Do you feel confused, overwhelmed, and/or intimidated by many of the job advertisements you find on-line? If so, you’re certainly not alone, since it’s an inescapable fact that companies these days tend to pack their ads with massive amounts of qualifications and assorted gobbletygook. Back in the old days, when they had to pay for every word they ran in a newspaper listing, employers tended to be more precise with their requirements. Now, with the complete lack of space limitation available, courtesy of the Internet, organizations can ramble on for pages and make even the most qualified applicant feel grossly inadequate!
For this very reason, I find it enormously refreshing when I spot a passage in a job advertisement that is written in PLAIN ENGLISH and that clearly explains what the manager is looking for in the ideal applicant, instead of obfuscating things with a battery of 20-30 requisite qualifications. In the particular case that prompted this posting, the opportunity in question was for an Organization Development Manager at a local technology organization. The passage that jumped out at me (admittedly from an internal job posting, not an external advertisement) was right in the middle of the job description, and read as follows:
“The person I hire must be deep in Organization Assessment, Organization Design, Change Management, Transition Management, and Building High-Performance Teams following change. Of these five things, the hardest one to find so far has been the expertise in designing organizations. I need a person who could sit across from a VP in a line of business on Day 3 and feel comfortable and be perceived as credible in a discussion around any of the topics above.”
Is it just me, or is the above paragraph an abnormally cogent description of what the hiring manager in question is really looking for? To me, it gets right to the desired “solution” or “outcome” instead of approaching things indirectly through a tired laundry list of desired skills, abilities, and qualifications. It also sets up a near-perfect interviewing scenario. All the hiring manager would really have to ask a candidate is “Given your interest in this job, tell me about your experience designing organizations and how you’d go about establishing strong trust/credibility with our existing line executives in a rapid time frame?” Or better yet, the interviewer could conduct a role-playing simulation to this same effect, either acting the part of the line manager themselves or bringing in an actual, bonafide manager to assist with the selection process.
At any rate, maybe I’m just too close to this stuff, but the above paragraph stood out like a sore thumb to me among a sea of corporate job blather. Let’s hope this type of direct communication becomes more common as part of the hiring and recruitment sphere. If so, I think a lot less time would be wasted on both sides of the desk. There’s no point to the average job seeker investing hours of interview prep around dozens of requested qualifications, only to walk in and hear things like “Oh, that? Yeah, we really don’t care about that so much. Not sure why we put that in there. We really just want to find somebody who has experience in X or who can accomplish Y for us…”