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Five culprits of confusion

Five culprits of confusion for minimum ‘must have requirements’ on a job

The first step to qualifying candidates for a job is to check that they meet minimum requirements. These are the basic knowledge, skills, abilities, and other attributes a person needs in order to be considered as a candidate for a job. When used correctly, checking for minimum requirements increase the rate of effective hires, drive diversity and inclusion, mitigate the risk of unfair practice and discrimination claims, and save a ton of time.

Requirements are the guidelines for job seekers to self-identify whether they could be considered a candidate for a role before they apply and for employers to quickly evaluate if the candidate is worth their time and resources.

But, to be effective, requirements must be clear and understood by both candidates and employers.

So many requirements are vague, confusing or only understandable to a part of the candidate pool. Poorly designed minimum requirements can alienate potentially great candidates while drawing in irrelevant candidates costing time, money, and missed opportunities.

So, are your minimum job requirements driving efficiency or reducing it?

Here are five common culprits of ambiguity and confusion lurking in requirements

  1. Jargon or terminology that is specific to your industry or organization. Jargon will alienate talent from other industries and backgrounds as they may not understand it or feel intimidated by the unfamiliar language.

  2. Personality/attitude such as “loves to write” or “motivated by competition”. Since personality/attitude changes depending on the situation, (we can love writing certain content or just not be in the mood some days) it’s difficult to self-identify or verify if someone meets the qualification.

  3. Subjective language such as “strong communicator” or “is great with people”. Since these are subjective, (one person’s “strong” is another’s “okay”) it’s difficult to self-identify or verify if someone meets the qualification.

  4. Vague language such as “thrives in constantly changing environment”. Without clarification to ‘thrive’ or the frequency of ‘constantly’ or what exactly is ‘changing’ in the ‘environment’, the qualification cannot serve its purpose of identifying qualified candidates.

  5. Contradictions like a job description for an entry-level role combined with a qualification for “3+ years of experience” or with a list of hard skills that no entry-level person would have accumulated.

The clarity test

To verify your requirements are clear and easily understood, ask someone (preferably someone outside your organization that is familiar with the type of role) to review the qualifications and describe them back to you.

If they’re wrong or not sure how to do it, your qualifications are probably not clear.

Bringing it all together

Clear requirements (that are also measurable, realistic, defendable, and truly MUST HAVE) will save both you and job seekers time and energy by enabling fast evaluation of candidacy for a position. Even better are processes where candidates can self-identify if they meet minimum requirements anonymously, so no extraneous information can cause bias or add time.

Anonymous self-identification of minimum requirements is what we enable at Candidates self-identify against the employer’s pre-defined minimum requirements through a simple, easy to use interface. No key word searches, no guessing what to put in a resume, no extraneous information that can lead to biases and wasted time. Candidates know right away if they meet the minimum requirements for the job and employers only spend time with candidates that do.#NoBias

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