As we all know, most job advertisements tend to be pretty dull, given that they basically follow the age-old “hey, here’s why we’re an awesome company” and “we’ve got this role we need to fill” and “here’s the 143 specific skills and qualifications you must have to be considered for it” type of formula.
The other day, however, I came across a published listing (I’ll leave the company name anonymous) that contained some pretty unusual language. In addition to all of the standard skills/qualifications stuff mentioned above, the advertisement in question also included a particular list of items — called “Principles of Working Relationships” — apparently designed to describe the organization’s corporate culture and spell out the expected behavior of employees at their firm. And just to clarify, this advertisement was for a professional-level position — not a retail establishment, hourly role, or unskilled labor environment.
So here’s what was sitting smack in the middle of the ad…
Principles of Working Relationships:
• You and your manager have agreements about what work is to be done and how and when it is to be done. These are often documented in your Job Description or other documented system.
• Changes in work requirements are made after mutual agreement between you and your manager.
• You take full accountability for performing the work and achieving the results as agreed.
• Your manager is accountable for providing you with the resources and guidance needed.
• You are accountable for notifying your manager, and any other affected people, in writing if the work will not be performed or the results will not be achieved as agreed. Your manager will also notify you if commitments made to you cannot be achieved.
• Your manager can assume the work is being performed as agreed unless otherwise notified.
• Periodic check-ins between you and your manager is the main vehicle for keeping each other informed about how work is progressing.
• Failure to notify of exceptions or missed due dates – in other words silence – is not acceptable.
• Encourage your coworkers to communicate challenges and opportunities to their manager, rather than to fellow coworkers.
• Relationships built on trust are developed as managers and associates keep their commitments and successful results are achieved.
So here’s the interesting part. I’ve shown the above advertisement to several people so far, and when I do, I get a totally mixed response to it. Some people think it’s a very positive and useful addition to the normal fare, since it sets expectations and lets potential candidates know exactly what kind of environment they’d be walking into. Other folks, however, seem to find it highly offensive, indicating their belief it reflects a “big brother” type of management style and implies that most professionals don’t already practice these types of habits — and need to have them clearly spelled out, in writing, as if they were in second grade.
So I’ll let all of you out there weigh in and help break the tie, if you’re so inclined. How would YOU feel if you were applying to an opportunity that spelled out a list of “rules” or “expected behaviors” in this fashion? Like it? Don’t like it? Think it’s a potential red flag? Love to hear your thoughts, if you’re willing to share them. Definitely one of the more interesting things I’ve come across in an advertisement, recently…