What Jobs Do People Hire a Job to Do?

Tianhe CBD, Guangzhou, China/Photo by Sofia Chen

When Clayton Christensen, the Professor from Harvard Business School, the author of the bestseller ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail’ which was said to be among the top favorite books of the late Steven Jobs, founder of Apple, explained the JTBD (Jobs to Be Done) approach in the article ‘How to Hire Your Employer’, he suggested ‘to understand why consumers make the choices they do to pick one product or service over another, there for marketers is ‘a critical question to ask: What job did you hire that product to do?’

So, what if a consumer is a job hunter too?

Mr. Christensen continued to advise that, through the perspective of talent market, job hunters ask themselves ‘what job did I hire my job to do?’

Candidate to hire an employer, not an employer to hire candidate? Yes, you hear right.

Given thousands of thousands of start-ups kick off their adventure everyday in the world, expecting people to join them in disrupting the established protocol – the employment itself becomes the most commonly traded commodity, actually, people do ‘buy’ jobs, people have started picking on jobs long time ago, and will be increasingly picky like what they do as a consumer.

To be a CEO – start up a business is easy, but to be an employer – employ people is not.

Is there a countermeasure?

Yes, and no.

When candidates ask ‘what job can I hire the job to do’, an employer can ask themselves ‘what jobs can people hire the job to do’. Yes, putting themselves in a candidate’s shoes, to discover why people buy a job from you.

So, what jobs would a person hire a job to get done?

Jobs that each candidate would like to hire a job to do could vary a lot in specific form (I would like to leave this for future exploration), but resemble in a general manner.

Figure 1:

Through quite a few years I personally headed the recruitment process and played a major interviewer during that for our small yet boutique business, LinLead which provides major insight for a long list of leading employers in China and neighboring areas to improve sense and practice of employer brand strategy, I like to argue there are 12 major jobs candidate like to hire a job to get done.

The 12 major jobs spans 3 groups: Functionally, Emotionally and Socially, as indicated in Figure 1.

Raise Money:

Right, the most obvious job what a candidate looks for from a job is raise money. Here, candidate is much more like investor than consumer, when trying to purchase something from a business. This is also why it frustrates me very much that very few CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or  CFA (Chartered financial Analyst) professionals look into a business from the unique perspective.

Make Life Easier:

Work to make life easier or harder? I try very hard to choose the former. You? If people don’t always have chance to earn a luxury mobile a year, they may consider a shorter time spent to commute, just like the candidate interviewed by Phil Caravaggio, founder of Precision Nutrition, from the story shared by Mr. Christensen in this article ‘‘How to Hire Your Employer’.

Access to a Circle:

People usually live in a circle. A job brings a circle, colleagues, partners and customers. What kind of people do you like to get along? Wise candidates will think about it very hard.

Test Idea:

You put your time in study, gasp a certain degree of knowledge, and you are curious to test and prove how it works. Content of a certain job provides that chance.

Grow Capability:

You are not satisfied with who you are now. You bring the hope with you and push the envelope to bring out your potential, if possible, as much as possible. Or you want to earn much more money in the future, at your next stop, so you grow capability.

Enrich Personal Experience:

Life is short. You want to live more, see more and hear more. A job generally brings you further or confines you a little bit, in terms of personal experience.

Perform & Yield Something:

I always think human being is a very precious part of remarkable recycling.  Would you be tired if you were left idle all day and all night? You will do something, perhaps naturally.

Feel Good:

When you do something, you incline to make yourself comfortable as much as possible, especially when a series of codes of social conduct are in place,  you try hard to do something good and meaningful.

Feel being Needed:

You like yourself and like yourself to be liked, so you better do something to make yourself useful and being needed.

Be Somewhere:

Many times, you need a place to go to, maybe not for functional purpose, just for a kind of emotion, or a habit. I recalled some comment from early days of my career, the senior associate often said ‘single young staff often stay a little bit longer in the office, just for nowhere to go.’

Be part of something Bigger:

A pair of hands is not enough for a bigger thing, obviously. And team provides belongings and security. You don’t want to lose bigger chances, so you join people through a job, and even play a leadership role ahead.

Get Recognized Socially:

You are not limiting your achievement in physical, monetary, mental and emotional domains only. Addtionally, you expect recognition and honor from peers and the society, so you look for a job to match that.

Agree? Or make your own list, either as a candidate or a boss?

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