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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Selling Jobs

A recent trend is the appearance of niche job boards on coding-related content sites, e.g.:

Given the offline recruitment industry’s fairly clueless treatment of technology jobs and the faceless vastness of the major job sites, it’s not a surprising phenomenon. Your ad may only get seen by a small number of people, but those people are far less likely to be useless muppets simply by virtue of having explored content related to their jobs.

But most job ads still treat someone’s next career move primarily as a list of technologies set in a particular city rather than a life-changing event. If you’re aiming for the best candidates (rather than passionless drones) you need to inspire, impress and reassure them. Where possible, get more of a real flavour of the job into the ad through tone and content:

Location
Where exactly are you? Is it a bustling city centre, a quiet suburb, or an isolated barn?
Colleagues
If the new recruit will be working with Tom, Dick and Harry, why not say so? Give links to their blogs if appropriate.
Portfolio
Some companies are far too modest and fail to mention prestigious/interesting clients/projects.
Atmosphere
If you have a formal dress code then say so, don’t waste the time of someone who wants to be in T shirt and jeans. Is it a lively atmosphere with people playing music, sitting in groups chatting, etc., or calm and quiet?
Facilities
Will they be getting a shiny new computer with a couple of big monitors? Their own office? What about facilities for testing? Reassure them they won’t be sat in a dark corner with a clapped-out computer and outdated software.

Of course you need to explain the role and required skills, and ideally give specific pay figures, but the above stuff is what makes the difference between describing just a job and describing the right job for someone out there.


Comments

"Reassure them they won’t be sat in a dark corner with a clapped-out computer and outdated software." - for some reason I was amused by that. I can't complain any more though.

Another IT-specific job site (UK oriented) that I find particularly good is http://www.cwjobs.co.uk/ - run by a well known computing magazine. Some of the adverts are still posted by slightly clueless agencies, but it's still better than the major un-focussed sites.

— killswtch, 18th Sep, 7:44pm


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