The short answer to the title question is yes. With the advent of startups, new businesses emerging, and technology ever-changing the classic job description is not appealing or compelling for the average job seeker today. Who wants to work at a company whose job description isfrom the time of typewriters? Unless you’re a hipster who’s hoping to write on an authentic typewriter at their alternative new job (hipster culture=just old things revitalized and “re-discovered”), probably not many people want to work for an outdated brand. However, simply because a company has been around for many years does not mean it is outdated; and simply because a company is a startup does not mean it doesn’t need some help remaining culturally relevant.
Job descriptions are about branding as much as they are about making sure candidates know what they are applying to. To attract the ideal candidates you need make sure they are excited about the job and, more so, about working for the company-working with the brand. Whether we want to admit it or not, every company has a brand that it is selling to potential new hires. The classic job descriptions with the generic information and uninspired writing will no longer get top talent vying for your positions. We have to be more creative and concise yet informative. I know, it sounds like a craft. Well it is. Crafting a job description to get the best ROI is definitely a craft. It should be fun, serve a specific purpose, and also ensure you are building a team with people who are genuinely interested in working with and growing in your company.
If a potential candidate feels like the company didn’t put any effort into their job description, they will not have a desire to apply. We want our job descriptions to tell a story, even if it is an old story it should have a modern-application. The brands that survive are ones that keep growing with their community and find ways to update their story while still preserving the core mission and vision. IBM has continued to be one of the most successful and innovative companies because they have a mission that is foundational and doesn’t stunt (actually encourages) progressing technologically and strategically over time. Our job descriptions should do the same thing.
Job seekers today want to work with a company with a strong foundation, but that is also open to new ideas, innovation, and progress. Similarly, companies want to hire candidates with a strong set of core skills who are flexible, adaptable, agile. Company values should be reflected in all aspects of the company, even something as standard and generic as job descriptions. Are job descriptions outdated? Some people say yes, others say no. Regardless, what we do know is we need to find a better way to convey what we need from our new hires and where we want them to help us take the company. We need to give them an understanding of the company challenges and strengths as well as how they can help solve them. We need to be honest and inspire people to want to work for our organization.
This can be done in a job description. If you can’t do it, find someone who can. The classic job description is outdated, vintage, antiquated, obsolete, but not useless. You should refresh, update, rewrite, renew, breathe life into your job old descriptions. We still believe job descriptions are necessary, useful, and the best way to introduce a potential new hire to who you are and where you are going. Welcome to the future of job description writing, isn’t it inspiring!
*First published here