I’ve viewed thousands of job postings, followed thousands of clients through the interview process and listened to what hiring managers tell recruiters they really want in a candidate. Unfortunately, many of the job postings I see are far from transparent and use vague euphemisms to describe what the hiring manager wants or what the work environment is like. Here’s my interpretation of the message behind the “qualifications” I often see listed on job postings.
- Motivated – morale here stinks and we are hoping you can fix that.
- Ability to delegate – this job is way too much for one person to handle.
- Energetic – we want to hire someone born after 1978.
- Team player – everyone hated the last guy in this job.
- Flexible – It’s ok for us to call, message or text you at any time.
- Eager – You will be excited to work for a salary that is not competitive.
- High level of integrity – no one trusted the guy you would be replacing.
- Ability to multi-task – we are really disorganized here.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment – we are generally reactive, not proactive.
- MBA preferred – we might interview you, but we will drop you like a hot potato if we find another candidate with an MBA.
- Bachelor degree required – we realize having a Bachelor degree has no logical correlation with your ability to do the job, but by screening non-degree applicants out from the get-go it makes our jobs easier.
- Bilingual English-Spanish candidate preferred – no actually, bi-lingual skills are a deal breaker.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office – we don’t have a budget for an administrative assistant.
Certainly not all job postings are bad and some companies do a great job of explaining who their perfect candidate is and what it’s really like to work there. But far too many create cryptic messaging and then complain of a “talent shortage” when the “wrong” candidate applies. Tell it like it is, say what you mean and keep it real. You might just end up with your perfect hire after all.