Job Descriptions

I’m still figuring out how to write this, in the meantime, check: It’s high time to rewrite the hiring script.

Underrepresented people self-select out when they look at job descriptions. It is true nobody hits the ground running but many people will not apply if your job description are too restrictive.

Let’s look at examples on restrictive job descriptions.

Ask for a CS degree

Bachelors degree in Computer Science, similar technical field of study

Why do you ask for a CS degree in first place? What qualifies similar technical field of study? All people played Counter Strike before.

Years of irrelevance

5+ years of professional software development experience

Someone who does the same thing over and over again for 5 years is very different than someone who worked on a lot of different things.1

Someone who can do all things

Experience with Ruby and Ruby on Rails, React, Redux
Experience with modern Javascript/ECMAScript, Spree/Solidus
Experience with Azure, AWS, Heroku, or similar IaaS or PaaS providers
Experience with data streaming platforms like Apache Kafka

Naming specific tools to find someone who checks all or most are impossible.

Great job descriptions

  • Clearly communicate the responsibility
  • Explain what they will actually do
  • How much they would get paid

Great job description examples:

Why it is great?

Take Basecamp is hiring a front-end programmer as an example.

We’re accepting applications for the next two weeks with a start date in early April.

Application date and explicit start date.

Basecamp is committed to building an inclusive, supportive place for you to do the best and most rewarding work of your career.

Inclusive and avoid people to self-select out.

Sam Stephenson and Javan Makhmali, whose work has given rise to Stimulus, Turbolinks, and Trix

Who and what kind of projects you’ll work with.

In broad terms, Research & Fidelity is responsible for the following

Get into more details on what you’ll work on.

Our team approaches front-end work from an unorthodox perspective:

Showing past work samples from this team.

We’re looking for someone with strong front-end JavaScript experience. You should be well-versed in modern browser APIs, HTML, and CSS. Back-end programming experience, especially with Ruby, is a plus but not a requirement.

Not tied to specific technologies.

The entire ABOUT YOU section is very honest and very clear what kind of people they’re looking for.

PAY AND BENEFITS! is also very transparent with explict salary range.

The salary for this position is either $149,442 (Programmer) or $186,850 (Senior Programmer).

We assess seniority relative to the team at Basecamp during the interviewing process.

So you don’t need to be a senior to apply!

You can read all the benefits upfront...

All on a foundation of top-shelf health insurance and a retirement plan with a generous match. See the full list.

We’re accepting applications until Sunday, February 2, 2020, at 9:00PM US-Central time. There’s no benefit to filing early or writing a novel. Keep it sharp, short, and get across what matters to you. We value great writers, so take your time with the application. We’re giving you our full attention.

No rush. Send sharpest writeup.

You’ll hear from us by February 14 about whether you’ve advanced to the written code review part of the application process.

Expectation of when will hear them back.

No gotchas, brainteasers, or whiteboard coding. We aim to make an offer by March 20 with a start date in early April.

Very clear to know what to expect.