On more than one occasion recently, I’ve pointed out that the obsession of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) with local Government job titles shows only that the TPA are utterly ignorant of the workings of these organisations. Job title alone does not even begin to tell the enquirer what the job holder actually does. The TPA is now showing a glimmer of recognition, but it is all happening too slowly.
Yesterday, the smug face of non-job holder Chris Daniel, the star of an episode I covered back in January, appeared at the head of a piece discussing “HR Transparency”, which in plain English means job titles and organisation charts. Here, Daniel makes, for him and his colleagues, a revelatory admission, when he tells that “Often job titles are confusing and meaningless. If these job titles came with the job descriptions, it would eliminate any misunderstanding over the position”.
Hallelujah! The TPA have now effectively admitted that their obsession over job titles may not be such a jolly clever approach after all. That this line of attack only served to demonstrate the TPA’s ignorance, as I pointed out HERE and HERE, may be sinking in. But it is all happening too slowly, so to assist the TPA, and give them the pointers they are apparently too slow to take on board, I’ll put them straight.
First, take the job title (but do not stop there).
Second, add the job description, which will give an outline of what the job entails.
Third, and this is where it starts to get difficult – probably too difficult for the TPA – the enquirer should approach the organisation with a view to shadowing the job holder for a day or two. This shows the kind of work actually carried out – it fleshes out the job description and demonstrates any implied or informal duties that a formal description misses.
Fourth, there should be a Q&A, whether in an interview or less formal format, where the enquirer can clarify any details, discuss issues arising, and confirm that they have a full picture of what the job typically involves.
Daniel has at least moved to the second of those four steps, but this is still a lazy and selfish approach from the TPA: they are demanding that the local Government body do the work, rather than using their own initiative. That’s not good enough.It’s time for the motley band of non-job holders at the TPA to do some proper research.
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