Stupid Job Postings: “step up” and “Non-benefited” edition

Posted by amy on August 29, 2007

Oh, come on now, people:

You are a creative thinker that communicates effectively and possesses the individual leadership and accountability to “step up” and deliver high quality results in a fast paced environment while maintaining focus and a sense of humor.

I also saw a job posting with the headline “Web Designer/Developer – Full-time Non-Benefited Position”. Isn’t that called a ‘contractor’? Though I suppose that a lot of contractor work is really just being a full-time employee without benefits or unemployment insurance, you’d think that the company that’s searching for such would make it sound slightly more attractive. Especially since there is theoretically supposed to be a distinct difference between 1099 consulting work and employee work, tax-wise.

In other stupid job postings news, here’s a good discussion on what makes a _decent_ job posting, from a Thoughtworks guy in India, Sidu Ponnappa. In particular, he notes the difference between a job asking for people who are passionate about Ruby, for example, and one looking for people who are passionate in general. (I still think passion is overrated, though. Except where cheese is concerned. I am passionate about cheese. For example, this Vermont Brie is really fantastic. If only someone would make a truly artisan domestic parm…! But I digress…) Anyway, he suggests that one rank postings by the number of requirements in them that were clearly written by an HR person or someone else with no idea of what the job actually entails.The more HR speak, the lower the job posting ranking. I think someone needs to write a flog for job postings.

Popularity: 21% [?]

Stupid Job Postings: dream much? edition

Posted by amy on August 13, 2007

“Technically gifted and passionate RoR engineer wanted for one month”

As per policy, I won’t link to the offender. But what are the chances you will find a gifted and passionate engineer available RIGHT THIS SECOND to work a few hours a week for a month, at $50/hour, total payment capped at $2500?

I don’t like this whole job posting obsession with “passion,” anyway. It seems a bit much to demand not merely competence, productivity, honesty, attention to detail, professionalism, and time from employees/contractors, but also passion. It’s a bizarre conceit, I think, somewhat akin to the invention of romantic love in marriage. It’s an attempt to paper over an economic transaction under the guise of emotional attachment. It’s not enough for workers to give our time, our energy, our thoughts, and our creativity to our work — we must also give our very selves, the part of us that is able to feel passion.

I resent this attempt to colonize my emotional landscape. I don’t blame individual job-posters, of course; they’re just using the job-listing language of the day, and not thinking very much about what, actually, it means. Perhaps only freakish people who spent too much time reading cultural studies in college stop to think about the meaning of the current vogue for demanding passionate employees.

Is there evidence I haven’t seen that passionate employees are better employees? Passion does not necessarily improve one’s personal life; I don’t know why it would necessarily improve one’s professional life. On the contrary, passion would seem to most often be a disability at work. It clouds reason and judgment. It encourages overexertion followed by disappointment and ennui. It contributes to misunderstanding and strife, shortens tempers, and fosters unrealistic expectations.

Perhaps I’m just being pedantic, and what the job-listers really mean is “looking for someone who likes their work” but they must use “passionate” because of rampant adjective inflation. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to want to hire people who like to do the job. But that’s not the kind of information you’ll glean until you talk with someone anyway, so there doesn’t seem to be any point in putting it as a requirement on a job listing.

I see “passionate engineer wanted” and think “unrealistic and possibly abusive employer/client”. My passion is not your business, people. Ask me to be professional, mature, conscientious, skilled, creative, honest, efficient, knowledgeable, curious, persistent, thoughtful, and engaged — I can be all these things. But don’t ask me to be passionate. It’s not a love affair, it’s a job.

Popularity: 32% [?]

Stupid Job Postings: Worst Job Title Ever

Posted by amy on June 25, 2007

“MS/SQL Developer/Anal”

I swear to god I did not make this up. What, you couldn’t spare the extra three letters?

Also: why do you ask for our salary history? Do you really want to hire someone who is un-savvy enough to send you their salary history along with their resume? Do people actually provide salary history?

Popularity: 6% [?]

stupid job postings: “bennies” edition

Posted by amy on May 29, 2007

Recently I saw a job posting that had a list of perks including “free Starbucks coffee, bennies.” Wow, I thought, do they really want to advertise that their developers need tranquilizers (possibly from all the free coffee)? Then I realized that “bennies” meant benefits, as in health, leave, insurance, retirement. Note to recruiters: benefits are important enough to be listed before free Starbucks coffee and should not be referred to with a diminutive.

Also, anyone who writes “All applicants must have the ability and desire to thrive in a fast moving team environment.” deserves whoever they end up hiring.

I’m not linking to the offenders. What if I want to work for them someday? Then I’d be embarrassed and the New York Times would use me as an example of the perils of online work life in the days of blogging.

Popularity: 6% [?]

Stupid Job Postings*

Posted by amy on May 06, 2007

Max received one of those automated ‘hey, saw your resume on monster’ emails this morning. Someone in Boston is looking for a Senior Ruby on Rails developer. The person should have 3+ years of experience with Ruby on Rails. Salary range is 45-80K.

As far as I know, there’s one person who has even *almost* 3 years of Ruby on Rails experience, and I’m pretty sure he’s not doing any work for anything in that salary range.

*Job listings are so often ridiculous I think I’ll make this a weekly feature.

Popularity: 5% [?]