What if you didn’t post a job description?

One of the difficulties companies face when hiring is determining whether the applicant really is who they say they are. Not in a fake/stolen identity kind of way, but in a way that applicants tend to stretch the truth about their experience to better fit the job posting§.

What if you could get around this by making it impossible for people to embellish their resume to match your specific needs? What if, instead of describing a specific role you’re looking for, you leave those details out until later in the process (say the second or third interview round)?

I’m not saying you don’t go after a specific type of role. When the resumes come in, sort out applicants that don’t have the right skill set. I’m saying that if you leave out those details in the job post, liars won’t have the chance to play the game.

The other benefit? You get to know what job people really want. When they’re not trying to mold themselves to your expectations, they mold themselves to where they want to be. You can even ask, “What’s your dream role?” They have no idea what your dream applicant is, so they’re best bet is to be honest and passionate.

Isn’t that the fit you want? Someone who honestly wants the job, because that’s their dream job?

Maybe it’s crazy. Maybe you won’t get any applicants because they’re afraid to waste their time if you might not even be looking for their type. Or maybe you’d get more applicants, all passionate about their craft; people who would have held back due to fear of not fitting in a specific box. People who apply because you have the right company culture, not the right job opening.

And maybe you’ll discover that the job description isn’t what really matters anyway. You could find that it's more important to discover people who love what they do; who would improve a team even though their experience doesn’t fit nicely into your tired bullet list of “job requirements”.

§ This has happened to me. A recruiter sent me in for a job interview even though I knew my skill set wasn’t what they were looking for. I should have said ‘no thanks’ but I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot. It didn’t hurt (me at least), but it was apparent during the interview that I wasn’t qualified for the job. I'm quite thankful I didn't get a follow up interview, as I would have been completely ineffective in that role.

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