So We Might Have Killed The Job Description

The hidden costs in recruitment is just how long everything takes. This is true even at the beginning of the process where the drafting of job descriptions seems hard work that we don’t often get right. The task is to create artefacts which transport job information from the owner of the vacancy (CTO, Hiring Manager) to the person who will be operationally recruiting for it (Internal Recruiter) and in turn to the prospective candidates who wish to be given insight so that they can evaluate the role.

Its a process that might look a little like this

  1. CTO / Hiring manager to Internal recruiter: ‘I want to hire Engineers!’

  2. Internal Recruiter to CTO / Hiring manager: ‘Great! Do you have a spec?'

  3. CTO / Hiring manager to Internal Recruiter: ‘No’, but I’ll go and write one later today’

  4. ……

  5. After several days, the CTO / Hiring manager gives up on writing the job description, copies something he found on the internet, replaces all and inserts appropriate branding / jargon before sending it to the Internal recruiter

  6. Internal recruiter does not understand the requirement and requests a meeting to discuss

  7. ……

  8. After several days, meeting between CTO / Hiring Manager and Internal Recruiter is finally arranged. Recruiter is given insight on role and is ready to go to market.

It's no exaggeration that this process could take days or even weeks to complete. Its dependent on busy people doing difficult things. Work is hard to describe. Job descriptions are hard to create. And we don’t always know what they are for. Are they sales documents designed to persuade, or functional documents, designed to guide?

Little wonder then that job descriptions are usually late and are often of poor quality

The Workshape Solution

What if we could convey meaning without using words? At, its our central contention that we can. A ‘Workshape’ is a visual description of work based on time distributed over tasks. Instead of writing a textual document, create a Workshape. You can do it within a few minutes. And more importantly, it unambiguously describes the job in a way that doesn’t require reading, interpretation or additional
interrogation by stakeholders to be understood.

Example shapes

So what does the job creation process now look like when using

1. Add Hiring Team Members

Team management view

Invite the hiring managers who own the job into the Hiring Team.

2. Draft Mode

Draft creation view

Create a job new opening and leave it in ‘draft’.

3. Delegate Draft

Delegate view

Delegate the job to the hiring manager who knows most about it.

4. Hiring Manager reviews / edits / returns draft

Edit view

Hiring manager receives the draft Workshape, reviews, makes amendments as necessary and delegates back to the recruiter to handle the engagement part of the process.

5. Recruiter publishes, matches & engages

Matches view

Recruiter publishes the confirmed and agreed Workshape and instantly matches to engineers on our platform.

This isn’t just theory

We’ve already seen this use case live in action on our platform. Hailo’s internal recruiter, created two drafts for IOS Engineer and DevOps Automation Engineer, delegated them to the VP of Platform and the Head of Engineering Services, who each reviewed, edited and returned for the to publish. A total of 15 matches were generated between the two jobs and the company was able to engage immediately after those matches were made. Its no exaggeration to say, that Hailo went from requirement to engagement in less than 2 hours.

We’re not saying that we’ve definitely killed the Job Description. But in finding an unambiguous way to describe work, we may have reduced the job creation process by an order of magnitude. An undertaking that can take weeks may now only take hours or even minutes to conduct. Don’t take our word for it. Sign up your organisation now, add your hiring team, create a job opening and see for yourself!

Hope you enjoyed this post everyone. Again, we had a blast putting it together. Let us know what you think of our ideas in the comments section below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. If you’re hiring engineers or an engineer yourself, go ahead and sign in to We’re trying to make recruitment less annoying.

The team