A position description that is a long list of minimum qualifications, consulting jargon, and company history is not only boring to read, it doesn’t describe the actual job. A job description is not serving its purpose if it alienates candidates.The purpose of the description is to bring you top-notch candidates. When you’re writing a position description, keep in mind that your purpose is to attract talent, not simply screen applicants.
Management consultants have multiple career options due to the high quality training that they receive. If you’re going to attract them to your practice, you want them to see you as a firm that fosters talent; a company where they can make a difference and grow.
To do this, keep your job descriptions short and to the point. Be specific about the qualities you seek in candidates and what screening criteria are most important based on context. Don’t just offer a laundry list of minimum experience level and preferred qualifications.
Example A is a list of minimum qualifications that portrays little to nothing about the actual job and qualities the candidate should possess beyond experience and educational requirements.
Example B creates a narrative that incorporates all of the bullets in example A, while offering context. While the difference is subtle, the emotional impact is not. If given the opportunity to apply to only one of the two positions, which would you choose? By the way, Example B comes directly from one of our searches for a boutique consulting firm.
– Minimum of four years of management consulting experience. – Minimum six years of cable industry experience is required. – Track record of success delivering IT strategy projects. – Problem solving and communication skills are necessary for the role. – Client management, project management and the ability to lead management consulting and client staff are essential. – Undergraduate degree required. MBA desired. – Must be available for extensive travel .
The role requires expertise in the cable industry and a demonstrated track record of success with a recognized brand or high-quality specialty management consulting firm. In rare circumstances, direct hires form the cable industry may be considered at the consultant level only.
Candidates must have a passion for technology with the ability to incorporate this passion into a larger business framework. You must possess the creativity to solve new problems and help create big opportunities based on rapid change within the cable and communications sector.
The new hire must have experience in the areas listed above: project delivery in one or more relevant disciplines, client management, service/ methodology development and people development.
Undergraduate and/or advanced degree in engineering or computer science. Post-graduate or MBA degree preferred.
Openness to travel, and the ability to work remotely is required.
After you are certain your job descriptions provide specific qualities and clearly define success, the next thing to consider is whether you are unnecessarily hiding perceived flaws. Do you have workload and travel time hidden in fine print at the bottom? Move it up. The key word here is perceived. What some candidates consider a negative aspect of the job, top candidates may not see as a flaw. Many star performers enjoy travel and a challenging workload.
Remember: a clear, concise job posting that outlines what success looks like will bring you applications from the most desired candidates. These candidates take the time to differentiate themselves from the competition. To get their interest you should do the same.
Follow up post: Check this out for a great example of a horrible job posting.
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