The changing workplace – why job descriptions are falling behind


Jody Tipping | Partner | Senior Recruiter | REDi Recruitment | mail me |

Is it time to say goodbye to the good old job specs? In the midst of rapid change and innovation, the concept of rigid job descriptions is fading fast.

Modern workplaces are evolving, and it’s clear that the traditional way of defining jobs simply doesn’t cut it anymore.

Becoming more obsolete

Job descriptions, once the go-to tool for managing employees, are struggling to keep up with the fast-paced, post-pandemic world.

Here’s why they’re becoming more obsolete but less structured:

  • Job makeover

Jobs are no longer the same old roles with set tasks. In today’s dynamic world, employees wear multiple hats and switch roles within the same organisation. Job specs can’t keep up with this flexibility.

  • Mixing it up

Workplaces now encourage people to work together across departments. Traditional job descriptions can’t handle this teamwork where everyone pitches in beyond their assigned roles.

  • Gig economy and outsourcing

More and more work is done by freelancers or outsourced workers. These contributors might not even be on the company’s payroll. Job descriptions just can’t fit this new workforce.

Research data from a Deloitte survey conducted in 2022 already showed that companies like Unilever leading the charge in becoming more skills-focused, are reaping several benefits. According to the survey, these organisations are 98% more likely to keep their top performers, 79% more likely to create a positive work atmosphere, 52% more likely to come up with new ideas, 49% more likely to streamline their processes for better efficiency, and 47% more likely to promote inclusivity.

What’s even better is that this new approach doesn’t just boost individual skills, it also keeps employees engaged, motivated, and less likely to suffer from burnout, a common problem in workplaces that box people into fixed job roles. Their research also revealed 63% of current work being performed falls outside of people’s core job descriptions and 81% say work is increasingly performed across functional boundaries.

Embracing neurodiversity skills hiring

As the workplace continues its makeover, more fluid job specs can unlock employees’ full potential, fostering innovation and productivity. However, it’s essential to consider not just traditional skill sets but also neurodiversity skills hiring.

Neurodiversity hiring involves recognising and harnessing the unique abilities and perspectives of individuals with neurological differences such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia. By valuing neurodiversity skills, organisations can tap into a broader talent pool and foster a more inclusive work environment.

While job specifications can serve as a starting point, a less rigid approach to hiring talent involves focusing on skills, competencies, cultural alignment, and potential.

In conversations with the Hiring Manager, very seldom do we see a direct correlation between their priorities and those outlined in the job spec. For a successful hire, one must differentiate between critical prerequisites, and knowledge/skills that can be taught on the job.

Wondering how you’re gearing up for success in the dawn of the Generative AI era, both for yourself and your teams? Are you committed to self-improvement, upskilling, and empowering your organisation to effectively navigate this dynamic AI landscape?

In conclusion

We deliver a talent mapping service. This dynamic strategy empowers organisations by pinpointing skill gaps, ensuring an agile, forward-thinking workforce, including neurodiversity skills. This deep market data retrieved service helps guide a company’s hiring, allowing for more precise hires, attracting top-tier talent, and harnessing employee intelligence to propel the company’s unparalleled competitive edge.

Organisations that embrace this shift and prioritise skills, including neurodiversity skills, and adaptability are likely to thrive in the ever-changing job market, establishing themselves as frontrunners in attracting top talent and fostering employee longevity.



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