• Jaspal Kahlon

Job Descriptions- A Critique

“XYZ is hiring for profiles with rich experience in Warehousing operations for Kolkata and Mumbai location. Years of experience required is within 2-4 years with a special focus on people management skills. All interested candidates are requested to share their applications on xxxxx”

I believe for any experience to be “rich” you need more than 4 years. Also the range of experience is too wide- 2-4 years. Isn’t it too broad to be relevant? I have also come across roles with experience range 7-14 years as well. “Special focus on people management and that too pertaining to warehouse operations” is an element of surprise. Instead it should have been “inventory management”. This showcases a hurried approach or lack of clarity on part of the recruiter.

Job title also seems to have lost their relevance and importance. I came across a job post with job title “CFO” and requiring an experience of 0-3 years. These are not exceptions though, such anomalies can be as high as 1 in every 5-7 JDs.

Job descriptions (JDs) of startups are intellectually satisfying to read. For an “Area Manager Sales” role they would outline the job description of more than 500 words and expect skill sets like “process driven” but ready to work in a “high-paced” environment and yet deliver results. Further, “Strategy” is the most misused word often used out of context, most of the times, and no JD seems to be complete without it.

The JDs for technical requirements are usually specific and short. For e.g. Php developer with 2-3 years experienced needed urgently. This points to the fact that these skill sets are in high demand and hence have shorter JDs unlike the managerial ones where there is abundance of “generalist” talent in the market.

I have also been involved in hiring for positions as a function head. When it comes to JD, the recruiter is left to define it herself without a detailed insight. For e.g. I had once requested a CA with 10 years of experience based out of Chandigarh and the person should have worked for consumer goods business. My presumption of defining the industry was to outline the nature of complexity. Now, the recruiter has to market it and hence ends up adding details that are either irrelevant or pretty implicit.

JDs are important to be defined but then can be time consuming as well. The quality of JD seems to be determined by the importance of a role, seniority level, industry type, technical/non-technical, and frequency of hiring.

Disclaimer: The above critique is for JDs posted on Indian job sites and not to be taken as a personal criticism of an individual or a job role.


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