First off, we’re hiring. You should apply. Even if you don’t apply, check out the spec. This post will make more sense if you do, and I’d love it if you were to forward it to anyone you know who would fit.
We’ve yet to see if it will produce the right results, but one interesting thing has emerged from writing this job spec is that we’ve not done it as a collective. It’s largely been my doing, with editorial feedback from the rest of the team.
There are a couple consequences of this. Some good, some bad, some still in a superposition of the two.
we’re looking to hire someone who can do this job better than me
The part of it I especially liked is that the way the job requirements (both in the spec and as we’re viewing it) is that we’re looking at the person who currently is doing / would do the job and saying “You need to do the job better than him”. We’ve done this a bit less formally previously when hiring our new sysadmin, and it just sortof emerged naturally this time as a result of the fact that I was the one pushing the hardest to get this job spec done and posted. Whatever happens, I would very much want to retain this aspect of the process: Pick a person in the company who would do the job if you don’t hire for this role, make them responsible for speccing out the job and make them the primary decision maker on whether the person gets hired – other people get to veto, but they’re the one doing the initial approval by saying “Yes, I would rather have this job done by this candidate than done by (a perfect clone of) me”. I think this is very much the right way to do it.
15 years of BBQML
The fact that I wrote it brings with it a certain authorial style. This is both good and bad. If you’re reading this blog you probably are familiar with that style by now – whimsical, fairly abrasive and decidedly non-traditional. All of that comes through in the job posting.
Personally, I think that’s ok. Everyone in the company seems to have liked the posting (Well, they laughed. That’s good, right?), so enjoying the style is probably a good sign of a compatible personality. On the other hand it may turn out to be a bad thing – it may scare off some people who would actually work well for the role (I have at least one friend who is giving me a hard time because he thinks the posting is unprofessional and makes me sound like a wanker), on the other hand it may attract too many people who self-describe as rockstar ninja cyborg artist programmers.
If it turns out not to work, I will modify my style for postings in future, but I am hopeful.
we don’t want yet another [REDACTED]
The biggest feature of this posting that may or may not work in our favour is its honesty. It’s very much “This is who we are, this is what we’re looking for”. There are some tensions you can see behind it as a result. Will they scare people off? I hope not. As a company, we’re very much not perfect. No one is, and if you expect the company you’re applying to to be perfect then you’re in for a bit of a shock whomever they are. I hope that being up front about this is a good thing, and a nice departure from the whitewashed corporate-speak you get in a lot of job postings.
All in all, it’s been an interesting experiment. I look forward to seeing the results.
Let me know what you think.