Did you know that a job description and a job posting are two entirely different things?
A job description is a technical document which includes some high-level esoteric stuff, like competencies, abilities, and requirements for a very specific job.
A job posting is what you put on the Internet on sites like Glassdoor, CareerBuilder or LinkedIn, (or back in the “olden” days, in the newspaper).
So why does it matter?
Well, a job description is a compliance-driven document that informs compensation. It informs everything. You cannot have a fair and equitable work environment unless you have clear and specifically delineated job descriptions.
A job posting is basically just a billboard advertising that a position is available.
In a recent episode of Let’s Fix Work, I spoke with Don Berman, COO of HRTMS. HRTMS is evangelical about belonging, inclusion, and diversity in the workforce. You may have guessed, their perspective focuses on getting the job description right from the get-go.
So when it comes to writing job descriptions, there are a few cardinal rules to follow. In this article I will share with you the number one rule:
The first cardinal rule of writing a job description is we don’t talk about the who, but rather the what.
Describe the job that needs to be done. Then completely divorce the person currently doing the job from the job description. The way Don explains it, “The job description has the responsibility to be the empirical piece. The piece that says this is what the job should be.” And not how the job has been handled up until this point.
I was so fascinated by my conversation with Don. When it comes down to it, it’s really about getting things right and about operational and organizational excellence. So if you’re looking to tackle job descriptions, find out what they really are, and what they are not, then head over here to listen to this episode of Let’s Fix Work.