Over the past few years, bashing millennials has overtaken baseball as America’s favorite pastime.
Maybe it’s because millennials keep killing various industries, or maybe it’s because it’s very easy to pigeonhole one generation and blame all problems within the workplace on them.
Whatever the reason, articles of why millennials are terrible have become so commonplace that they’re beginning to read like parodies of themselves. This job posting floating around the internet over the past week or so is a prime example: Office Administrator at Tea House Theatre.
Here are a few choice lines that illustrate just how cringeworthy this description is:
–“Are you just not taught anything about existing in the real world, where every penny counts. Did no one teach you that the end of your studies is the beginning of your education?”
–“One old lady used to run the whole of Mountview Academy with an IBM computer, it shouldn’t be this hard.”
–“…see where we are headed and realise that it is in your own hands how far you are able to go with us as we grow. We have not been impressed so far.”
If those have piqued your interest when it comes to terrible HR examples, I highly recommend clicking the link above to see the full job description in all its cringe-inducing glory.
As a millennial myself, it’s easy to get caught up in the generational politics of this job posting: the specific call out of the millennial generation by beginning the posting with “Dear Millennials”; the lines that drip with the same condescension my generation just can’t seem to get away from; the pay that is listed as the equivalent of about $20,000 for a position located in central London.
But, if you look past the tired tropes of the millennial generation this job posting presents, there are lessons every recruiter can learn about what a job posting should not look like from this atrocity:
Don’t make your job postings accessible to only one generation.
Perhaps things are different across the pond where this posting originates from, but in the good old US of A it is illegal to discriminate based on age when fielding candidates for a position.
This posting doesn’t necessarily say they are only going to hire a millennial, but by addressing it directly to that generation and pointedly making statements to millennials, they are alienating every other generation.Who knows—maybe hiring someone from an older generation will give them the exact attributes they’re looking for in a hire; but, there’s no way to find out if they are only addressing one specific age group.
Don’t compare the old with the new.
When hiring someone, they’re choosing you as much as you are choosing them. You wouldn’t hire someone who spoke down to you on their resume, and no one will ever want to work for you if you do nothing but snarl at them in a job posting for issues you’ve had with other employees in the position.
No matter how frustrated you are with past failed employees, the fault is not your future employees’ and they should not be getting the brunt of your disappointment. Rather than explaining your past employees’ shortcomings, give a realistic view of the position and the challenges it might present—albeit in a far less condescending way than this employer does—and when it comes time to interview candidates, ask questions that drill into the faults they might have in common with past employees.
It’s your job to filter out bad candidates, not scare them away with aggressive job postings.
Hiring managers and recruiters shouldn’t have to scare away bad candidates with scary job postings, they should be able to filter them out during the hiring process.This employer obviously thinks they’ll be able to find the perfect candidate by writing a job description so aggressive that every bad candidate will just pass it by. The problem is, that’s not how any of this works. No one—good candidate or bad candidate—will look at this job posting and think this might be the job for them. In the employer’s mission to shake out the bad eggs, they dumped the whole basket out.
Job postings should show personality and give a realistic representation of what the job is going to be like, but they should still always cast the role in a positive light. This one practically begs candidates to not apply. Instead, open your candidate pool and do a better job of selecting and interviewing.
It should be illegal to not include bullet points.
This reads less like a job posting and more like an F-U letter to past employees. To the job posting’s credit, there is some good information in there, but it gets lost in the ramblings of whatever jaded manager wrote this. We go from good insight into the company’s history to talking about the old lady who used to run things; from a paragraph listing out the job duties to reminding the candidate they probably won’t impress the manager.
Bullet points help you and the candidate—it’s easier to read for the candidate, and you’re less likely to interject personal commentary into the posting because it just wouldn’t make sense.
From the millennial bashing to the logistical issues with the posting, this job description is a grade-A lesson in how not to write a job posting. To quote the employer: “…it shouldn’t be this hard.”
Kate Weimer is a Marketing Lead at Kinetix, specializing in social media recruitment marketing and account management. Using a combination of her background in social media and love for the written word, she’s shoving all buzzwords aside and making HR and recruitment marketing work in today’s digital world. Want to hang? Hit her up on Twitter or LinkedIn , or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.