Mulligan Stew Job Descriptions

There’s been an increase of what I like to call Mulligan Stew job descriptions. If you aren’t familiar with Mulligan Stew, it’s essentially a meal made from all sorts of things thrown together. In cooking, the outcome can be delicious. When it comes to job descriptions, mixing a whole bunch of random responsibilities together can be a catastrophe.

My client, we’ll call him Pete, found one of these positions just last week. 75% of the job suits him perfectly. The position requires someone with the sales, networking, marketing and presentation abilities Pete has to offer. The remaining 25% of the job, which the posting states the candidate must have experience with, includes preparing financial statements, budget reporting and technology functions. There’s even more to the position than I’ve referenced. 14 bullet points of various qualifications, to be exact. You get the point.

What’s likely happening is the organization is in the position to add someone to its staff, has several functions suffering at the moment and is trying to solve all of its issues with one key hire. Perhaps they’ll get lucky and find that perfect candidate. More than likely, they won’t. Even Pete recognized the problem. His words, “they are looking for the impossible.”

When companies are looking for the impossible, it’s a great time to toss your name in the hat. Reach out to the organization. Make it clear what you can deliver on and what you can not. Wish them luck, in a sincere way, in finding the person capable of all outlined functions. Couple that with the suggestion they consider your abilities and what you could immediately offer the organization in terms of bottom line contributions should the position prove difficult to fill. In the end, it’s all about profitability. If you can show hiring you, even though you don’t have the expertise in all requested areas, is better for their bottom line than their current plan, it’s a winning outcome.

For the job that Pete found, the company is likely going to think they have to make a decision of where to take a hit. They’ll believe they are either going to have to hire someone with the talents to bring in connections and sales while crossing their fingers the person can figure out the books or they’ll have to hire someone who is up on maintaining and preparing financial statements with the hope they will find the time and the social means to work networking circles and pound the phone. If Pete can help them see profitability in another option, hiring him and outsourcing/reassigning the bookkeeping/technology functions, he may just be able to be the one to lead the way to an outcome where everybody wins.

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