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Job descriptions stink! This will make them cool

By Jim Stroud, director of sourcing and social strategy, Bernard Hodes Group

Recently, I have been hearing a lot of resentment about job descriptions. I’ve heard discontent in a recent client training session. I’ve heard it in the last couple of recruiting presentations I’ve attended. And the disdain from jobseekers is pretty standard fare. Can you remember the last time you did a search on Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder, whatever, and were pleasantly surprised to read a job description that captured your imagination? I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen, just that it is extremely rare. Such being the case, I made a personal challenge to myself to decode the job description code. I wanted to figure out the best possible way to create job descriptions that convey all of what HR wants to say, but still manages to capture the attention of the jobseeker.

I must admit that after meditating on this problem, my head started to hurt. However, I soldiered on and came up with a few alternatives that I hope will become a trend. One can hope…

Option one: Succinct and sexy

Have you heard of JobGram? I really like the concept of what they do. Instead of writing a job description for you, they make it into an infographic. How cool is that? At a glance, the jobseeker gets the idea of what HR wants to convey. Plus, since it’s essentially a pretty picture, it works for passive candidates who have a much shorter attention span than active candidates.

Here is an example of a Job Gram!

I found out quite recently that JobGram is going beyond infographics and making video adverts, as well. VERY, very cool. Here is an example of that.

I hope to interview the good people behind this company and share further insights in the near future.



Option two: Gamify it!


Every year, there are blog posts and/or articles about the trends for the coming year and the hottest topics of the previous year. Why not use this data to create job descriptions that are timely, relevant and could quite possibly become viral? Hmm… Just in case I lost you there, let me show you what I mean. I will pretend for a moment that I am on the hunt for some Java developers.

Check out this Google search: Java “most popular posts” 2012
Surveying the results, here is an excerpt from one of the most popular 2012 blog posts regarding “Java.”

JSF 2, PrimeFaces 3, Spring 3 & Hibernate 4 Integration Project

… the most popular Java Code Geeks post for 2012 is this tutorial combining a number of enterprise Java technologies such as JSF, PrimeFaces, Spring and Hibernate. Honestly, this was a bit of surprise to me, but I think this shows how big is the adoption of these technologies by the Java developers’ world.

Intellij vs. Eclipse

Another battle, this time the battle of IDEs! All developers have their favorite IDE and this article explores the differences between two of the most popular in the Java world, namely Intellij and Eclipse. On the same note, check out What’s Cool In IntelliJIDEA Part I  and Eclipse Shortcuts for Increased Productivity

Why I will use Java EE instead of Spring in new Enterprise Java Projects in 2012
Another article that generated a lot of heated arguments. The eternal fight between Java EE  and Spring framework. The author lists the advantages of both approaches and explains why he opted for Java EE.

I notice that several of these posts were debating the virtues of one Java-related tech verses another. Why not create a landing page where Java developers can debate the issues of one technology over the other, with the most intriguing comments winning a prize of some sort? The contest could be judged by your CTO and to join in the fray, one must login to the landing page with a LinkedIn account. (Of course, you get where I am going with this?) Recruiters can review the comments made on the page, as well as the LinkedIn profile of whoever said it. Recruiters could then have an excuse for following up with the person(s) involved in the discussion; even if they did not win the prize. Make sense?

If you like the idea of this, I have another search you might want to try.
allintitle: java trends 2013


Option three: Create your own monster (job description)!

This is my favorite choice of all three. Banish job descriptions entirely! Instead, promote what the company does, its culture and the positives of working at the location. Mention technologies being used and areas where you might need some help. On a “Careers” page, let people pitch to you their “dream job” and give supporting evidence as to why they are qualified to do said occupation at your company.

Supportive documentation could include a resume, white papers they have written, PowerPoint presentations and so on. Get it? This would make closing candidates sooo much easier. After all, with this method, you would be contacting them based on what they said they wanted to do. All things being wonderful, their desires would be in line with what you are looking to hire. How sweet would that be?

Okay, this concludes my rant on the issue.

This article originally appeared on The Recruiter’s Lounge blog and is used here with permission.


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