Job Descriptions and the “Experience-Needed” Syndrome

Time and again, job descriptions fall victim to the “experience-needed” syndrome, according to Tammy Johns of the Manpower Group.

Despite the serious shortage of some skills, the disconnect between employers and job seekers is not surprising given how many job descriptions fall victim to the “experience-needed syndrome.” This ailment manifests itself in two ways. In one, job descriptions for entry-level positions ask for experience, which shuts out many young workers. In the other, seasoned workers find the “experience-needed syndrome” becomes the “exact experience needed syndrome.”

Further, job descriptions tend to be opaque in communicating exactly what is involved with a job. As Johns suggests:

Use job titles that clearly describe the skill or profession as it is today. Young workers may not know what a bank teller actually does (because they have always used an ATM machine) or that a Proof Operator is a data entry job.

via Job Descriptions and the “Experience-Needed” Syndrome – Tammy Johns – Harvard Business Review.