My blog post in January, “Skill vs. Attitude: What Makes the Best Candidate?” resulted in such great discussion on LinkedIn and elsewhere I decided to take this idea a step further by expounding upon it in a Webinar and Whitepaper.
We often hire for skill, and most often fire for attitude, but what about the important attributes in between? We should be hiring for four Core Candidate Metrics: Skills, Competency, Culture and Attitude.
To consider these key dimensions, we must first understand the basics of what they mean:
- Skills/Experience – Does the candidate have the training/education/skills to do the job?
- Attitude – Has the candidate shown they want to do the job?
- Competency – Does the candidate have the ability/behaviors to do the job?
- Culture Fit – Does the candidate do the job in a way that fits the company?
Check out the Whitepaper to learn more! Check back soon for a recording of the Webinar.
Most job descriptions are filled with way too much jargon to actually know what the job is all about. This often leads to confusion and frustration for both the employer and the employee.
What ends up happening is a candidate accepts a job, but a year down the road still has no way of knowing whether they’ve done a good job. This is because their duties don’t end up matching the job description, leaving the candidate with nothing to measure.
Other problems with job descriptions:
• Too Much Detail/Not Enough Detail – Can throw off an applicant, leads to burying of actual purpose of position
• Overloaded with Fluff – Jargon and fancy phrases to make the position/company seem important
• Seemingly Impossible to Apply– Scares applicants away because the specifications are too narrow, too strict, too needy
As the shift to online applying and staffing continues to grow, now is the time to really clean up job descriptions and make them truthful, concise and an accurate representation of the organization and the job. And while no job description can be perfect, no one wants to be blindsided by a heavy load of never-before-mentioned duties at work.
My Suggested Solutions: Job descriptions should state outright WHY the listed skills are required. How will these be applied? In what kinds of instances will they be used? Why should the applicant care???
Or, try a job description that’s actually a Call to Action. This kind of job description would (roughly) lay out a 12-month plan for the employee, highlighting exactly what the organization will want them to accomplish in this particular time frame and why. That way there are fewer performance surprises for both the employer and the employee.
There are many qualified candidates out there who are passing over job descriptions because they have become too messy. A major overhaul is needed on many job descriptions in order to allow top talent to make its way in to your organization and stay there.
What other changes do you suggest we make to job descriptions?
Are you a talented, creative, highly motivated individual with strong communication skills?
You and everyone else!
We get so caught up with the buzz surrounding buzzwords, we forget what they mean. Would you introduce yourself to someone as an “extremely innovative forward thinker” in person? No! Companies and candidates spend so much time trying to look good paper, they forget about basic conversational skills.
LinkedIn recently released a list of the Most Overused Buzzwords, including:
- Motivated (shouldn’t that be a given?)
- Communication Skills (doesn’t everyone have those, and if you don’t, is anyone going to admit it?)
- Organized (no one is going to confess they’re a slob)
- Responsible/Professional (what company is going to say “Sorry, irresponsible applicants only”??)
Topping the overused buzzwords list for professionals in the United States is “creative.”
The thing is, people can tell when you’re being a phony in an interview or on paper. Candidates who name drop or use hot-button words during their interview (“around the corner thinking” with a “thirty thousand foot view”) don’t come off as genuine. They come off as silly.
The same thing goes for the way you look on paper. Enough with the jargon! Some of the most overused buzzwords can cause someone to toss your resume aside for someone who doesn’t sound so cliché. Companies who describe the position they’re trying to fill using flowery, show-offy language and ridiculous catch phrases run the risk of not being taken seriously too.
Let’s take a step back from the buzzwords and re-focus on being genuine. It can drive more sincere relationships and allow people to truly understand your capabilities.
Or, if you DO insist on using buzzwords, at least be able to back them up with real-world, personal examples and anecdotes that show your true colors.
In my next post I’ll provide real-world application on how to have a powerful but not overly fluffy resume and job description.