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Why Looking for 'Bright and Bubbly' Just Won't Cut It

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by Mark Smith

almost 3 years ago

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This morning I saw a short description on an email job alert for a new job that stated: 'Great role in Parramatta – Administration and phones. Must be bright and Bubbly' [sic] What?...and this was from an agency recruiter. I must say that this type of thing is extremely embarrassing, not only for the recruiter but for the industry as a whole. Many readers are probably thinking that I should probably get over myself, because it's just an advertisement on a job board. But I believe it demonstrates some of the fundamental problems in the industry. First, can someone please describe to me what sort of competency is 'bubbly' and in what instance a potential candidate will screen themselves and their skills set based on this criteria? 

I do understand what the recruiter is trying to say, but if they are writing this to screen people effectively,  it's not going to be effective. Similarly with 'bright', I am yet to meet a candidate who describes themselves as dull, or, if it's in the context of intelligence, a little on the slow side. Both 'bright' and 'bubbly' are clichéd, lazy and simply unhelpful when recruiting. Second – and now I am being a little picky – what is the reason for the capital 'B'? It's not a typo in this blog; I have included it as it appeared in the advertisement. Is Bubbly a place? The name of any potential candidate? Or an acquired skill set? 'Hi my name is Bubbly. 

I am looking for phone and admin work, and I like to describe myself as bright.' Regrettably, it seems that some recruiters really don’t understand what a competency, how to target which competencies are required for the role, and then how to highlight them when advertising.  I won't try to answer these questions now, but I would suggest recruiters and their clients should be discussing competencies and considering how their roles are being presented to the market. The reputations of both these interested parties can be affected by poorly written advertisements.

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