A Plea to Hiring Managers

Dear Hiring Manager, I note you have a vacancy, okay, let us run through this scenario.

  1. Get the old JD out, yep dust it off, change the date, maybe a few minor alterations, hand it over to the recruiting folks in HR. Oh great, job done

Therefore, I assume HM the job has not changed in ANY way. There is no shift in emphases or focus, the job has remained statics, okay if you say so.

  1. Job Description – oh wonderful, a four pager with 30 bullets, nothing but a list of tasks upon tasks, which is brilliant. Hey Hiring Manager, I am the specialist right, then give me a job profile, don’t tell me HOW to do my job. I simply need to know the job profile (critical elements) such as interfaces, decision-making and outcomes. I promise you, I can figure the rest out when I have my bum on the seat.
  2. A Persons Specification – what am I a widget?, okay let’s have a closer look.

‘Must be proficient in Excel’ – ohh dear ohh dear ohh dear, why don’t you say ‘must be able to perform data analyses, associated reporting and presentation’, what skills do you want me to demonstrate. Able to write a ‘sum’ function or manage and present data in a clear and concise manner.

‘Excellent interpersonal skills’ – okay, what does that mean, ability to listen to you rant at me for hours on end. Maybe politely ask the Cleaner to empty my dustbin, or, perhaps write Post-it notes, maybe be nice to the Finance Director, or could it be reply to your midnight emails from my iPhone, oh don’t tell me I have to speck that special lingo when talking to those IT guys, what are the interpersonal skills in context to this job!.

‘Must have sector experience’ hey, I’m going to be working in the Post Room, WHY do I need to come from the same industry.

So Hiring Manager, you expect the candidate to have a beaming CV, highlighting achievement and key competencies, all in two pages. Yet you give me a four pager, which does not tell me much apart from how to work as a robot. You have highlighted every minor details of the job, no attempt to be clear or concise. I suspect the JD does not capture the real flavour of the job in any case.

If you are not going to excite me then why should I return the favour?

In my experience many Hiring Managers struggle writing a good JD, after all it is simply a CV from the employer’s perspective is it not and we know how tough it is to write a good CV let alone an excellent one. Far easier to dust the old one off and make some amendments and off we go.

The dynamics of the role can change even within a few months. This could be a shift in direction, emphases, priorities, interfaces, therefore, it is vital to set aside time to reflect on the role and add these elements into a job profile. Also an opportunity to add new dimensions and layers that the role may/will demand moving forward. A badly written JD can put the candidates off the role just as much as a badly presented CV to the Hiring Manager.

Often JDs will not reflect the softer skills, which are a key to the role, I’m talking personal traits here. Ability to perform a task is probably a given, but how the task is performed is the pivotal question. If the role requires banging heads together say so, maybe an ability to kick ass, then say so, reflect the dynamics in the role profile. A good profile will bring the role to life, the candidate should feel it and relate to it. Badly written JD will not give you a good fit, a bad hire is a good probability in this case. Lou Adlar wrote a short article back in 2007 – Why You Must Eliminate Job Descriptions which is still holds true.

Dear Hiring Managers, please take time to reflect on your next vacancy, don’t think de-facto JD. The time invested will pay off and you will get a candidate who can perform a role not simply conduct a bunch of tasks.

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Will David Cameron stand with Fearless women? ActionAid, Liverpool and the Fearless campaign.

Source: Will David Cameron stand with Fearless women? ActionAid, Liverpool and the Fearless campaign.

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Violence Against Women

Written an article to highlight a global pandemic.

Was written in light of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly.

File is in PDF format. Its a personal view not an academic piece of work.

Violence Against Women – A Personal View




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Down the pub with Donald Trump

Dipping my toe into American politics has certainly warmed me up a little, things are brewing very nicely across the pond. That chap Donald Trump is marching on in the presidential race, leaving in its wake the Bush and Clinton dynasties, yep Jeb and Hilary are swept into the sidewalk. Trump – the chap is a loud mouth, elitist, sexist, outspoken not to mention crude and that’s when he is being nice.

Is he a racist too?, ohhh so all illegal immigrants from Mexico are criminals and rapists, thanks Donald for your highly researched remarks. In 1973. Trump was sued for alleged racial discrimination in renting apartments from the Trump Management Corporation, I believe it was settled out of court. Add to the list comments made about Obama’s birth origin and calling protesters in Baltimore thugs. Trump may have a point and there may be a degree of truth in what he says. But making remarks without facts is what an American would call someone – a jackass. To make outlandish comments and lies for sound bite purposes is what a British would call – a nob.

Trump kinda reminds me of our own with similar ilk (drumroll) yep you got it – Nigel Farage, okay not as loaded as Trump, but both deliver a similar waffle and yet with a populist tongue. If you could met them down the local pub, you would never know they were there, they would blend in beautifully. In any case Joe Public and John Doe resonate with what Trump/Farage have to say respectively, hence their increased popularity and being icons to many. But alas this is their 7 minutes of fame, when push comes to shove, they will end up in a cul-de-sac, splat against a solid brick wall…ouch.  Look what happened to Farage many votes but jack to show for it, hey see you down the pub Donald and Nigel.

If Trump is to become the most powerful man in the world – President Trump no less, I will eat my hat and shoes or worst still my wife’s aubergine curry…yikes.

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Hiring – Determine Attitudes and Behaviours

For petes sakes don’t ask task based questions but dig a little deeper. Find out how the candidate have behaved in real situations. Match the whole person to the wider role profile. Download the presentation below

Competency hiring

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Licensed to “I Don’t Give a Shit”

Punch Drunk Village

Bette DavisI’m turning OLD this year. But I’m taking it all quite well, really. There are benefits to aging of course. Social benefits, for example. And one in particular I find quite tantalizing.

Since I’ve always been a tad socially-reckless — over-sharing, stirring the pot, making listeners squirm — what I’m most looking forward to with turning old is my newfound license to I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit (IDGAS). Surely you are already aware there is an entire fleet of IDGAS behaviors that growing old affords, whether it’s IDGAS driving, IDGAS dressing (or undressing), IDGAS civic involvement, IDGAS bodily functions and so forth. For now let’s focus on the latter, specifically the kind that derives from one’s mouth.

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Gender Challenge

Brilliant article in HBR – To Hold Women Back, Keep Treating Them Like Men by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox.

Avivah makes a great point in that we must NOT treat everyone the same. I have been bashing this issues for years.

Sadly I still hear from individual at all levels of the organisation that ‘I treat everyone the same’…grrrr. No treat the person before you based on what you see-hear. Tailor your approach to match the need, not one size fits all.

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Leaders – Show that you screw-up too

Article in Forbes – 4 Reasons Great Leaders Admit Their Mistakes by Glenn Llopis.

Will we see more Leaders admitting to their errors, will they share their lessons learned, lets hopes so. The author has indeed got it right, to gain trust you have show you are human too.

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Hiring Tests..yikes

Ace the Assessment by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on HBR

Great article, however to be effective you need a trained and competent person to manage and assess the results. Often tests are performed which are poorly managed and results analysed by a junior HR person. Summary of the tests are then passed on to Hiring Managers, which maybe not as comprehensive as it should/could be. The system is flawed if not resourced properly and the candidate disadvantaged.

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