Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Think Twice Before Posting Job Ads Like These, Please

I surely wish the economy would turn around, because as it stands, when it comes to talent acquisition many employers seem to be in a vigorous race to the bottom, and honestly, it makes my head hurt.

As a consultant/freelancer, I spend a lot of time scoping out companies and reviewing job postings and such, and I always come across some doozies that leaving me scratching my head. It seems there is no end to the amount of something that some folks expect for nothing, and there’s also no end to those hiring managers who are as proud as can be to publicly call attention to the fact that they’re assholes.

For example, here’s an ad for a company seeking a marketing expert. Among the list of candidate do’s and don’ts is this gem:

“How do I say this politely? I have no desire to work with crybabies."
The poster then goes on to say that what he or she does want is someone who comes to work ready to “kick butt."

God help you new employee the first time some puffed up corporate bully stomps all over your boundaries and you have the gall to object. At that point I imagine you’ll get reminded quick, fast, and in a hurry that “ain’t no stinkin’ crybabies allowed here.”

Geez. (Of course, if you are a puffed up corporate bully, then I suppose you’ll do just fine.)

Then there’s the company seeking a writer to produce “several posts per day” for $7.00 each. Yes, your eyes are working.

But hey. In the writing game, there are lots of bottom feeders, and I see these ads all day, every day.

Still, even I was surprised by the phrase “Knowledge of X” under “Skills Required.”

Never you mind what type of knowledge the poster is seeking. Suffice it to say that for roughly $3.50 per hour absolutely no knowledge of anything other than breathing should be required for this job. What a nerve. You want knowledge for $3.50 an hour? Hah!

While I’m at it, I also find the various “vanity” ads I run across rather tiresome. You know what I mean, the kind that declare:

You are awesome. A verifiable superstar. You speak fifteen languages, can leap tall buildings in a single bound, and are adept at reading the minds of cats. We’re a young, cool company made up of badasses just like you looking for those special people who will blow us away with their amazing wonderfulness. If you’re up for the challenge (and if you’re truly awesome you are) click here to apply today!”
Or some such crap.

And then there’s the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink job ad, in which applicants are told to respond with a resume, cover letter, salary requirements, three references, a writing sample on the topic of the employers' choosing, and information from your last six jobs (as God is my witness).

(Okay, those last two weren’t specific advertisements, but you get my point.)

And finally, there’s the old borderline discriminatory ad such as this one for a Benefits Consultant:

“We’re seeking a recent college graduate who is enthusiastic, career-minded and self-motivated. Must have a vibrant personality and professional presence. Prior … experience not necessary.”
No old people, high-school graduates (since you didn’t go to college you’re clearly unteachable and not qualified for our no-experience-required position), introverts, or serious-minded folks need apply … ever.

You know what? I just realized I could do this all night, as there is an endless supply of problematic job ads out there. And really, what does it matter? It’s a buyer’s market. Employers can publish all the dumb ads they wish and still be rejecting applicants by the hundreds.

So, I’m back where I started. I can’t wait until this economy improves, which I pray happens sooner rather than later, although I’m not holding my breath.


  1. I do not see anything wrong with the ads. you quoted. If they wish to put up NO BS ad. let them. It is time we come out of our solitude ( of mental fragmentation) and start appreciating straight talk ( even in ads.)


    1. Hi Anon:

      Vanity ads are certainly full of BS, and the others are just stupid, in my humble opinion. Also in my humble opinion, it's not good to start a relationship of any kind (including an employment relationship) by insulting potential candidates. "Crybabies?" Come on.

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