There’s a corporate standard that entirely baffles me. I have an RSS feed set up for Craigslist for program manager jobs back from when I was unemployed way back, and I browse through it once in a while, because it’s interesting: job listings are just that. They’re things spit out of machines, that come out of an HR generation program or something, and they almost all read exactly the same:
Program Manager (IT)
Department: Information Technology
Reports To: Director of Systems and Technology
Location: Bellevue, WA
Exciting opportunity to be part of one of the most innovative companies of the new millennium!!! We offer a dynamic work environment that thrives on creativity, adaptability and passion.
This is what you get if you’re lucky. Many of them start directly with this:
Essential Job Function
• Work with business stakeholders to identify, define and prioritize enhancements
• Assist in defining scope
• Manage internal and external customer relationships and expectations.
• Prepare timely and appropriate communications for escalations, project status reports, decisions and risk mitigation plans.
• Complete key deliverables as the initiative plan dictates
And then into
Skills, Education and Experience
• 6-8 years experience managing cross-functional teams and software development projects for technology organizations.
• Good understanding of SDLC methodologies
• Experience managing custom “in-house” developed software projects and managing implementations of COTS applications required.
• Bachelors Degree in business or technical field required.
Easily 80% of listings look like some variation of that: requirements, duties.
“We’re hiring a program manager.”
“Here’s what program managers do.”
“Here’s what you need to be.”
This is a huge reason why most jobs are filled through word of mouth and recommendation. I wrote a listing pitch for a dev manager, and I tried to write as if I was personally trying to recruit someone to my team at Expedia. I said
– Here’s why this is a great dev job
– Here’s the kind of cool stuff you’d work on
– Here’s why it might be particularly attractive to some people with dev lead/manager aspirations
– Here’s how good the business customer and the teams you work with are
You never see that. When I’m paging through Google Reader, it’s always the same. “Hmmm, Amazon’s still trying to staff payments… boring, boring, boring, boring, $35k for a senior PgM? Heh. Amazon’s either re-opened that req or they lost the payment PM they hired a month ago…”
Maybe once a month I stop and look at a listing and say “wow, that’s really well-written and interesting.”
Companies spend so much money recruiting and training new employees, and yet the way they try to attract candidates is not to put people who already work there on it, or to even have their best employees help make the listings more attractive. It’s baffling, totally baffling.