Job spec-writing is just as broken as every other part of the recruiting-and-selection process. Job specs represent some of the worst writing to be found in contemporary American life, worse than the text messages my teenagers fling about and my seven-year-old’s hand-lettered tattoos.
It’s shocking how badly we describe what we need when we sit down to write a job spec.
Instead of talking about what’s really going on in our companies and our departments, we start listing skills and requirements, and we don’t stop. “Let’s say that the ideal candidate should speak Greek, tap-dance and have a taxi driver’s license,” says some manager with too much time on his hands, and we do. We think we can ask for the world, and the universe will magically supply candidates to fulfill our wishes.
So how can jobseekers get beyond job ad specifications?