Just before being unemployed for four months last year, I was primarily involved in hiring the middle and top management. The Job was assigned as an additional responsibility courtesy having known and understood the business needs and culture for 5 years then.
Multiple iterations were involved in defining the job and recruitment consultants were assigned the task of shortlisting. Sample profiles being circulated amongst the members of the hiring committee. Timelines were defined. Someone had put across a JD as well.
But by the time the first few shortlists were called for the interview, the JD was long forgotten. What remained in memory was few words describing the JD i.e. may be just the job title. For e.g. CFO with manufacturing experience. Later, when I was myself a potential recruit, the experience still did not change. I applied for a job descriptions that seemed utopian, roles that only a super human or God would qualify for.
Hiring is not easy. It’s like a match-making for courtship. If it lasts, it will not for meeting the expectations but adjusting to the needs and priorities that evolve with passage of time. Learning this trait costs time and money. If successful it would still be a random event.
A research published in HBR outlines the top skills that professionals intend to possess. People management skills were rated far lower then technical skills that robots are likely to replace soon. With quants in hands of robots, the world will be simple again – we would need humans who come together for tasks that no robot may perform for centuries together.
So coming back on criticality of JD, it is important to:
A. Define a JD that is realistic
B. Not forgotten when transitioning into the hiring process
C. Spread the process over a few months atleast in case of senior recruits
D. Keep JD realistic. Re-confirm whether the requirements being listed can be defined as skills. If not, then please keep them out of the JD.