“Why Job Descriptions Are Obsolete”

01.17.17 | Looking to Hire

Every person is unique in the sense that we all bring a different skill set, experience, and talent to the table. Therefore, job descriptions aren’t a one-size-fits-all option. They can be limiting because quality employees contribute beyond what is listed in the depiction. Here are some reasons why job descriptions are often obsolete:

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1) They Are Written For An “Average” Employee

The workforce has changed so much in the last decade, that there is no “average” man with one defined skill set. The new employee has a unique dynamic breadth of skills outside of the minimum education and experience requirements. Especially since people go through a few career changes nowadays, highly qualified candidates may come with a diverse background that may benefit your business in ways you haven’t even realized yet. Strict criteria within a job description may automatically weed out those exceptional candidates, and you will be the one ultimately missing out.

2) Changing Workforce

We are at a time when more employees areentering retirement than entering the workforce, and the younger group of workers has entirely different needs, skill sets, and expectations. That, along with the workforce becoming more diverse due to higher immigration and gender role shifts, this new era of employees is quick to leave their jobs if their expectations aren’t met, and employees’ loyalty tends to be to their actual position, not the company.

This new attitude then creates an increase in employee turnover, which means constant updates of job descriptions. When an employee quits unexpectedly, and a replacement is needed ASAP, then the hiring manager might use the previous job description instead of taking the time to think about how the job has changed with times and technologies, which is not conducive to the shifting workforce.

3) Changing Job Roles

When people leave their current position to move into a different role or department within the same organization, it cancreate a skill gap that needs to be filled. Hiring managers may then seek these skills in other employees and forget about adding them to the job description, which hurts future hiring.

4) The Face of the Employee is Changing

As time and the < g class="gr_ gr_58 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling" id="58" data-gr-id="58">economy< /g> progress, different generations are contributing new talents. Millennials are the dominant generation in the workforce. Graduating from college and entering the workforce in droves, Millennials are tech-savvy, highly involved in social media, and acutely aware of their self-confidence and seeking approval.

However, due to diminishing pension plans, people who are approaching retirement end up working a bit longer or picking up part-time jobs after they get into their golden years. These older employees bring decades of experience and knowledge, plus tend to show up on time and have a good work ethic.

There are also more immigrants entering the workforce who are picking up minimum wage jobs that can be hard to fill. They can also bring different cultures, languages, and new ideas for how a job could be done more efficiently.

Producing job descriptions might be required in your company, but another approach to hiring employees is to use a concept called the “context principle.” In this, the hiring manager gauges a candidate’s performance by the interactions of that specific individual in a particular situation. This principle asserts that the person’s ability or potential is meaningless without seeing how the person physically interacts with their potential work environment.

Instead of focusing heavily on the job description and the type of person you see working at your organization,rely on the performance and context of the job and try to find those potential employees that have excelled in similar settings.