Even more than recruiters, candidates know how scary most job postings are. While recruiters are used to the status quo, candidates have so much more on the line. I mean, it’s kind of a big deal to actually look for a job. You don’t just wake up in the morning and think, “yeah, this kinda sucks. I think I’ll look for a job.”
No, we stay at companies where the pay, people, and work don’t suck. When someone opens up the Internet and searches for a job, they’re admitting that they’re willing to change everything to stop coming to this hell hole of a job anymore.
That’s what happens when you get a new job. Everything changes. That’s not easy for people and we don’t go out of our way to do it. But there are candidates opening up the Internet to look for a job and finding lies and cliches over and over. On the other side, recruiters aren’t taking the risk to write job postings that are less scary. Instead, there’s always a little push back from recruiters who don’t get why job posts matter.
Pushback On Job Posts
The first reaction I hear from recruiters when their managers suggest a process change is: “That’s going to take too much time.” I get that. Most recruiters are operating with a requisition load full of exaggerated highly technical requirements and timelines that don’t make sense. The pressure only increases when they look around and realize that most of their friends are unemployed. While you might think that overwhelm produces innovation, that’s not often the case in recruiting.
It’s not just the way we make candidates feel when we write scary job postings. Recruiters that are so focused on a complicated process won’t understand the impact from beginning to end. When we write better job postings, it influences success in every step. It’s in the data.
Training your team means it takes less time to write in the first place. Accuracy of the content means the right people apply and you don’t have to hunt them down. Being specific adds up to people that stay longer than 60 days because the job aligns with their expectations. Using unbiased techniques drives more candidates from diverse backgrounds. That’s just scratching the surface of the impact of job post training.
It also means you won’t get made fun of on the Internet.
Scariest Job Postings Of 2023
Yeah, I’m coming for you. I don’t like calling folks out. Few people change their minds just because they had a fight with a stranger on the Internet. But my intent here is to set a baseline of what we can’t keep doing. We need a baseline to make scary job postings into a message that helps the right candidate have hope. Yes, hope is the consequence of just understanding if a job could change everything for you.
Presented with a side of laughter, exaggeration, and sarcasm, here are my scariest job postings of 2023. I selected these based off of posts I was sent all year, a LinkedIn post of submissions, and a series of private messages, too.
This one is too specific. Like, you know someone hurt them after you read it.
This is racist. They tried to throw an intern under the bus for doing this but we both know some kid didn’t write that line…
Apparently they didn’t teach this person about spell check in their required Bachelor’s degree.
There’s showcasing your culture then there’s showcasing your ignorance. This is the second one.
While this isn’t as bad as most, just a reminder that good doesn’t mean you’re writing a creative ad for Teen Vogue. Your job post is not a creativity contest.
If you want to see more of the scariest postings from the last 5 years plus some examples of how to do it right, click here.
Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.