We Tech-People are rare. And what I mean by Tech-People is obviously people, who sit down and get the stuff done, aka “coders”. And though I made it part of my personal goals, to educate people to have more of them, there won’t ever be enough. And as such we people do pick, where we work, what we work on and who we work with. And the later is the exact point. The other day I was stumbling once more about one of these default job postings with three sections and bullet points like human resource people build them. Not even a sentence in I closed the tab, just to realise they really should know why.
So, here is why. The “requirements” section is where the bad things start. I never did study, not informatics nor computer science, nothing and even those, who did will tell you, that it means very little in our field. As they say “you learn to program despite going to university, not because of it.”. Well actually, it is mostly me saying that, but point being, if you have any clue about our field, you know having a degree means absolutely nothing. But aside from my opinion on university degrees, please let’s continue to look into that box. Because what follows next is an extensive list of things I should have done for a certain period of time.
Like 3+ years experience in jQuery. As if that does mean anything. As I was already stating in my article about programming languages almost two years ago: A good software developer is able to get into a new software language in a couple of weeks anyway. Every day longer is only adding experience helping him getting things done more quickly, while the amount he can learn decreases over time. As Jason Fried phrases it: “There’s surprisingly little difference between a candidate with six month of experience and one with six years.”
But that I might don’t really meet the requirements is not the real problem. After all I could simply write it in the Bio, what way to check whether I have 1 year or six years of experience in something do you really have? None. And that is the exact problem. By saying you want these numbers, you want to see degrees and all this paper, you put yourself into the position of a person, who cares more about the system than the people. If I do not have the paper certifications, you assume I am not qualified for the task. Though you are completely aware those papers don’t say a thing, by exposing you care about them, you show yourself as a person I do not want to work with.
Yes, I used the word with. You don’t employ me. I am not working for you. I am working with you on a project we care about, with people we like. And by posting that paper, you disqualified in the last category. I don’t even have to continue reading. Oh. And while you are on it, stop posting you are the most awesome startup ever. Everyone’s saying they are. That doesn’t make you any different..
So, how should you do a good job posting then. Fair question and I’d propose the following: look for the person in your team, that if he’d come to the interview now, you’d wanted to hire from the second or someone you’d love to take the job, but who can’t. And ask that person to write a job posting, a posting that would attract them, that they’d like. The whole one, not only a section. Because it is about much more than just the requirements listed, it is also the language used and the way everything is described. And if that person really loves to work there, there is much more passion and honesty in his voice and way of describing things, that you are attracting the right people. Yes, you might get fewer emails in, but I bet you, they are more relevant to you.