Why Do Job Posts Even Matter?

When I’m asked to speak about job posts, it’s most often to groups focused on HR, recruiting. They are every day practitioners looking to upgrade their job postings, not figure out the future of work.

That’s why this conversation with Berkeley students was so special. It wasn’t just about HR – it was about how we advance work equitably with AI and automation. 

Specifically, students take this course to develop an understanding of the value and velocity of AI and disruptive technologies in shaping the nature of employment, to understand the frameworks of ‘specialized’ versus ‘generalized’ intelligence, and explore innovation with entrepreneurs and other expert guest speakers. 

I was one of those entrepreneurs. My goal? Convince those students job postings are a problem worth solving. 

Job Posts Are A Problem Worth Solving

I began my lecture with a problem that has been bothering me. If you are implementing automation, machine learning, or AI solutions for hiring, how do you determine what data is unbiased?

That’s a trick question. It’s all biased, especially those skill libraries. However, skill libraries are just libraries of the writer’s bias. How do you know the right skills to source for if skills aren’t universally defined? We don’t have a mutual definition of these words between applicants and recruiters, so how can you make a hire with it?

The best way to get data scientists to listen is to point at problems. The students were interested now.

The next problem a great job post could help solve? Equity of access. Here’s what I mean. How does a person even know what to search or where to look if they’re entering a field without a mentor or parent that worked in that area of expertise? Getting a job shouldn’t be based on having more established families.

I’m the perfect example. I didn’t think I would go to college. My family has 2 career paths: military and teachers. I didn’t know jobs like mine existed – and I’m not alone. I talk to a lot of candidates that are unfamiliar with career paths and the strategies necessary to discover jobs they might be interested in or uniquely suited for simply because no one they knew did that work.

If anyone wants to attack bias tactically, job posts are a data point where you can dial in. Current job post writing tactics have a history of bias built in. We’re literally putting people at a disadvantage while telling the same people we want a more diverse applicant pool. That’s just ridiculous.

The Future Of Work Starts With A Job Post

I’m clearly biased, but I think job postings are a great place to start if we actually want to see a future of work that doesn’t look so much like today. We can change pipelines, employer brand preference, and remove bias from the workplace in 250 words. Seems like it’s worth your time.

I got a few calls from students who are looking to dive deeper on this topic, so I think I convinced them. Did I convince you to care too?

Job Postings

Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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