Note: I asked ChatGPT to write this post in my style. It also came up with the title. It took less than one minute. It took me more time to cut and paste this into LinkedIn. What do you think?

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In the realm of talent acquisition and management, one critical aspect that frequently gets overlooked is the art of crafting effective job descriptions. Traditional descriptions, stuffed with exhaustive lists of skills and years of experience required, often miss the mark. They fail to accurately portray what the role entails, thus attracting candidates who are good ‘on paper’ but may not be the best fit for the job. A shift in perspective is urgently needed. I suggest a solution that focuses on the critical tasks a person needs to accomplish in the role – the Key Performance Objectives (KPOs).

It’s not about how many years of experience someone has or the skills they’ve accumulated, but rather what they have done with their experience and skills that truly matters. The KPO-based job descriptions are the game-changer that companies need. They delineate what success looks like in a particular role and allow potential candidates to gauge whether their accomplishments align with what’s expected in the job. Instead of asking for five years of experience in a specific role, why not describe the significant project that a candidate should have handled and delivered successfully?

Take a software engineering role, for instance. A skills-based job description may ask for ‘5 years of experience with Python and a degree in Computer Science’. A KPO-based description, on the other hand, would say ‘Develop and optimize a Python-based machine learning algorithm to improve product recommendation accuracy by 20% within the first year’. The difference is stark – the latter immediately paints a clearer picture of what’s expected in the role.

By emphasizing KPOs, we set a clear performance expectation for potential hires. This paves the way for a more effective and accurate interviewing process. We can then ask candidates to provide specific examples of their major comparable accomplishments, effectively aligning their past successes with the projected tasks in the new role. This method, often called Performance-based Hiring, increases interviewing accuracy and helps ensure a good job fit.

It’s not about hiring candidates who merely look good ‘on paper’. It’s about identifying individuals who can and have achieved success in areas directly related to your job’s requirements. This pivot to performance-based job descriptions and interviewing not only attracts high-performing candidates but also sets them up for success within your organization.

To truly revolutionize talent acquisition, it’s time we stop treating job descriptions as laundry lists of skills and experiences. Let’s shift our focus to a more meaningful aspect – what the person needs to accomplish in the role. Start with the end game in mind. Define success. Only then can we truly begin to transform our hiring processes.