Who’s NOT looking to “get the job done”?

I walked past a pair of young guys the other day, and from what I gathered in the 5 seconds of being within earshot of their conversation, one of them applied for a job that the other guy was likely hiring for. The guy who was hiring was talking about their operations and then shifted to a different topic, saying “You know, man? We’re just looking for people who just get the job done. You know what I’m saying? You know, right?”

I thought about this phrase and how often it’s overused. It had me thinking: “Who is looking for people who don’t get the job done, and what would happen if the other guy said ‘You know what, I don’t know what you’re saying. I’m all about never getting the job done’”. It just seems counterintuitive to me, but there are a few reasons why people say this:

  1. Establish Expectations — By saying that you’re looking for people to “get the job done”, you’re setting the expectation with the job applicant that if the job was offered and it was accepted, there should be no surprises when management points out that stuff isn’t getting done
  2. Flatter the Interviewee — This realization is new to me and is likely also unnoticed by many hiring managers. They’re telling the candidate that by virtue of being considered for an interview, they must share the same mentalities. Even if the candidate isn’t the kind of person to get any work done, they just might be flattered enough to assume the role of someone who actually gets their job done. I call that “a gamble”.
”You know what I’m saying, right? You know, right? Come on, tell me I’m wrong, I double dog dare ya. You wouldn’t though, because you and I, we’re on the same page”

There is a drawback to this that I’ve also noticed. What exactly is “getting the job done”? Each manager has completely different expectations, work habits, management methods, etc, that unless you’ve completely outlined what must be done and how it must be done, I’m not sure such a broad statement can be agreed to.

Have you ever heard a hiring manager say this? If so, have you set expectations with them to make sure that the both of you know what “getting the job done” means? Share your success/horror stories here!