5 Most Common Job Description Mistakes

Have you ever applied for a job and when you read the job description, you knew you were a perfect fit, only to receive an email that says in essence, thanks for applying but you are not qualified? How can this be possible? Alternative two, you are a professional recruiter and you submit candidates with a resume that EXACTLY matches the job description, only to have them rejected and you are sitting there wondering “What just happened?”

There are actually a number of reasons that I have discovered over time that are possibilities, here are a few of the more common:

  1. The description was written quite some time ago and is not even reflective of the current role.
  2. There is a new hiring manager and he/she is looking for an entirely different team member but has not written a new description (see item 1).
  3. There are differing viewpoints within the organization that have not been communicated.
  4. The position description is patterned after an industry common template for the position title and not reflective of the organizational needs.
  5. Last and often the most frustrating, the organization really does not know for sure what they want, but are going with the general thought process similar to the 1964 Supreme Court’s definition “I will know it when I see it” and the search continues. This may not even be deliberate, but is the underlying challenge at work.

How do we overcome this?  When the pool for qualified talent is shrinking, or in the case of rural communities with hard to compete budgets, the talent pool is microscopic to begin with, time is money for both the recruiter and the company with a critical need. When valuable time is wasted due to any one of the reasons listed above, how do we overcome it?

The best answer can be found in the manner in which Johnson Search Group was founded and operates – building relationships with hiring managers. When we have the ability to communicate with and share ideas and concerns directly with the manager who will be the decision maker on the hire, the process and end results are significantly more productive.

Additionally, we focus on one industry and have become recruiting experts in that industry. This allows us to also act as industry consultants to our clients as well as partners in their searches. The communication that is developed by becoming personally invested in our clients as well having a clear understanding of their needs, minimizes the hit or miss mentality for recruitment. Effective and direct communication with hiring managers, understanding their business and culture, and understanding our specific industries are all vital to our success and meeting the needs of our clients.