Is your Job Description Realistic for the Job Market?

Apr 2, 2015 12:00:00 AM · by Healthcare IS Team

Our firm focuses on pharmacy informatics. It’s a tight niche with a very specific skill set. Our clients are seeking a pharmacist with extensive experience implementing and using their pharmacy IT software. They will send us a very detailed job description that lists bullet point after bullet point of skills and experience for which they’re looking. In many ways, it’s helpful to have a detailed understanding of what they want. However, oftentimes this will hinder the search internally. 

If a company is ruling out anyone who does not possess each and every skill on their job description, they’re doing themselves a disservice and likely missing out on some great candidates. It’s important to put together a list of ideal qualifications to include in your job description, but also have a list of absolute requirements. As much as you’d like to see a candidate who has every skill you’ve included on your ideal list, is that realistic? When you were hired, did you have all the skills you now have?  

Chances are, you learned a lot of what you’re now doing on the job, as did the person who was previously in this open position. So, is it realistic to think that you’ll be able to find someone who has everything you’re looking for before they’ve set foot within your organization? 

When putting together your job description, know your target market. Is it important to find a local candidate because your company does not offer a relocation package? If so, you may need some flexibility on the “required skills” section of the job description. Depending on your geographical location, the specific skills you’re looking for may not be available.

In contrast, if you’re in a very desirable location, and your company offers great relocation, compensation, etc., then you’re able to be a little more rigid with your job description’s skill requirements. Your pool of candidates will be much larger than if you have to stay within a specific geographic location. 

So first, understand what your company has to offer and your target candidate. Then put together your job description based on these realities. Understand what skills you cannot live without and those skills for which you may be able to provide some training. Again, it would be nice to find a candidate who has all of the skills for which you’re ideally looking, but can someone who meets all of the absolute requirements be equally successful in the position? 

You may also like: How to Categorize Your Interview Responses

Consulting, Career Planning, Healthcare IS Team


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