Meeting Requirements: Why Years of Experience Should Be Deleted

Writing over 300 job postings gave me a few years of experience in a few months due to my poorly thought out marketing plan (you can read that story here) was a blessing in disguise. I learned how to be the job post lady by writing a lot of job posts.

Not my favorite name, but it works. 

When I think back it wasn’t the actual writing that taught me much. I learned how to write job posts from hiring managers. They’re the ones who helped me see what they’re looking for and how we can tailor traditional tactics to delete bias while still explaining exactly what they’re looking for. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Hiring manager intake is the difference between an effective and ineffective job posting. I don’t care what you write or how you write it. If your writing is not even accurate to the job, it’s bad. If you don’t talk to the hiring manager and truly understand what they are looking for and the language they use to talk shop, you probably can’t write a great job posting no matter what I teach you in my online course.

Counting Years of Experience Is Wasted Time

When I think back over the thousands of intake meetings and job postings I’ve written, never has a hiring manager given me a number when I asked what they are looking for. Wait. One did, but she was reading the old job posting to me. 

Instead, when I ask about bottom-line requirements and experiences the qualified person should have, most start to describe expertise in depth. Things like, “they have to manage at least 25 people,” or “I want someone who has built a database for online shopping using SQL.” 

I won’t make an election day joke about a President with no experience here, but know that I was tempted.

I can work with this. 2 years experience? Not so much. Years of experience listed on a post will only quantify the work, but it doesn’t qualify anyone. We don’t actually know if you can do the job based on that number. It’s also illegal in some countries because it is a tool used in ageism.

So in this video, I’ll break down the questions you need to ask in a hiring manager intake to write a job posting without this broken tactic. There are also some examples and strategies you can steal to begin rewriting your job postings without picking a year out of a hat. 

2 thoughts on “Meeting Requirements: Why Years of Experience Should Be Deleted

  1. Hi, Katrina! The years of experience is an intriguing conversation. I agree that 4 years versus 5 or 6 years is likely not to be a deal breaker. However, the difference in overall business maturity will vary greatly between a recent college grad with one year of experience and a seasoned professional with 10-15 years of experience. What’s your take on that distinction? (i’m trying to keep this brief b/c there are SO many offshoots related to this.)

    1. Describe the experiences that would prepare someone for the role. You need to get tangible. Make a to-do list that’s typical of a day in the life. Someone who is qualified will recognize that list vs someone who is not. Does that help?

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