Friday, October 05, 2007

Serve chilled

So, a few months ago, I was given the task of writing a job ad for our company. We were looking to hire Java developers--something currently more in demand than air fresheners at a chili cook-off. To add hay to this stack, we need people with Top Secret clearances. The people who meet these two criteria have their pick of literally dozens of companies in the area. So how do we make them pick us?

My idea was to tempt them with hookers and blow, then blackmail them with the resulting video (or just sell copies of the video to meet our cash flow needs). My backup idea was to write a cleverly worded job ad that made us seem like a hip, fun place to work. That idea (the backup) was going great; I wrote something I was more or less happy with, and something that my boss was happy with. We were one big happy until we passed it by the CEO. Her comment:

"It's good, just take out all the funny parts."

Really? You want to make it exactly like every other ad out there? What, were you afraid we might get some resumes?

Fast-forward to this week, when the CEO is out on yet another vacation ("But I'm available by cell phone, so I don't really have to use vacation time,") and we once again desperately need Java programmers. And my boss came to me and said, "Mr. Overlord, I want you to come up with a really fresh, engaging ad, something that will grab attention and make people think, 'Hey, I want to work there!'." And I tap Ctrl twice to bring up the Google Desktop prompt, type in "megalomaniacal office manager", and bring up that job ad that I was so proud of.

We're running it next week. But for you, loyal reader (readers?), here's a sneak preview. And hey, if you're reading this and know someone who fits the description...if you care about them, don't show it to them.

Hey, you!

You have a security clearance and a resume that includes the word “Java” without being followed by the words “coffee shop where I worked between semesters.” With those two things, you have your choice of dozens of jobs posted here and elsewhere. Why should you choose this one?

Easy: because you want to work here. We just haven’t had a chance to prove that to you yet. We’d like to correct that.

We’ll start with a competitive salary. Add excellent benefits, including 100% company-paid medical insurance, dental, life, disability, paid vacation and sick leave, 401(k) with company match, FSA, parking or metro allowance, and tuition reimbursement. Throw in the flexibility, tractability, and attentiveness of a small company. And top it all off with a megalomaniacal office manager who possesses a penchant for using words from his word-a-day calendar when writing job postings.

What do we ask in return? Right now we’re looking for the following:

Software Developers
Specifically, developers with experience developing web-based Java applications in an Oracle environment. The work entails developing capabilities for an SOA, creating standards-based portlets for inclusion into a portal environment, and interacting with stakeholders, preparing documentation, and providing thoughtful leadership on various development issues. In other words, the qualified candidate will be able to communicate with people and computers equally well. Or at least have organized a 40-person raid in WoW.

Applications Programmers
Does the job description above sound like where you want to be in two or three years? Don’t worry, we have junior-level Java positions too, developing intelligence applications in an Oracle environment. If you’ve done that before and would like to do it again while building towards something more, this is the position for you.

Technical Writer
Does describing the work done in the above positions interest you more than doing it? We’re looking for someone who will serve as contract documentation specialist and will support the instantiation of a matrixed approach to technical documentation. Requires, among other things, at least 3 years of experience in software development documentation and the ability to come up with a better phrase than “the instantiation of a matrixed approach to technical documentation.”

General Qualifications
• Proven ability to work well in teams
• Ability and desire to learn new skills
• Ability to represent our company well when dealing with the customer
• Lack of rabid weasels attached to your face
• Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related discipline.
• Active Top Secret clearance

Did we succeed? Do you want to work here? Then we invite you to forward your cover letter and resume. We look forward to working with you.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, very funny. Only problem is, I think you're going after the wrong demographic. Technies aren't exactly endowed with the greatest senses of humor (or more generally, personalities), so I fear that your excellent ad might not produce as well as you'd hope. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

PS - I used "endowed" in a serious way...

Unknown said...

Now THAT is a nice job posting. Shame on your CEO for not approving of the funny parts. I do agree with J.Kidd's "endowed" comments though.

PS - I used the words "J.Kidd's nice endowed funny parts" in a serious way.