This morning I had an interesting conversation with Steve Levy, @levyrecruits, about hiring athletes vs. position players and it got me thinking; why would an athlete be applicable to even be part of the conversation? The answer: the job description. Let’s be honest, most job descriptions suck. As a job seeker you may not realize this, but they do. Much like crappy resumes, most job descriptions include a summary, some bullet points, and some certifications that would be nice to have. And just like the crappy resume, most people don’t see any problem with this.
The standard outline looks like this:
Reporting Relationship: SVP of Whatever
Summary: Blah Blah Blah
Have you ever seen a job description that looks like that? The answer, unfortunately, is we all have all to many times. While this seems like a good enough, standard enough format, this description is missing tons of important information, like:
What is the purpose of this position?
What are the goals/objectives for this position to be successful?
How are these goals measured?
What competencies do you need to meet these goals?
What will it take to be successful in this position?
If you don’t have this information before you accept a position, you are setting yourself for the possibility of failure. If the company hiring you doesn’t know the answers to these questions, they are setting themselves AND you up to fail. If your goals and objectives aren’t tied to the company’s goals in a measureable way, how in the world are you going to be graded? How in the world will you know your true impact? And how in the world will you know your true value?
Now, how does this tie back to unqualified people applying to jobs and what in the world do athlete’s vs. position players have to do with this rant? Simple.
If an accountability for an open position is to is ensure sales growth, then tons of people might think, ”I can do that!”
What if instead, it looked something like this:
Goal: Year over year revenue growth of 20%, EBIDTA growth from 20M to 30M, and closing 15% of pitches.
Top Competencies to Achieve Goal: Communication, Negotiation, Cold Calling Fortune 500 Companies, Networking, etc.
Do you see the difference? I might be able to ensure sales growth, but I sure as hell can’t commit to goals that large. No way do I have the experience required when it is spelled out like that. Many athletes can ensure sales growth, but business development position players can speak to their past goals as they relate to the goals of this job description.
It’s not the candidates’ fault they apply to positions they aren’t qualified for, it’s ours. If we want to eliminate the multitude of candidates who apply to positions they are not qualified for we need to be sure we write descriptions that show them clearly how they will be measured, the competencies required to meet those measures. Once we do that, watch them self-select OUT of ever applying.