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Equality and Diversity Flexible Working Future of work Interviews And CV's

Job Description: The Future is Output-Based

The first step in recruitment is creating a job description. Yet while evolution has effected other aspects of recruitment, it has past right by job descriptions. We have had the same outdated format and content for decades, and it is massively understated the negative effect this has on candidates and employers alike. From ridiculous experience requirements to asking for redundant skills, businesses have gone unchallenged on this topic for long enough. The future is now and the future is output-based.

The “Ideal” Candidate does not Exist

Businesses need to manage their expectations when it comes to recruitment. All too often job descriptions contain a phrase that is counter productive to say the least. Many job descriptions contain the phrase “the ideal candidate will have:”. If you are a recruiter writing a job description, let me stop you right there, because this phrase tends to be followed by a long list of unrealistic expectations and you are setting up everyone involved (yourselves included) to fail. The majority of candidates will not apply based off of the fact they do not meet every single one of these needs. A small minority will lie and apply anyway just to take their chances.

The chances of you finding someone who ticks everyone of those 30 boxes are slim to none. The literal definition of the word “ideal” is satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect, existing only in their imagination and unlikely to become a reality. No human has achieved perfection since the beginning of our existence so how can it be expected from your applicants? The bottom line is your not going to get what your asking for and realistically a job description should not be about the candidate in the first place.

The Practice of Inclusivity Creates Exclusivity

Since society is making a genuine effort to be more diverse and inclusive across the board, business are trying to do the same with their workforce. When recruiting, employers now factor in; gender, BAME, LGBTQ+ and Neurodiversity as a plus. Within job descriptions, employers will even say they are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment. However by actively including certain groups you are excluding others, there is something of a paradox there; you cannot be inclusive without being exclusive. This is called positive discrimination, which is a contradiction in terms in and of itself. It can be argued that by definition; discrimination in any form cannot be positive.

The whole point of diversity and inclusion is to create equality. If you are favouring someone because on their gender, sexuality or race then that is just a different brand of exclusivity. So a white, heterosexual male is automatically at a disadvantage regardless if they are just as capable of doing the job as other applicants who fall under the above categories? Is this not just more of the same issue in a different form? If every organisation does this then inclusivity is just an illusion that we are kidding ourselves with. The only way to be truly inclusive is to take inclusivity completely out of the equation and out of the job description.

Generic Job Descriptions don’t lead to Quality Candidates

Many business don’t put enough time and effort into the job descriptions. The format is so out-dated that businesses to tend to throw generic essential requirements in without thinking, or they overload it with paragraph after paragraph of information about the company. Yet they include very little about the roll itself. This is not appropriate, a full summary of the company comes later in the recruitment process not the beginning. And if the candidate really wants the job they will do their research on the company beforehand. A job description is a job description, not a company description and not a candidate description.

Another issue is the throwaway skills recruiters have in their job descriptions. What is a generic skill to an employer can be a deal breaker for an applicant. This issue particularly affects neurodiverse people. Neurodiverse people are some of the most talented people on the planet and yet so few are in employment today. They perceive things differently, so if they see a skill in a job description they do not have, they will take it no further. Though this does not just include neurodiverse people, many applicants move on when they see an essential skill that they do not have. Yet the role itself does not require the skills the job description asks for. A job where the person predominantly works alone does not require great interpersonal skills. But the at the end of the day, none of these should be included in a job description.

The Output-Based Job Description

So what is an output-based job description? Simple; you take the candidate: their skills, qualifications and experiences out of it. You also take the company out of it; no mission statements, passions, goals etc. A short two to three line introduction on what the company does is the most that should be in a job description. The rest of it is solely about the role itself and the output of the person within said role and what their day to day duties will be. It should be based off of what an existing or past employee within that role does. Or with a new role, the purpose of it and why it was created should be made abundantly clear. There should be no abbreviations of what skills these duties will require, if the description of said duties is clear and precise the candidate will know if they are cable or not.

Take all labels out of the equation no; ‘diversity & inclusion’ or ‘flexible working’. These labels, regardless of intent, are creating an unconscious bias that contradicts their meaning. The most inclusive way to form a job description is to not include any labels whatsoever, this is the mark of true inclusion. This will ensure that the right candidates apply for the role as opposed to candidates trying to be perfect for the role. This is the future of the job description. If we as a society hope to abolish all forms of discrimination and promote true equality within the workplace. It will give everyone the same chance, no one individual will have an advantage over another. This will of course have a domino effect on the entire recruitment process, but a positive one none the less. But one step at a time and its time to take that first step.

