Jobs Report

Something Is . . . Off About These Startup Job Descriptions

Care to remind your colleagues "why they are excited to come in each day to be with their work family"?
Crushing it on the job listings front.

Crushing it on the job listings front.

It’s hard out there for a startup, what with the tech talent crunch and all. A different kind of hardship than the one faced by America’s millions of underemployed, of course. But how are you going to recruit a programmer when Facebook can throw more money at almost any candidate worth having? At the seed-stage level, you’ll need more than the promise of equity and the ability to work from home.

Well, two well-funded companies have figured out one way to stand out from the pack: cutesy job postings!

Exhibit A: This lengthy listing seeking an office manager for the Obvious Corp.-backed Medium. To better reflect the company culture and to pinpoint the type of employee sought, the position has been dubbed “office host,” because:

“Just like that perfect party host, you’ll make sure all the details in our office are organized and that everyone is having a great time every day.”

Hmm, “office dorm mom,” sounds more apt–with shades of “office cruise director.” For instance, here’s how you start the morning: “As people filter in, your warm greeting and unwavering smile make them forget how much Muni sucks and reminds them why they are excited to come in each day to be with their work family.”

The post goes on to outline specific duties like handling invoices, but woven throughout are the more ineffable responsibilities:

Someone stops at your desk to chat about a show they are going to next weekend, a couple others gather and a few of you decide to all go because you’re all just awesome peeps.

Perhaps this listing should have simply read: “Wanted, one Joan Holloway for promising SF startup. Martini ingredients provided.”

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, comes this aw-shit-ya’ll listing on Hacker News from the incorrigible team at Rap Genius. Title: “Rap Genius (YC S11) Seeks Brilliant Engineers to Build Internet Talmud.” The gang is seeking (1) genius Rails programmer, (1) genius iOS/Android programmer and (1) genius front-end developer who can also design. Presumably, no non-geniuses need apply.

To be considered, you must be:

down to help build the Internet Talmud (aka the best hip hop site, the best lyrics site, the best music social network, the best wikipedia for explanations of all of text, etc, etc)

If you sign on, your “pretty serious bennies” will include, “SICK salary & equity. You won’t be taking a pay cut to work here (unless you work for a hedge fund…),” as well as “Free bomb health insurance,” a new iPhone, a gym membership and unlimited free Seamless.

“SWA-SWAAG!” the posting concludes.

At least no one can say expectations weren’t laid out perfectly clearly from the outset.

(h/t Matt Langer)

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com