Recruitment research?

I really enjoyed Dan Hon’s masterful picking apart of the MIT Media Lab job ad/description for their new Director. It constructively demonstrated that with thought and care the job ad could be crafted to be a force for good, be more inclusive, re-set their mission and change the narrative – all while improving their chances of hiring someone great.

It was a timely read as well as yesterday I found myself frustrated by this recruitment ‘microsite’ where even armed with the knowledge of how I had gotten there I could initially find no reference to the job or anything that would make me want to dig deeper. It was however produced by an expert executive search agency – one I see used time and time again – so maybe I am just the outlier and my expectations are unreasonable.

Week after week I come across horribly written job descriptions that are a struggle to decipher and lack some of the basic data you would expect. The fact is the average isn’t great so the fact so many stand out demonstrates something of an effort.

I’ve been thinking a little about running a bit of a Discovery comparing what job seekers (probably for digitial roles,probably in and around public service but maybe wider) find most useful in making their decision to apply for a job. What is their thought process? How do they find roles?

Alongside it though – and this may be a bit harder – is I’d like to essentially ask HR/recruiters what information they think is most useful. Where do they think is the best place to publicise roles?

Then compare, contrast and publish the findings somewhere. Even it proves I’m well and truly wrong.

Truth be told I’m not much of a user researcher – I find it too hard to remove myself and my opinions from the interviews/observations – but maybe I’ll invest a little of my hard-earned in this and get some help for the planning at least.

It isn’t stealth research for some secret start-up plan nor anything of particular interest to my employers I am just properly fascinated in the gap between my expectations and the reality and the missed opportunity when you read something like Dan’s piece as to what is possible.

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