job descriptions

Realistic job descriptions. They can be quite a rarity. Take your pick of 5 of the latest job descriptions you’ve either read or written. I bet every single one of them came with a list of prerequisites. A few years’ experience, a minimum degree classification, a driver’s license, etc. etc.

Being realistic writing your job descriptions

For example, imagine you’re on the hunt for a new sales executive to help bring in new customers. Your job description might list that the ideal sales executive should have at least 5 years’ experience and a minimum 2:1 bachelor’s degree from a Redbrick-listed University. But what you really need is a sales executive who is going to be able to sell.

The point here is, is the focus of your screening process shouldn’t be to tick candidates off against a list of credentials. So what if the candidate doesn’t have a minimum 2:1 degree? The ability to teamwork, manage time and meet deadlines – all things a degree supposedly equips you with – aren’t necessarily taught within the confines of a lecture room.


What skills do your candidates  have?

Rather, you need to find out what skills people have – and more specifically, if they have the skills needed to overcome the business problem you face.

So, whilst your screening techniques shouldn’t discount experience or education, your methods need to decipher more. Test the thought-processes of your candidates by asking real-life situations into a timed video interview format. And know that the Internet has unlocked many unconventional ways to learn new skills – and your screening process should promote this, not neglect it.

job descriptions

So, what do you put in your job description?

Without prerequisites, what would your job description look like, I hear you ask? Well, if the responsibilities are clearly outlined, unqualified candidates will likely not apply. And if they do, chances are they won’t make it very far. This isn’t call to end all prerequisites – they can be powerful in highlighting the best candidates when used right. However, more often than not, they narrow a recruiter’s perception of what a good candidate looks like in terms of experience, skills and qualifications.

What are your thoughts on the value of prerequisites for a role – and ultimately, finding the right candidate? Is values-based recruitment a better strategy?

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