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jobdescriptions RSS feed Tag: jobdescriptions

U.S. Labor Dept Collates Hiring, Retention, Training Info

Todd Raphael
Mar 25, 2013, 5:42 pm ET

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 2.39.00 PMA new site from the Labor Department in the U.S. bills itself as a one-stop shop for “hiring, training, and retraining a strong workforce.”

There’s a not a ton new here, and some of it’s a bit basic. But it’s also a pretty handy collection of links, on everything from tax credits, as well as on hiring veterans, people with disabilities, foreign nationals, and ex-offenders.

You’ll also find information on the hiring process, like some illegal interview questions, for example.

The main page is here.

Close the Talent Gap These 6 Ways

David Anderson
Mar 21, 2013, 5:03 am ET

bigstock-Jump-7475814CEOs are frustrated. According to a ManpowerGroup survey, 34% of companies are experiencing difficulty filling mission-critical positions. Paradoxically, the Department of Labor reports that 12.3 million people are still unemployed. And so here we sit, asking ourselves, why are we struggling to find the talent?

Welcome to the Great Talent Gap of the 21st Century

In an article for, Keith Cline wrote, “The demand for top-tier engineering talent sharply outweighs the supply in almost every market, especially in San Francisco, New York, and Boston. This is a major, major pain point and problem that almost every company is facing, regardless of the technology ‘stack’ their engineers are working on.”

If you’re a hiring manager or a recruiter in the trenches, you’re not seeing a way out of it any time soon  You may need a production manager who knows calculus, or an experienced software developer, or a technology strategist with cloud-based computing experience; and you need them yesterday. Oh and, by the way, you need them at a “competitive salary” (i.e., the lowest wage possible).

To begin to close the gap, we first need to recognize that the talent gap of the 21st century is made up of smaller fissures. Second, we need to understand the interrelated economic and organizational forces which formed these cracks. And lastly, we need to get started now. keep reading…

The Case for Visual Job Descriptions

Jamie Peil
Mar 13, 2013, 5:59 am ET

talent engagementOver the past five to seven years, the recruitment industry has faced great disruption due to the advent of social media recruiting and a proliferation of new software tools. These changes have been driven by demographic, economic, technology, and media trends. U.S. corporations alone spent $140 billion trying to find candidates to fill their jobs, according to a recent article in Forbes. With so much at stake, companies are increasingly seeking out new and improved solutions to a myriad of problems.

The new solutions address different stages of the recruiting life cycle. Whether it is social sourcing, candidate relationship management, or video interviewing, the common thread binding them together is engagement — the desire to find better ways to engage top talent.

However, one aspect of the recruiting process has not changed at all … the humble job description. keep reading…

You May Be Slamming the Door on the Next Gates, Branson, or Jobs

Gail Miller
Mar 12, 2013, 1:06 am ET
NYU -- the largest private university in the U.S.

NYU — one of the largest private universities in the U.S.

With the astronomical jobless rate and the skyrocketing cost of four-year college, many are questioning the value and validity of a bachelor’s degree. As a proud NYU alumnus, I treasure my education and wholeheartedly believe in the relevance of the college experience. However, over the years my black-and-white viewpoint on this subject has shifted to shades of gray.

That’s why the current educational phenomenon of “degree inflation” is so disconcerting to me. Economists and educators have coined this term to describe today’s hiring climate, where a college degree has become the basic requirement for jobs that don’t actually need an advanced education. According to Burning Glass, these positions include clerks, dental hygienist, administrative assistants, and paralegals. Corporate hiring professionals often adopt strict “degree required” criteria as a means of weeding out candidates and working with a manageable number of prospects. But very often this false criteria has no bearing on someone’s ability to engage, contribute, or excel in a role. keep reading…

Why We Should Banish Job Descriptions and Resumes

Lou Adler
Mar 6, 2013, 1:16 am ET

As most of you know, I think the continued use of traditional skills-infested job descriptions prevents companies from hiring the best talent available. By default they wind up hiring the best person who applies. That’s the same reason I’m against the indiscriminate use of assessment tests. While these tests are good confirming indicators of on-the-job performance, they’re poor predictors of it (square the correlation coefficient to get a sense of any test’s predictive value). Worse, they filter out everyone who isn’t willing to apply without first talking with someone about the worthiness of the position. keep reading…

You Don’t Know It, But Women See Gender Bias in Your Job Postings

Stephen Shearman
Mar 1, 2013, 5:31 am ET

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 9.38.36 AMAre a few gender-themed words in your job descriptions signaling women, unconsciously, to not apply?

