Job descriptions most certainly have their place. Written accurately, they spell out the specific requirements for each position within the company, list essential job functions, any physical requirements and the education or certifications necessary. However, few individuals are compelled to join a company based on a very dry outline of what the job entails. Employees today are looking for the story behind the company. What do they stand for? What is important to them? Are they aligned with a candidates’ personal values? And how do the employees fit into that equation?
Zappos is a perfect example of a trend setting company that has done away with posting job descriptions altogether. Instead of applying to specific jobs, their careers page allows candidates to opt-in to the Zappos community. People get to know the company on an informal basis instead of focusing on a job.
Here’s how they describe it on their Insights blog:
Anyone coming to our new careers site will see information about each department — our employees, the department’s unique culture, and which roles that department typically fills. Job seekers will have an opportunity to make an introduction to that department rather than apply for a specific position. The whole concept is to “take a look Inside Zappos.” Job seekers will get to take a look “Inside Finance,” “Inside Merch,” etc. If they look inside and like what they see, they can introduce themselves and become a “Zappos Insider.” Without the ability to apply for specific roles, we will no longer need to send inhumane rejection templates. Instead, we can begin to focus on long-term engagement.
Focusing on the company and attracting people who are aligned with your values is critically more important than sourcing for a specific skill set. Often times, the skills for the jobs being hired for can be taught, but it is an uphill battle to convince someone who is not aligned with your culture that it really is the best way to do things, treat people, speak with residents etc..
Think for a moment about the difference in these two statements:
- Responsible for developing, enhancing, modifying and/or maintaining applications in the Global Markets environment
- Launch new trade application in the Global Markets environment
Which one is a call to action? Which one says something about where the company is going and what is important to them? And which one has the better chance of attracting a driven, high potential candidate?
This is a great picture of a skill set that was almost certainly not outlined in a traditional job description.
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and to emphatically state who you are. The old adage :if you don’t stand for something, you stand for nothing” is an immediate turn off to today’s top candidates!