The Elusive Job Description
To focus on a frustrating common denominator in the business of search, let’s use the job description as the item of discussion. We could ask a simple question such as: “What role should a job description play in perfecting a search?” but that would not help anyone really understand the confusion that is involved in this one simple collection of information. So it would be better for us to ask, “What are the challenges in conceptualizing a job description that includes the function objectives, as well as subjective and subtle attributes necessary that can be difficult to define, and lead us to the best talent?” Adding the frustration factor to the equation, we then also need to focus on the hiring manager’s contribution, and the internal recruiting staffing professional’s input. These individuals are responsible for generating this information, and many times are restricted by internal protocols, and/or time restraints that can cause the project to become a stressful situation. Here is where the triad of power comes into play to help remove the baseline thinking process and can enable the project to complete itself with a better success rate by having an external recruiting/search professional have input into the job description by being an external review of an internal process.
The external search professional can, and should have, as part of their expertise, a view of the marketplace that is not only objective in nature, but also subjective because they are not bound by a corporate internal protocol, nor are they loaded with other non-related job responsibilities that can hinder timeframes and turnaround of the very documentation that is necessary to launch a hiring project in the first place.
So, how can I be of assistance to the hiring managers and the internal staffing professionals to help bring a new perspective to this continuous challenge? From the perspective of the true search professional, the question is, “Does the job description data drive the recruitment process, or does the market data reconceptualize the job description that then drives the recruitment process? This reconceptualization of the job description in relation to the market data brings in a shift into what I have identified as the integrative search. Here lies the exponential power of the ultimate search—search taken to the next level of understanding. Ultimately, it’s the market place that defines the role as it should be, and the hiring manager and internal recruiting professional alike should find this to be the best way to achieve [their] ultimate aim—the best hire for the position. Recruiting is by nature a constantly evolving process of reconceptualization through the large amount of data information and in-depth research that is applied to each project. This newly developing information will shift and bring about new understanding that will help the hiring manager increase [their] success rate in finding a candidate that will bring added value to [their] corporate division.
I have found in my years in this business that search provides one of the greatest outlets for creative expression. In many ways search is a true art form, much like the artist who begins with a blank canvas and evolves their original ideas to their highest form of expression. Often through the elimination of those ideas and first impressions that do not best align with their idealized goal, they create a fabulous piece of art. Like the blank canvas, our initial job description may look totally different because of the process it takes to create a dynamic piece of work that sells. When that “click” happens, like the artists click, when we get that click the information just seems to stream in, connecting all of the unknown dots that formulate the information in it’s most complete form for the job description. It’s our job to be open to what that information is telling us. Ultimately, the “formulating” of this new data becomes an almost adventurous undertaking, thereby injecting a new heightened interest into what is usually seen as the dreaded task of a job description. We learn to enjoy this because we accomplish the challenge. It’s within this challenge that people stay interested in their work, and apply themselves to something that becomes more and more effortless. Even though it is frustrating and confusing and always a time consuming challenge – we like it!