A scientific study of 4,000 job descriptions revealed that a lack of gender-inclusive wording caused significant implications for recruiting professionals tasked to recruit women to hard-to-fill positions underrepresented by women.

This study addressed questions such as: do job descriptions that lack feminine-gender words repel female applicants? Could the lack of gender-inclusive wording in your job description influence women to opt out and not apply? Are there gender bias characteristics in your job advertisements? Could the lack of gender-inclusive words actually be perpetuating gender inequality in your organization? keep reading…

Twitter Won’t Make Your Clothes Fall Off

John Zappe
Feb 15, 2013, 3:40 am ET

NPR invited listeners to Tweet about their ‘real’ job descriptions. Dozens of listeners creatively tweeted  job descriptions that would have impressed even Lou Adler for their honesty.

For example:

Professional buzzkiller/wet blanket/risk averter (HR Director)

Now, what job do you suppose this one describes?

RT @e_vinson#honestjobdescription sending resumes into the void. keep reading…

Ban Job Descriptions and Hire Better People

Lou Adler
Feb 13, 2013, 1:37 am ET

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. keep reading…

CareerBuilder Tool Tells You How Well Your Job Ad Is Doing

John Zappe
Feb 7, 2013, 5:45 am ET

CB recruit portal 1Quick quiz: Your job postings for customer service reps on average get 28 applications each. Is that good or bad?

If you answer is along the lines of “I don’t know,” CareerBuilder has a solution for you. Any employer with a job posting can now see how well their ad performs against every other similar ad in the CareerBuilder network. Free.

That alone is pretty cool, since knowing your ads for customer service reps draw fewer applications than your competitors get is important business intelligence. But as the cliche goes, “Wait, there’s more!” Besides the raw counts, CareerBuilder’s new Recruitment Performance Portal tells you at a glance how experienced they are, how educated, as well as ethnicity, gender, and a fairly broad range of other details. keep reading…

The Structure of Your Job Ad Plays a Bigger Role Than You Think

Justin Miller
Feb 6, 2013, 6:00 pm ET

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 2.58.08 PMAs a marketing person for a somewhat large (200 recruiters nationally) staffing firm, one of my biggest difficulties has always been ensuring consistency across the board. When it comes to things like brand standards, policies, messaging, etc., it can be difficult to police all of it so that the company image looks unified on a national front.

Thanks to my terrific marketing team across the country we have been able to manage all of this relatively easily, but the one thing that seemed to always escape our grasp was quality control of our job ads.

Up until this year, we never really had a policy on ad format. It was simply up to the recruiter to write and post their ads. Our guys didn’t necessarily write poor ads, they simply lacked a level of formatting consistency across the brand.

We spent the first few weeks of January doing a complete overhaul of our ads, explaining the importance of SEO, working out an ad template, and removing any usage of superlatives in job titles.

We saw immediate results. keep reading…

Talent Diversity Isn’t Just About Demographic Data

Kelly Blokdijk
Jan 22, 2013, 6:45 am ET

On the way home from the diversity career fair, while writing job ads for the diversity publications, hiring the diversity consultants — while taking those positive steps forward you may, meanwhile, be doing things that cause you to take two steps back.

Some examples:

The Cliquishness keep reading…

This Week’s Roundup Was Outsourced to Unpaid Interns

John Zappe
Jan 18, 2013, 6:23 am ET

Many hands many laptopsBob is the kind of guy people don’t look at twice. He’s described as a family man, quiet, and inoffensive. For years he got stellar performance reviews, describing him as “the best developer in the building.”

But Bob had a secret. Years ago he had outsourced his job to China. Instead of slaving away writing software code, Bob spent his day surfing the Internet. Investigators discovered what Bob was doing only because his Chinese contractors regularly logged into the company’s network. When they dug through his work computer, they discovered “hundreds of .pdf invoices from a third party contractor/developer in (you guessed it) Shenyang, China.”

