Every company correlates the recruitment of top talent to long-term success.
Yet, companies continue to churn out job descriptions like soulless widgets on an assembly line.
Even in Silicon Valley where rule-breaking serves as a badge of honor, job descriptions get zero respect.
I wrote last summer that 99 percent of companies borrow from the same HR playbook, “Vanilla Job Descriptions.” Truth be told, this was a leap of faith. At the time, I wondered if saying one out of 100 companies wrote original copy for job descriptions much less applied storytelling techniques to the copy might be on the high side.
The Jack Dorsey startup, Medium, has affirmed my faith with job descriptions that are fun, empathetic and, yes, tell a story. It starts with the treatment of the job page.
Even if you don’t read a word, the page design and photo communicate this organization deviates from the status quo.
Consider the kick-off description of a “test automation engineer,” a role akin to offensive linemen in football in the sense that they toil in obscurity, but are critical to success.
Great example of a jargon-free writing, “who loves to break things in order to keep us honest about what we’re shipping.”
How often do you see the word “trust” in a technical job description? In any job description?
They should find a better verb to replace “seek,” but that’s a quibble.
Compare the Medium approach to the typical, which in this case comes compliments of Intel:
Title: Sr. Test Automation Engineer
Location: USA-California, Santa Clara
Job Number: 704967
We are in search of Sr. Quality Engineer with 5-8 years of experience working in the mobility domain with Android or Windows platform. The candidate will be responsible for defining test strategy, test methodology as well as leading, testing and managing the test execution and results on Intel products.
He/she should be experienced in development and implementation of test automation and tools for validating various interfaces across each of the components. Responsibilities will also include analyzing HW/SW quality, identifying potential problems early in the product life cycle and ensure that the product quality issues are resolved in a timely manner.
And don’t feel like a number even though we give you a number because we’re a huge company and that’s the only way we can keep track of you in our database.
One final point that gave a fresh wrinkle to the Medium job descriptions –
Instead of the standard rhetoric on collaboration, the description for the front end engineer job shares:
What a cool technique.
Clicking on one of your future mates springs you to his/her personal Medium page.
That’s what I’m talking about.
That’s how job descriptions should be done.
Note: If you enjoyed this post, you might check out “Applying Storytelling Techniques to a Job Description” and “Contrasting the Dull Job Description with One That Reflects Storytelling Techniques.”