Will we ever demand pure honesty and transparency from job descriptions?

Yes, you idiot. That’s the first thing that my brain tells me.

But there’s something there that’s not quite in line with my brain and I’m trying to figure out why.

I’m doing a little bit of research in the recruiting area, mainly trying to figure out the general structure of the websites and how the job descriptions are structured. First observation: every job description feels like an infomercial, to the point where I get the same feelings I have when I accidentally switch onto one of the selling channels. Being around ads so much, the way 99% of the job descriptions are worded makes me feel like I am reading them from a distance, almost the same way I would watch a pamphlet.

And I get it, recruiters want to hype up their proposals, companies want to make their workplace seem like heaven

but

there seems to be a levelling effect of the perceived coolness. If every place is a great pick, no place is a great pick, but merely one of many. A lot of the companies hyped themselves right into anonymity.

And I wonder, with the current demands that we have from companies: to be transparent, to support a cause, to be more than four walls and a payslip, will we ever be willing to accept how a real job description would sound like?

Consider two descriptions for the same job:

Our agency is home to creative problem solvers. Those who overcome any obstacle to successfully put consumer-first ideas, products and technologies into market. People who wear their talent lightly. Willing to be part of a close community that pushes them to be better. Because our goal is to bring people and brands closer together. Closer insights, closer connections and closer collaboration breed better, more effective work. It’s this dedication to getting closer that drives us to go further. Finally, we guarantee that you will leave changed. Because we help our people achieve their goals. So come here to experience. To experiment. To make mistakes. To challenge your own limits.

versus

You will make sure the Senior Designers can deal with the high priority tasks by assisting them in doing the more time-consuming tasks.

You will deal with the Marketing department’s request for internal creative.

Once the first round of creative work is delivered to the client, you will take care of the several rounds of feedback that follow it to ensure the project gets signed off.

I know my second job description isn’t really Shakespeare, but it’s the reality of what some of the Junior work a company might require.

Therefore my questions are:

Is it beneficial to oversell your company for recruiting purposes but risk disappointing your new employee once the honeymoon period is over?

Do we want, even for a little bit, to be sold an ideal story when applying for a job? Do we actually want to know what the day to day duties are or are we happy with the conceptual description of a job?

If everyone would start posting “honest” job descriptions, after those honest descriptions become the norm, is there enough awareness among applicants to filter out the “click-bait” job descriptions?

I have my own ideas about this, but f*ck if I know an answer that would apply to everyone.

(very short answer for the questions above: A company wants the best employees, therefore hyping the company up makes sense to a certain degree. Not fair for the employee, but I think subconsciously there is an awareness of how hyped some of the jobs are. I think a lot of us are aware of being sold a story but the fancy descriptions become a very good mouse trap. If everyone would start posting honest job descriptions, just by habituation the fancy ones would stand out more, reversing the hyping to anonymity syndrome described in the first part of the post. Only when the hyped up job descriptions get the reputation of a selling channel pitch, almost becoming a meme, will it trigger our bullshit meter to such a degree that there’s no chance that we will take it serious)

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