What Your Job Postings Need (and what they can do without)

by Evil HR Lady on January 23, 2020

The internet was buzzing about a job posting for a nanny/household manager/best friend last week because it was so over the top. It was also 1475 words. That’s longer than many Atlantic articles. Most of what you read online is less than 1000 words.

In other words, this wasn’t a job posting; it was a fantasy novella about this hiring manager’s dream employee.

I wish I could say that she was the only one who writes fantasy in place of actual job descriptions, but long job descriptions are common.

You can find job descriptions listing 40 or more skills that a particular candidate needs to have. Do you know what that is? A fantasy novella. 

to keep reading, click here: What Your Job Postings Need (and what they can do without)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

BethRA January 23, 2020 at 5:28 pm

Solid advice – now if only I can convince a few of our department heads that our job postings would be better off without an exhaustive list of All The Things (plus a hefty dose of jargon and buzzwords).

Also, interesting data on the differences between men and women and what they ill apply for. Anyone know if there is similar data on how race/ethnicity impacts how/where people apply? We struggle with attracting qualified POC applicants, and I suspect our postings are at least part of the problem.

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Texan In Exile January 23, 2020 at 6:51 pm

Read “Brotopia” by Emily Chang. She talks about how a few tech companies figured out how to change their postings to expand the applicant pool.

(Read it just because it’s so horrifying and depressing.)

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BethRA January 23, 2020 at 7:39 pm

Thanks!

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Texan In Exile January 27, 2020 at 6:11 pm
Dan January 24, 2020 at 3:55 am

Evil –

While I agree with the overall point, I think the critique is unnecessarily gendered. Long job ads turn off applicants, period. (The longer the list, the fewer men will meet the 60% threshold anyway.)

I see these long lists often in the tech field, and when that list gets overly long, I don’t think “I meet 60% of that, let me apply.” I think, “these people don’t know what they’re looking for. Why should I bother wasting my time with them?” And then you know who does apply? People who apply to everything and anything, because what the heck. Then the employer runs into issues where the applicant doesn’t actually understand what’s most important to the employer, so my 60% could easily be the least important things on the list.

Point being, long lists decrease the quality of the applicant pool.

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Analyst Robot January 24, 2020 at 4:44 pm

I absolutely agree. After I hit the 10th requirement I wonder if the company really knows what they want in an applicant. Honestly, it’s okay to say that they don’t know…”We are looking for a leader that can take charge, bring the department up to date, and make us ready for future technology upgrades.”
But when I see a huge list, then I don’t know if they want a front line tech, a manager, a developer, a project manager, an analyst, or if they really think that they can have everything all at once. When I read a mess, I think that the company is a mess.

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