Few things depress me more than seeing an artistic, creative organisation issue badly written, uninspiring job descriptions, poorly conceived and packed with weasel words.
Take this one, spotted recently around the traps. (Details omitted in the interests of prudence, even though I’ve no intention of applying.)
Taking the nouns and verbs, this role’s first responsibility – according to the description – is “to facilitate an approach through the management and coordination of input from the stakeholders”. Right.
After that there’s “managing the process, including the framework…” and so it continues. The core of the role – which happens to be concert programming, would you have guessed? – sneaks in as “allocation of repertoire for all activities”. That’s right, apparently they don’t want someone to create imaginative and exciting programs on a foundation of smart artist choices, just someone to “allocate” repertoire to activities. Sigh.
Oh, and the “purpose” of the position – I kid you not – is to report to the managing director role.
It’s especially depressing given that the role in question is an artistic one. Of course, people in this line of work will overlook the obfuscations – they know what these kinds of jobs really involve and may well rewrite the description in sensible English* on appointment. All the same, descriptions such as these send a sorry message about the employer, suggesting that either someone doesn’t really understand the heart of the business or – more likely – that there are many more “stakeholders” to be satisfied by the weasel words than is exactly comfortable.
To be fair, I should add that the selection criteria in my unfortunate model are more sensibly expressed than the description of the role itself. There’s hope yet.
*Historical example, showing how it can be done using tangible verbs and nouns: “Program all concerts and recordings in consultation with the music director and managing director. Engage all outside conductors and soloists.…”