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The SuperHero job description syndrome

More and more job descriptions are looking for the “perfect candidate”, with “excellent skills” and a “meticulously high attention to detail”… Seriously?


What strikes me each time I receive job listing notifications on Linkedin, is an absence of what a job actually involves or which are the key values and innate talents a candidate should have in order to be able to truly flourish in an increasingly competitive working environment.

More and more job descriptions are looking for the “perfect candidate”, with “excellent skills”, being “extremely tech-savvy”, with a “proven and successful track record” and a “meticulously high attention to detail”… Seriously?

This is not how jobs really work, I think.

From my small recruitment experience, I’ve seen people with less experience, and not a proven track record, bringing in a can-do attitude, with high integrity and intrinsic motivation, who succeeded and progressed — yet, how do hiring managers identify those attributes?

Many job descriptions, especially those for more senior roles, are historical — they are based on the skills and attributes of the previous jobholder and don’t take into account how dynamic today’s world is and how fast things change. Current office procedures and communication tools are being outdated in 6 months time yet employers are looking for a proven track record with abilities taken off a 2015 best-practice book.

There is definitely a fit-in element required in each job, and you have to have a core skill set and experience in order to be able to kick off and deliver, however the starting point for nowadays recruitment process should be:

  • highlight the required key strengths and theme of talents that potential candidates should have
  • look out for candidates who believe they can deliver good work through the proper exercise of their signature strengths
  • look for candidates eager to learn, with high integrity, driven and motivated
  • provide training and all the rest

Especially in all-dynamic industries like marketing and communications, it’s not about the past and proven track record. It’s about moving forward, adaptability and what the candidate can bring on the table through their core strengths and life values.

Originally published at medium.com

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