Job Descriptions Don’t Have to be Boring 4 ways to Make Your Job Descriptions More Powerful

Here is part of a job description I took off the Internet. I have edited it for anonymity and to shorten it a bit, but it is typical of most that I see. And, while there is nothing “wrong” with it, I don’t believe it does as good a job as it could of exciting – even interesting – someone in the job. I am sure that the descriptions of the qualifications and responsibilities are correct, but there is no passion. Here is a job with a modern and exciting title, yet the body of this description is as dusty and dry as yesterday. Title:

E-Servicing Leader Description:


? 5+ years of experience in financial services/IT ? General technical knowledge of the Internet and related technologies ? Extensive understanding and experience using Quality Designed for Six Sigma Methodology (DFSSM) ? History of delivering results through rapid and focused implementation efforts ? Experience managing projects with Microsoft Project ? Demonstrated understanding of the operational and Technical aspects of servicing environments and call centers ? Experience in sourcing teams through partnering, outsourcing and recruiting, including contract negotiations ? Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with all levels of business leadership ? Capability of being self- directed and working well under pressure ? Bachelors Degree or equivalent experience RESPONSIBILITIES:

? Develop servicing strategies and deliverables for Worksite customers: Agents/ERS/EES via the Internet ? Identify and drive the use of new technologies for servicing our customers online ? Work with the E-Technology and E-Servicing groups to create standards ? Facilitate connections from the web environment into Worksite Call Centers . Drive team-building, commitment with the businesses DESIRED:

? Experience in Insurance and Investment operations ? Experience in the Financial Services industry ? Experience in Information Technology GENERAL:

We offer a competitive salary, outstanding benefits package and the professional advantages of an environment that supports your development and recognizes your achievements. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please do not use the Respond Online button when applying for this position. Send your resume to: xxxx I am reminded of a cartoon I saw sometime back where a person is shown sitting at their desk and the cartoon bubble says: “I process insurance claims.” The other panel shows a person dressed like Superman lifting an elderly woman into the arms of her husband. In his other hand he is holding a check and the bubble says: “I help victims of fire and burglary get their lives back on track!” What a difference this makes in attracting someone to a profession. As recruiters and their firms begin to realize that recruiting is sales, perhaps we will see more creative and interesting job descriptions. I have listed 4 tips on how to make a job description more effective. Tip #1:

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Make the description light and fun. Add a little humor. Here is a snippet from a job description for a manufacturer of snowboards: “Xxx continues to be the industry leader, focusing its efforts on product development, R&D, and most importantly – riding. Everyone is out on the Hill as much as possible. And with a free season pass to xxxx Mountain Resort and private lessons for Newbies, excuses for not riding are hard to find.” If I am a snow enthusiast, I’m getting interested now. Job descriptions don’t have to be legal documents. They are not the same as the list of ingredients on the side of the bottle. Rather they are the advertisements for what’s in the bottle. Imagine if product marketing and advertising were as dull as job descriptions. Tip #2:

Tell the person what they will be doing all day. No one is attracted to a list of duties and responsibilities. They can sound daunting and overwhelming. Put in a narrative that might describe a day-in-the-life of an employee doing this job. Point out the impact the job has on the firm’s profits or sales. If you use a web site to post the job descriptions, think about adding a video clip or a voice clip that shows someone doing the job or, at least, talks about it. Think about using a photo or a drawing. Tip #3:

Make them interactive or allow some form of response. As more and more job descriptions go online, the opportunity to allow interested job seekers to ask questions or to respond to questions you ask increases. Why not ask candidates to take a short quiz to see if they have the understanding or skills to do a particular job? Microsoft and Texas Instruments, for example, offer job “fit” tests to help candidates see if they would be happy at the company or at doing a particular job. Tip #4:

Get the advertising or public relations firm you use involved in writing job descriptions. Avoid acronyms and mysterious terminology that only insiders can understand. Test your job descriptions by asking your friends and family if they can make sense of them and if they generate any excitement or interest at all. And, keep revising them until they do! A well-written, exciting job description can make you far more successful in attracting the best.

Kevin Wheeler is a globally known speaker, author, futurist, and consultant in talent management, human capital acquisition and learning & development. He has founded a number of organizations including the Future of Talent Institute, Global Learning Resources, Inc. and the Australasian Talent Conference, Ltd. He hosts Future of Talent Retreats in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He writes frequently on LinkedIn, is a columnist for, keynotes, and speaks at conferences and events globally, and advises firms on talent strategy. He has authored two books and hundreds of articles and white papers. He has a new book on recruiting that will be out in late summer of 2016. Prior to his current work, he had a 20+year corporate career in several San Francisco area tech and financial service firms. He has also been on the faculty of San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco. He can be reached at


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