One More Great Reason to Write Great Job Descriptions

Talloo: Collaboration, Boise Style.

I belong to a cutting-edge business development community called Talloo. It is based in Boise, and it combines an online marketplace with small, in-person groups. Each group has a market-specific focus, such as Commercial Real Estate Development, Technology, and Small Business Owners.

Groups typically meet weekly for one hour. Talloo members are free to participate in as many different groups as we want.

Problem-Solving, Talloo Style.

During a recent meeting of Talloo’s Executive group (fractional CXO providers), we were brainstorming on why some good jobs go unfilled while available (and well-qualified) candidates aren’t filling them.

Cammas Freeman of provided keen insight: the employment ads for those positions include more qualifications than the job truly requires. Many of those ads also say “experience in (specific area) is a plus.” Cammas, in her work with a wide range of candidates, has noticed that women are more likely than men to view everything on the ad as an absolute requirement, and choose not to apply because of that perception.

If this “over-specking” of job descriptions is having that sort of disproportionate impact on female applicants, employers aren’t just cheating themselves out of great employees. They are also setting themselves up for employment discrimination claims.

Talent Attraction – One More Reason to Write Great Job Descriptions.

I wrote Five Great Reasons to Write Great Job Descriptions in which I urge employers to write job descriptions that focus on the Essential Job Functions (EJFs) of each position.

EJFs, as the name implies, are that handful of things which, if any are missing, the job won’t get done. Not just done poorly, but not done at all.

Think of a typical 5-part mouse trap. It has a platform, a catch, a spring, a hammer, and a hold-down bar. If any of those parts is missing, one doesn’t catch 20% fewer mice. One catches zero mice.

Employers need to be sure they are only asking for what they truly need, not just think they might want, for every job. Focusing on EJFs in the job descriptions will help solve the job-talent disconnect that Cammas identified.

Contact Cammas for help identifying the talent you need and creating a marketing plan to attract it.

Michael Oswald

Please note: the above post contains educational information. It is not intended as legal advice. Engage an attorney who is licensed in your state to get advice on dealing with any specific legal issue.

© 2019 Michael S. Oswald

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