As they dug deeper, the investigators reconstructed a typical Bob day: keep reading…

8 Tough Questions to Better Appraise Your Existing Recruitment Suppliers

Fraser Hill
Jan 18, 2013, 5:46 am ET

qAs an in-house recruiter or HR professional, have you ever been in a meeting with a recruitment supplier and been very impressed with their pitch and excited about the results that are going to follow, only to be completely let down by their performance? It won’t surprise you to read that you’re not the only one.

We all know that for every good recruiter who walks the earth, there are others who don’t quite make the grade. Many sell a value proposition that isn’t being followed up with action — recruiters who purport to headhunt and cold-call top people in the market, but actually only advertise their clients’ vacancies. As a client of these external recruiters you need to be in a position to make an accurate assessment of their worth — not just by what they tell you, but what they actually prove.

Many contingency-level recruitment firms haven’t evolved their value proposition as technology has evolved over the past 10 years. As in-house recruiters have been able to catch up with doing direct sourcing through job boards and social media, external suppliers should be getting more sophisticated in their approach to maintain a value proposition worthy of the fees that are charged — mapping out competitors, gathering referrals, building expertise and relationships in their chosen niche, for example. Too many contingency firms are still charging 15% to 25% for doing nothing more than advertising a poorly written or cut and pasted job spec, and it’s just not good enough.

So here are some questions to ask your suppliers next time you invite them in for an update or suppler appraisal. keep reading…

Hires That Will Transform Your Company

Randall Birkwood
Jan 17, 2013, 5:39 am ET

Steven Tyler-PRK-032194You have staffed your team with all the right people: they graduated from top universities, worked at leading companies, stayed at each company the requisite length of time, and exuded intelligence in the interview process. Yet you see other companies with far less surface talent achieving incredible results and outstripping you. Why is this?

The most likely reason your company is failing to progress is that you still hire based on standard interview processes that have been followed for decades. You focus on qualifications only, and ignore focusing on the individual attributes that will help you find superstars, or game changers.

A game changer is a person who thinks outside the box and approaches problems differently from the rest of us. They approach problems with passion, a unique perspective, and their thinking inspires others to build on their ideas.

With game changers on your team you can move from average to an industry leadership position. Good examples are Apple and IBM, which transformed themselves from fading brands into dominant positions by adopting the ideas of leaders who were game changers. Three football teams have had great success this year bringing in game changers. The Seattle Seahawks (Russell Wilson), Washington Redskins (Robert Griffin III), and Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck) have seen vast improvements after they drafted rookie quarterbacks who have the unique attributes of game changers.

An example of a game changer in the music industry is Steven Tyler. In his entertaining autobiography he discusses how he approaches the four elements of writing a song: melody, words, chords, and rhythm.

He explains, “You know right away if a song has that magic. It has to have those extremes — the one thing it can’t be is okay. Okay is death.

He adds: “Never mind the melody, never mind the chords — no, no, no. You start with infatuation, obsession, passion, anger, zeal, craze, then take a handful of notes, sew them into a chord structure, create a melody over that, and then come up with words that fit it perfectly.”

His diverse way of thinking is completely different from standard music writers, but as a game changer, his unique perspectives have resulted in incredible successes.

If we analyze the way the majority of companies hire, we see a system that is designed to hire okay performers. We focus solely on the tangibles: the candidate’s job history, education, and interview performance. We ignore the intangibles like diversity of thought, work ethic, intelligence, and common sense.

As an example, diversity of thought means approaching challenges using varied thought processes based on personal creativity and different life experiences. If you can combine diverse thinking with a strong work ethic, intelligence, and common sense, you have a game changer. The results of game changers can often transform the way we do business.

To hire game changers, you will need to make modifications in the following areas:  keep reading…

Describing Yourself on Social Media? Here Are Some Buzzwords to Avoid

Lance Haun
Dec 4, 2012, 9:45 am ET

For a guy like me, the six most terrifying words in the English language are, “Could I get your bio, please?” I hate describing myself and what I do. My LinkedIn profile has been reworked several times trying to do just that before I got it to its current, less fluffy stage.