#OUTPUTChallenge

We at Find Your Flex challenge you and your business to take part in our #OUTPUTChallenge type form: https://findyourflex.typeform.com/to/I523nXuA. Be the pioneer businesses in creating a better Future of Work for candidates and businesses alike! Businesses will create their 3 best Output Job Descriptions and the winner will receive 100 business credits with us for a whole year and will also be the core focus of our press release on the ‘Future of Work’. The future is now, cement your part in it by taking the challenge!

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Industry Flexers

Focussing On The Candidates – Diversity In The Recruitment Industry

“If companies want gender balance and diversity, they need to embrace different ways of working.”

A guest post from Karen Camilleri, Associate Partner at executive search and interim management consultancy Green Park. Karen specialises in the recruitment of Business Transformation and Change professionals. She is also the proud mum of a little boy of 6. Here she discusses life in recruitment and why flexible working is necessary for a diverse workforce.

How Do You Feel The Recruitment Sector Has Changed Over The Last 20 Years And Why?

Industries have been changing at a furious pace. As organisations fight to stay relevant, we’re seeing greater demand for professionals with experience in leading change and transformation projects.

Leaders with these skills are a commodity and the recruitment sector, which 20 years ago was client-led, is now much more candidate focussed. Organisations are therefore looking for recruitment partners that bring a human touch. One’s that have structured and well supported talent networks that they can tap into. Employee Value Proposition is now a key consideration and element of any talent strategy.

In Your Opinion How Can The Recruitment Industry Best Facilitate Flexible Working?

I think the industry needs to think about deliverables rather than face time in the office. For example, I’m measured against targets which don’t reflect on the number of hours I spend physically at my desk. Instead I work two days from home and I use the office as a base for business meetings.

Companies need a culture where employees are trusted to deliver and manage their time how they see fit. After all, if employers want to address gender balance and diversity, they need to embrace different ways of working. Otherwise they will be fishing in a narrow pool of candidates!

Employers should be proud of their staff and support them as they juggle family needs and work priorities. It’s a proven fact that employees who are able to engage with family or other personal needs are happier and this reflects in their productivity and output.

What Is Green Park’s Diversity Practice And What Are Its Aims?

Today, most business leaders know that diversity and inclusion (D&I) are critical to performance. However, many lack the expertise to achieve their D&I goals. Our D&I Consultancy helps clients approach diversity in a more skilled, mature way. They help them to build their internal capability and knowledge.

Our D&I services include assessments, audits and diagnostics; independently validating diversity strategies, role model development and leadership training; business intelligence and market mapping, talent management and direct hiring strategies.

The Green Park Diversity Team Are The Most Diverse TFL Board In The Organisation’s History. Why Are diversity And Inclusion Initiatives Vital To Creating Successful Talented Teams?

We believe that our clients deserve more choice. That means widening the talent search to look beyond just the usual suspects. Studies have consistently shown that more diverse organisations perform better in many ways. Team collaboration, retention, productivity and market share are all areas where companies that rate highly for D&I, score better than those that don’t.

How Can Candidates Be Assured That Potential Employers Are Committed To Diversity And Inclusion?

Green Park actively campaign for measures to boost diversity, equality and inclusion. But for now, candidates may want to look at a potential employer’s pay gap reporting. It’s also worth exploring whether an organisation puts its money where its mouth is. For example, Intel put $300m into hiring programmes for women and minorities between 2015 and 2020; and spent $1bn with women and minority-owned suppliers.

Thank You For Speaking To Us. Any Words Of Wisdom To Candidates Who Are Embarking On A Career Change Or Returning To Work After A Career Break?

Believe in yourself – if you don’t, hiring managers won’t either!

Look for a work-life balance that works for you. If an organisation won’t accommodate your terms, then use this in your deselection process – don’t work for a company that’s not culturally aligned to your values. Whatever working arrangement you organise, remember the employer is getting great talent out of it, so don’t feel guilty.

Don’t plan too far ahead. Live in the moment. That’s for the returners! As for the career changers, use your network and keep track of the movers and shakers. Connect with coaches and sponsors who have also made those step changes in their career. They can provide you with insight and tips.

Karen Callimeri from Green Park Consultancy