Where is MY tall, dark, and handsome????

The executive team meets – an agreement is reached. The job description is written, then passed on and edited, and revised, and reviewed, and edited to include the typical “works well with others” sections – and TADA. You have your typical job description.

I often liken job descriptions to personal ads just as I have likened recruiting to matchmaking. My consultants usually chuckle when I give them the following analogy:

“Job descriptions are like personal adds. If you’re looking for a wife or husband or soul mate, you put EVERYTHING down that would make someone perfect for you. For the ladies – tall, dark, handsome, successful, a great cook, loves kids, athletic, protective, great sense of humor, loves the theater and opera. However, when push comes to shove, we’ll relinquish a few once we meet our next-to-perfect. Maybe he’s shorter than we had hoped or not a world renowned chef and maybe.. just maybe.. he’s balding. It’s the same with companies and job descriptions – they will often relinquish a few must haves to get their next-to-perfect. Because lets face it – it’s very few and far between that Goldilocks strikes our lives and gives us that – just right.”

They giggle, and think back to a personal ad they’ve read or potentially written. And the lightbulb goes off – maybe I have a shot.

Putting this down makes me wonder – how often are we discounting candidates because they’re not “just right” instead helping them understand they could be “next-to-perfect?” Are we working with our candidates to help them sell themselves or simply doing those key word searches hoping with our fingers crossed to find our elusive Goldilocks?

Views: 48

Comment by Joshua Letourneau on September 5, 2008 at 3:21pm
Hey, what's wrong with baldness! :P

Awesome post. One of my challenges as an external party is subtly convincing a Hiring Manager that they have a leadership responsibility to their organization to develop "near perfect" talent.

If the candidate has 97 of the 100 ideal traits & experience, then I have no love for a HM that will turn a blind eye. Now, if it's 80/100, I understand . . . but to turn down a 97/100 because of laziness . . .

That's when I'll replace a Hiring Manager for a half fee. It's funny, but I've done it with long-term clients. Chances are that if I know they're a weak leader, then Upper Mgmt knows as well . . . and all it takes is that call for me to replace them.
Comment by Amitai Givertz on September 7, 2008 at 9:27pm
Super post, Kelly. I'm featuring it this week in my round-up.


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