For professionals in the talent business, your social media profiles — and especially your LinkedIn profile — are probably one of the first encounters potential employees have when they are looking at or researching your company.

Is it full of clichés and buzzwords or does your profile deliver a clear message that won’t sound like every other inane profile out there?

LinkedIn has recently released some data on the most used buzzwords throughout their network. It’s a good template of words to avoid using when describing yourself.

According to the release, the most used words for US-based professionals are: keep reading…

The 12 Ways You Can Improve Your Corporate Careers Site

Nick Leigh-Morgan
Nov 6, 2012, 5:15 am ET

It’s amazing how many companies say that “people are at the heart of our business.” Oh really? So how come so few employers bother to really develop their careers site to try to attract absolutely the best person for the job? How many bother to develop it beyond a simple list of current vacancies?

Most companies don’t have a very good careers site. Some suggestions follow:

Avoid Visibility and Death by Clicks keep reading…

Don’t Miss the Psychic Jobs at the End of This Roundup

John Zappe and Todd Raphael
Oct 19, 2012, 6:34 am ET

We have finally found the reason why the American economy has been able to do so much with so few employees. Before we explain the roots of this high productivity we need to explain that a new survey shows that “nearly 50% of men are hiring the women they date in this economy.”

Who were the respondents to this survey? None other than 40,000 members of, which bills itself as “the world’s largest dating website where women seek (the) ‘well-to-do.’” Yes, this totally perfectly clearly scientific report shows that “46% of ‘Sugar Daddies’ have employed, gone into business, or helped start a small business with their ‘Sugar Babies.’” keep reading…

Should You Replace the Incumbent?

Lou Adler
Oct 19, 2012, 3:13 am ET

I was talking to an old client of mine the other day. He was the CEO of a fast-growing manufacturing company in the 1990s, and now he’s on the board of seven mid-sized companies in southern California. My firm placed about 10 people on his management team in the company’s heyday. While I don’t do much real executive search anymore, he asked me if I had the script we used then to convert traditional skills-based job descriptions into performance profiles — aka performance-based job descriptions.

Many of his companies now need to replace some of their senior executives and he wanted to make sure their CEOs totally understood where the incumbents were falling short, and why they need to hire a new person. He believed this type of weak vs. strong performance comparison would get the hiring executives to move more quickly.

Following is roughly how the discussion went for a CFO position. You can use the same approach to better understand how work should be defined for any type of job, and if the current office holder is performing adequately.  keep reading…

The Smoke and Mirrors of Job Descriptions, Part Deux: Get Your Job Descriptions Right

Janine Truitt
Oct 10, 2012, 5:41 am ET

In my September 12 article called “The Smoke and Mirrors of Job Descriptions”, I took a stab at a job posting I happened upon during my usual perusing of LinkedIn. The issue was simple: the job title in the posting was completely left of what the company was advertising for. This posting troubled me so much that I decided to take a stab at explaining the ramifications of being misguided, overtly vague, and/or blatantly misrepresenting job duties and KSA’s.

Since I have addressed what not to do in a job description, I thought it would be helpful to talk about how we (including me) can get our job descriptions right. Luckily for me, I had some help in my research. David Clark, senior product and operations manager at CareerBuilder, was kind enough to indulge me in my rant about companies that continually miss the mark where job descriptions are concerned.

Let’s start with some facts. keep reading…

What Recruiters Can Learn From the TV Industry

Erin Palmer
Sep 26, 2012, 5:40 am ET

image from the UCLA Film & Television Archive As the new fall television shows are starting to air, viewers across the U.S. are deciding which shows they want to check out. This sort of judgment process is nothing new to recruiters. In fact, the recruiting process is much like getting a new TV show on the air. Television is broken down into three primary areas: the pitch, the pilot shoot, and the acquisition of viewers, all of which contain valuable lessons that recruiters can learn from.

The Pitch

Writers get at most 10 minutes to convince a network executive that their ideas are worth pursuing. A good pitch is a lot like a good job description: dynamic but concise; intriguing but clear; persuasive but direct. Here’s how to pitch a position: keep reading…