The dreaded PD

I have mixed feelings about the position description. I tend to view it as a necessary evil. On the one hand, when you go out to hire, you need to say something about what you expect the person to do and what their qualifications and experience is. On the other hand, in a dynamic organisation and/or sector, what you really want is a person who is adaptable to changing circumstances and contexts.

There are at least three options here in terms of employee behaviour:

  • Refuse. This can is quite a valid option if the employee is not trained in a task especially where it could be hazardous.
  • Negotiate first, perform after. This is a risky approach as it can jeopardise good will and especially if performance does not come up to mark. However, everyone is very clear as to what the expectations are.
  • Perform first, negotiate later. This particular option leaves one vulnerable to exploitative employers. However, on successful completion, the door to further opportunities inside or outside the company may be opened wider. 

I tend to favour the third option myself both as an employer or as an employee. But I guess it depends on the industry.


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