Optimizing job descriptions

Job Descriptions have been a punching bag for decades with little movement until now.

The failure to create a fresh approach to a Job Description (JD) is that critics (IMHO) don’t recognize that the JD is a foundational document with a standard that has everything to do with determining the value of a role and nothing at all to do with marketing it to a candidate.

We need some new nomenclature. We now have skilled Recruitment Marketing and Employment Branding expertise heavily embedded in almost every Fortune 500 Talent Acquisition function (or easily accessed by partnering with external consultants). Today any competitive employer has the marketing knowledge and experience to optimize the Job Description for the desired candidate audience(Maybe we should call it a CFDJ, Candidate-Focus Described Job. Or maybe you should figure out what to call it and I’ll call it that too.)

The real challenge isn’t in the naming – it’s that having the ability to write attractive copy or incorporate technology that augments the marketing components (i.e. Muse, Sparc, etc., etc. –  see Talent Tech Labs Ecosystem for CRM, Brand Creation and Job Marketing & Distribution options) isn’t sufficient for the investment needed to truly optimize the JD into a “CFDJ” based on solid marketing/candidate research, data, analysis, and insights.

Mitigating unconscious bias in job descriptions and more

Unconscious bias, gender parity, and re-awakened interests in inclusion have spawned new approaches to transforming the job description and have garnered both interest and budget dollars in recent years. In addition to dozens of ways to augment a “CFDJ” with pictures, video, and audio, we now have tools like Textio to predict and proscribe whether our written efforts are gender neutral, age neutral, etc. (At least we have these tools until they price themselves out of the market by continuing to raise their rates faster than companies can get approvals to try them.)

Earlier today, TalVista, a reinvigorated Talent Sonar with a new name, new outlook and new ownership, launched a new service aimed at mitigating unconscious bias and ensuring job descriptions are appealing to all candidates. They’re also releasing these related, critical services:

  • Blind Resume Reviews that redact triggers for unconscious bias and,
  • Structured Interviews with interview scripts to ensure relevant focus by the employer.

Time will tell if employers widely adopt a set of recruiting practices that not only curate content for candidates that is fairly attractive but assess attractive/qualified candidates in ways that are perceived by them as fair. One can only hope.

Meanwhile take a look at TalVista’s press release.

Full disclosure: CareerXroads doesn’t have a financial interest in any product or service including TalVista. We just happen to like the concept and enjoy seeing long time friends like Elaine Orler (TalentFunction) and Scot Sessions (formerly with Hirevue) trying to make a difference.