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Long gone are the days when you could find a job in the classifieds or drop a resume off in the office to get your foot in the door. While few of us miss these things, the alternative hasn’t proven much better.

While how and where we look for jobs have changed significantly, the job descriptions themselves haven’t. Look at any ad on a job board, and you’ll see that it doesn’t describe a job — it just lists the skills and requirements needed to do the job.

Generalizing broadly, employee tenures have never been shorter. Often, we pin frequent job hopping on millennials and Gen. Z-ers, but I don’t believe it is their fault at all. Rather, it is the lack of information they — and every other job seeker of any generation — run into when searching for work. Because job ads fail to describe the jobs they advertise, many candidates end up taking roles they really should not have, only to leave quickly.

If there are 1.24 million accountants in America alone, the skills each has won’t vary as much as their life and career experiences. One might work at Starbucks, another at Deloitte, another for the city, and a fourth for a boutique accounting firm. They’re all doing similar jobs and utilizing similar skills, but the lives they lead as a result of their jobs are vastly different. Job descriptions should reflect this variance of experiences, rather than sticking to one-size-fits-all bulleted lists of duties.

What should job descriptions include to make them more informative and engaging for today’s job seekers?

1. Overtime Expectations

This information should be clear to job seekers at the outset. Whether the typical workday is 9-5 or 7-7, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. There is only what is true and what is not.

2. Team Composition

Job seekers want to know about the teams they will join if hired. How many members are there? Would an introvert or extravert really excel in the role? Will the work be largely independent or collaborative? The answers to these questions are key to a candidate’s understanding of whether or not a role is right for them.

3. Office Environment

Should candidates expect an open plan? Cubicles? One long table? Is there a little pup that runs around in the office? Might be nice to know if the person applying has allergies!

In short: job seekers want to know what the office looks like and how people actually work together.

4. Performance Management and Feedback

What is the review process like? Is it annual? How often is feedback given? How does the supervisor communicate with employees? Candidates want to know what to expect from their relationships with managers and leaders before accepting an offer.

5. Personal and Professional Development

Lifelong learning is critical to success in today’s business environment, so candidates want to know what companies will offer in terms of growth plans and reskilling programs.

6. Remote Work and Flexibility

What are the options for working flexible hours or from a remote location? Do existing employees have their own side projects, or is work all-consuming?

7. Corporate Social Responsibility

Our jobs are part of who we are. For that reason, people want to work for companies with values that reflect their own. What nonprofits does your organization support? Do employees volunteer regularly? What impact does your company have on the community?

Today’s job seekers want more than just a job. They want work that means something to them. How they will spend their days, who they will spend them with, and how they will do their jobs are all more important factors in their employment decisions than a job’s title or required qualifications.

As we confront the future of work, we must realize that it isn’t something we will just fall into — it is something we can and will create. If we keep telling the same stories to attract the same people based solely on skills and requirements, then we will keep attracting bad-fit candidates.

Eric Termuende is the cofounder of NoW Innovations, a bestselling author, and an international speaker.



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