A Job Description is not a Job Posting

Human Resources Bribe

In as much as I frequently listen to concerns about “not being able to find good people” and in as much as I largely support trades-based education, the industry is learning to look inward critically and ask ourselves: do we clearly communicate a career path that includes specific performance benchmarks that move an employee forward?  Do we have defined company cultures that are inclusive, cause-based, and well-communicated?  Pertaining to the recruiting process: Are we failing to attract the right candidates because we don’t understand the difference between a job description and a job posting?

Job descriptions and job postings may sound similar but they perform distinctly different functions.  Here’s an example of a job description:

job description

Common stuff.  The problem is that things like Duties & Responsibilities in and of themselves aren’t really selling the job–making it attractive or encouraging the right people with the right attitudes to apply for the job.  Job descriptions:

  • Are internal
  • Outline the duties and the responsibilities required to complete the job
  • Clarify management accountability
  • The salary or compensation plan

In contrast, job postings are designed to sell the position to the right candidates while simultaneously weeding out poor fit candidates.  Here’s a sample job posting:

job posting

It’s catchy, narrative, fun.  The job posting includes a cultural snap-shot as well as a broad overview of the role and the type of person who will win in this role.  By way of comparison a job posting:

  • Is external, a candidate facing document
  • Is designed to engage the reader
  • Is designed to capture the interest of the right candidate through specific content inclusions
  • Offers a glimpse in to the company culture
  • Written in a way that it stands out from other “help wanted” postings

The distinction between job descriptions and job postings are subtly obvious and important to the outcome.  Finding people is one thing.  Finding the right people is altogether another.  And when labor is hard to come by and the cost of training is high (and the cost of replacing an employee is even higher), something as seemingly simple as a well written job posting may help find the best talent and screen out the wrong candidates.

Have a good one!

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