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WWJD?! What’s With Job Descriptions?!

Posted By: Trish Cunningham on October 26, 2018

Have you ever read a job description that appears to be the perfect opportunity for your skills, knowledge, talent, and experience, or have you read one that left you wondering what in the world you just read? And have you put yourself forward and received nothing at all or nothing but a “thank you for applying…” email? Have you often scratched your head wondering why that company posting the job wouldn’t even want to talk with you based on what you see in the job description? If so, you’re not alone.

When you work in the staffing and recruiting industry you get the chance to view the underbelly of our function and at times what is seen makes no sense and could be viewed as a bait and switch opportunity, or it could be something as simple as the fact that the company has bought into some vender management system that has sold them on approving only so many job descriptions to keep things “simple” while actually making things more complicated and difficult to fill positions due to the lack of a proper job description.

When we get a job description, we request a kickoff call so that we may discuss the ins and outs of what the job will actually entail on a daily basis. Our team requires an understanding of this information because in order for us to intelligently speak with candidates and WOO them for your opportunity in this ever-tightening candidate market, we must know the good, the bad, and the ugly of each and every single job opening we engage in or we’re simply adding to the challenges. We’ve gotten opportunities in the past when the kickoff call was rejected and in almost every single one we were defeated because we didn’t stand by our tried and true proven methodologies. And when it has happened, we always say, “We weren’t ever going to do that again! Why did we participate?” It leaves a bad taste and not just for the recruiting firm, but also for the candidates. And for the candidates, it’s against both the recruiting firm and the hiring company. And those who know us well know that tarnishing Brookwoods Group reputation is not an option!

One real-life example we have is a description that was written for a true marketing communication professional yet during the kickoff call we discovered this was not only NOT for a marketing communication professional but the individual would be expected to write technical papers which is a different skill set altogether. We re-wrote our own job description and were able to identify quickly an outstanding slate of candidates for our client to consider, each of whom could perform at a very high level in a very short ramp up period.

Writing a job description that gets winning candidates is both a science and an art. There are components that must be included and other components that must not only be included but made to entice the reader to move further throughout the document. If written correctly and if the right recruiter is behind it with the storytelling during the interview process, a fabulous hire can happen without wasting time with candidates that lack the actual skill sets to be successful.