable with their ability to perform required and related tasks.  Yes, all job seekers want to work for a great company with great pay and benefits, lots of vacation time off, perks and options!  But employers’ shameless self promotion telling applicants that they are “all that“, is a major part of recruiting that is here to stay.
But does that corporate promo dilute the real reason for publishing that announcement in the first place?   Recruitment?!
Yes, employers, you want loyal team members and devoted co-workers, not just employees.  But does an employer telling applicants how great they are, make the quality of applicant any better?  Does it really help potential candidates know better the requirements they are expected to fulfill?  Does it help them better determine if they are qualified for the job?  Does it increase the number of applicants?  (Maybe, but are they the most qualified?)
If you’re an employer looking for a relatively small, specialized skill-set, define your job listing in terms of the 10 most important responsibilities you want handled by this hire,  and what this person needs to know in order to do a good job.
If you’re looking to fill a any position, be open about the scope of the work, and the skills necessary to succeed! The more succinct you are in describing what you expect the applicant to accomplish, the stronger the likelihood you’ll hear from more qualified candidates.
No matter what the position, employers, be open about how you will reward the hard work of those you are trying to attract.  Do you offer competitive pay, decent benefits, flex time, telecommuting, job sharing?
It has also become more critical for employers to define all of the essential functions of a position. What must a candidate be able to do to satisfy the requirements of the opening?  Defining the essential functions helps reveal to the applicant what is truly expected from their performance, and should provide a clear description of anticipated functions.  The more information about a position is provided by an employer, the stronger the likelihood that more of the most appropriately qualified will actually apply.
Of course, no job description is ever an exact representation of what the job will turn out to be.  In fact, I often hear the complaint that jobs people have accepted and perform are not the jobs defined in the job descriptions that motivated their application. And frequently the job evolves far from what the applicant thought they’d be doing.  This can be a great challenge for some, but it can be very frustrating for an employee pushed to perform functions that are less familiar or comfortable.  Sure, the employee is expected to step up and do what is asked, but better performance always come from employees who are better prepared and confident.
Oh, and then there’s that item that usually appears close to the end of too many job descriptions: “And Other Duties As Assigned.”
This little addendum to a job description opens the door for an employer to ask an employee to do just about anything, regardless of how closely the request fits into a job’s essential functions.  The boss says, “Jump!”, and the employee isn’t really given much of an option to say, “How high?”.
The more specific the job description, the fewer surprises for all concerned!
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