Would there be any value in doing away with traditional job descriptions. Many in the recruiting industry contend that job descriptions are fundamentally flawed. Skill levels are described as one component of a job description. These can be somewhat arbitrary. What defines a specific skill level? It is what a person does with their skill that determines their ability. An employee who has many years of experience does not necessarily have the best job performance. Often, a person with very few years but is a “fast learner” will be a better producer. A skill level that is identified on a job description might eliminate some of the candidates with the most potential.
Performance objectives can be erroneous. Performance profiles are more objective and better predictors of success. Performance profiles will often eliminate highly qualified candidates such as returning military veterans or young mothers who return to the workforce. Additionally, performance profiles would help to identify cultural fit, team work attributes, organizational skills, consistency, and motivation. Measuring these without consideration of performance requirements for the job and work environment is counterproductive. Many extremely competent people are hired and underperform as a result.
Top job candidates are not looking for lateral moves. Using performance profiles as a benchmark helps to identify the opportunity gap between the prospective job candidate’s background and real job needs. The only differentiation, at this point, is the compensation package.
The reasons people get promoted into bigger jobs are primarily because of their leadership, potential, team skills, and a track record of delivering results. By definition, a promotion means these people don’t have the experience and skills listed on the job description. The purpose of these moves is to obtain these skills and experiences. So, if they’re not used for internal promotional moves, why should they be used for outside hiring?
Job descriptions can turn off passive candidates. Some job candidates who are looking for jobs base their decisions to evaluate a company, compare offers, and accept one over another based primarily on career, compensation, and culture. Not many base it on requirements listed in the job description, so why include it in the posting?
Successful postings include the bare minimum of requirements while emphasizing the summary of projects the person will be handling. Why not fit the job to the person, rather than fit the person to a job?
Source: “Get Rid of Job Descriptions and You Will Hire Better People.” TLNT. Web. 14 Feb. 2013.