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Do Chefs Need Less In Job Descriptions?

22 Aug 2016

A recent study by the UCL School of Management suggests that high performing Chefs may work better with less detailed job descriptions.



The research conducted by Assistant Professor Vaughn Tan found that teams were more successful when they were allowed to adapt their own roles and drop components of their role that were neither useful nor desirable.

Professor Tan studied hiring and job roles in internationally-renowned kitchens like The Fat Duck in Bray, Noma in Copenhagen, and The Cooking Lab in Bellevue, Washington. 

Tan suggests this modern hiring approach works well for innovative companies in all kinds of sectors “Because we can’t predict the future, companies that need to innovate often have only a partial idea of who they need to hire and what those people need to do....Under these circumstances, it makes no sense to hire people as if we know exactly how their roles should be defined.”

Tan advises hiring managers to be frank about the level of certainty in the role they are hiring for, and explicit with potential employees about both the defined and the undefined parts of a role.

These findings were published in Administrative Science Quarterly.


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