The Job Description of the Future

Written on Jan 10, 2020

Rajiv Talreja, renowned Business Transformation Coach, recently shared in a video about what the current generation of employees wants. He says that this generation does not care about survival, like our grandparents, or standard of living, like our parents. This generation, does not have to care about survival or standard of living, is looking for quality of life. Now with this insight in mind, let’s ask this question. How can job descriptions of a bygone era work for a new generation of workforce?

There are many who think that Job Descriptions (JDs)are done and dusted. This Forbes article calls them obsolete. But do we have an option right now to completely do away with JDs? Maybe not yet! Until we evolve into such times, what we can do is to make our JDs more about the relationship that we want to establish with our employees.

Right now, all JDs follow a similar template – they speak about the company, list down the tasks and say apply now. There’s very little thought that goes behind writing these JDs. They are hardly persuasive or compelling enough to attract top performing talent. One of the biggest drawbacks here is that the overview of the job is represented as a task list. How uninspiring!

If you want to attract top talent, the first change we should bring about is in this ‘listing’ practice. It is through JDs that future employees get their first exposure to your company. Make the most of this opportunity by talking about what your company is, what kind of work culture you have and who are the right people for your company. Netflix released a culture document for its job aspirants which Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, called “the most important document ever to come out of the Valley.” This revolutionary document that spoke about behaviors and skills that it was looking for in its high-performance oriented team reinvented Human Resources for Netflix than any JD could ever have. Such clarity of thought about what we are as an organization and what kind of people we want to hire saves us a lot of time and effort in the entire team building and employee retention process.

We at Han Digital, having worked with various clients to build their talent and recruitment strategies, feel that there is a need for a renewed energy that is channelized towards writing JDs. Here are some cues from our experience on how you can write JDs that make your hiring process more robust:

  • Write the JD not just from the perspective of the organization but also from the perspective of a candidate who is looking at investing her time and effort in your organization
  • Talk about the purpose of the job. Young talent is looking for meaning, purpose and fulfilment in their career!
  • As per Han Digital’s research of top companies that attract the best talent, the most effective JDs are less than 200 words
  • Talk about the strengths, behavioral aspects, and skills that you are looking for in the candidate
  • Talk about the culture of your organization and make a pitch to them about why they should join
  • Show the scope for growth in over and above the current role
  • Define what your Employee Value Proposition is
  • Write your job description in such a way that you attract the kind of people whom you really want in your organization
  • Make sure your language is not discouraging the right talent from applying

When you get your JDs future-ready, you can be sure that the first step of talent acquisition towards building a great team is in the right direction.