Are Job Descriptions Dead?

With hiring starting to pick up, we’ll start to see the same old boring job descriptions we’ve seen for the past twenty plus years posted on career sites and in print ads. Don’t get me wrong, job descriptions are NOT dead, as much as most of us would like them to be. Companies still need those old fashioned descriptions for legal purposes. But I would like to point out there is a better way to attract the right people for the right jobs.

First the legalities. A job description should include the minimum requirements needed for the role. I’m talking college degrees, years of experience any physical demands within the role, hours, etc. You get the idea. You can find a ton of these job description samples on the SHRM website.

What I would like to do is challenge you to think of Job Benchmarking as a better way to get the right people you want in the right role. Or as I like to call it Strategic Selection. Yep you read that right, Strategic Selection. What is it?

Strategic Selection (aka Job Benchmarking) is a process that allows the stakeholders (people that interact with this role on a daily basis) to decide what the right attributes or competencies for the job are.

It’s quite a simple process. Simple but POWERFUL! Powerful because it allows the company to decide for themselves what a successful accountant, sales person or customer service rep looks like for THEM. What’s interesting is a great sales person at company “A” won’t necessarily be a great sales person at company “B”.

We’re talking different cultures here people! Every company has their own unique culture and operating style. Everyone won’t be a match for the company OR the role. Once the company has decided what attributes are best for the role the benchmark is complete. NOW you can start assessing your candidates against the benchmark. You don’t benchmark how Mark or Sue did the job before. Because guess what, Mark or Sue may not be A players. That’s why we say Benchmark Jobs NOT People.

What’s powerful for an organization is when everything syncs; the benchmark with the right person in the right role. The company becomes more productive and profitable. Company profitability is what it’s all about. May your organization live long and prosper.