01 May, 2008

35 essentials and desirables in one job description

OK, we're on to my experiences now. So this one is a good starting point as I've already alluded to the fact that I had to write War and Peace for one job application. In fact there were two jobs at this organisation, luckily for me they were word for word identical (despite the fact that the jobs weren't). This is clinically insane and is no way to run a business. Can you imagine having to read ten or twenty, twenty page resumes in order to work out which five people you'll interview?
Plus, how many people will decide they aren't going to waste their time. Perhaps they'll focus on the other jobs advertised that week.

So, why do they think that this is a good idea? I guess you’d need to talk to their HR department, I could see their hands all over this job description in the (multiple) OH&S style questions but there was more stupidity than that.
There were questions which were repeats, so while in skills you might have “ability to read” then under the heading experience you get “experience with the written word” and a little later on in Job Specific Skills you get “ability to read stories to kiddies”
I think I’m making the point here, that I found this a stupid way of finding out about job applicants. I had to repeat myself in several places, trying to reword things so it wasn’t word for word what I’d written in an identical (but slightly differently worded) question.

As a job seeker I’d say that this is clinically insane and points out to me that this is the sort of organisation which is horribly rule bound and whose bureaucracy has gone mad. Now, I was a new boy in town just moved from interstate. As such I was applying for everything and as I had already resigned from my old job I had lots of time to apply for jobs. However, this sort of application process might well put off people who are just looking for a change or a move up the career ladder. And in some cases these people may be the best applicants, not in this case because I was the best applicant in this case obviously (although in this case they didn’t realise it).

How many essential and desirable points do I think should be in a job description? Ten would be too many, but if you have to put in a couple of standard OH&S questions then that's only 8 left for job specific ones. But make sure they are specific to the job and that there is no overlap between the questions, that's just a waste of everyone's time.

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