Hidden meanings. My goodness… they are a curse.
Especially if you’re like me – someone who just wants to know what’s going on, make a useful decision then move to the next thing.
Real meanings are hard enough. There are, for example, triangular warning signs beside hilly roads telling me to look out for falling boulders. I’m ashamed to admit my car didn’t come equipped with the latest Boulder Deflection Technology. I’ve definitely missed something. Or I’m about to hit it. I honestly couldn’t tell you.
But a hidden meaning is 10 times worse because you feel dim for not spotting it, annoyed it was hidden in the first place, then dim again when someone tells you how obvious it all was. Hidden meanings are awful.
Most are euphemisms. Euphemisms exist only because the truth is temporarily unsayable. If you’re trying to describe a man at party who’s morbidly obese, can you simply say so? No. He is a “larger gentleman”. Does anyone listening think you mean ‘larger’ like a heavyweight boxer? Of course not. But honour has been preserved.
Perhaps less admirable are the euphemisms in job descriptions. Senior recruiters will have seen and heard these a thousand times, and recognise them for what they are – more unsayable truths. But to candidates and newer recruiters it’s still a code.
It’s worth remembering candidates engage with job descriptions infrequently and reluctantly. Why should they be expected to spot hidden messages?
So we’ve dragged the most common offenders into the cleansing light of day. I am pleased to present to you: The ISL Recruitment ‘Riddle of the Job Description’ List Of Shame…