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Ban Job Descriptions and Hire Better People
Posted By Lou Adler On February 13, 2013 @ 1:37 am In Advice and How-Tos | 14 Comments
For the past 30 years I’ve been on a kick to ban traditional skills- and experience-based job descriptions. The prime reason: they’re anti-talent and anti-diversity, aside from being terrible predictors of future success.
Some naysayers use the legal angle as their excuse for maintaining the status quo.
To debunk this, I engaged David Goldstein, a preeminent legal authority from Littler Mendelson (the largest U.S. labor law firm) to compare the idea of using a performance-based job description to the traditional job description.
David has agreed to present his findings in a webcast on February 19. (I’ve included a summary of his white paper in one of my recent publications , and we’ll be happy to review his complete white paper  upon request.)
A performance-based job description (aka performance profile) describes the work that a person needs to successfully accomplish during the first year on the job. Most jobs can be fully described in 6-8 performance objectives. These are in the form of “complete the detailed project plan for the new automated warehouse in 120 days.” This compares to the more traditional: “Must have 5+ years of logistics and supply chain management experience in high-volume consumer durables, plus 3 years of supervisory experience.”
This comparison alone should be enough to demonstrate to any recruiter the fallacy of using traditional job descriptions for finding and assessing talent. There are about 100+ other articles I’ve written for ERE over the last 10 years describing job descriptions as fundamentally flawed and counterproductive. Here’s are my top six (out of about 20) reasons why:
This should be enough to convince anyone why traditional job descriptions should be banned if a company wants to hire more top people, expand their diversity hiring programs, hire some great people who bring a different mix of skills and experiences to the job, and implement a robust military veteran hiring initiative. You’ll been able to stop making excuses at the very special webcast on February 19 .
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URL to article: http://www.ere.net/2013/02/13/ban-job-descriptions-and-hire-better-people/
URLs in this post:
 summary of his white paper in one of my recent publications: http://budurl.com/EGFH1
 review his complete white paper: http://budurl.com/contactnew
 webcast on February 19: http://budurl.com/AGlittler
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