Bait for talent

3 min readSep 24, 2020

For a short work life of 7 years I think I have at least combed through 10,000+ job listings. I notice jobs follow a ridiculously mundane template:

  1. Something about the company (optional. This is like the youtube advert you must wait through)
  2. Job description (this is as relevant as my degree and how I’ve used it for my job)
  3. Requirements (long list of skills or qualifications. Essentially have you spent enough time to training yourself on someone else’s dime to be relevant for the company you want to join)
  4. What’s in it for you (optional. Ending in video youtube sponsorship. As relevant as something about the company)
  5. And then there are small nuggets of meta data that are snuck in like seniority, type of employment, industry and job functions

The following are some suggestions I have:

Instead of a job description, start with a conversation

Jobs are starting to feel super transactional. I exchange time and skills, you give me money. (Kinda feels like the world’s second oldest profession but with a white collar for kink)

It won’t cost a dime to help people feel like people. Start with a conversation (the following is a suggestion):

Rejection sucks! You are a talented individual. That is why we want to help you get this job. Now grab a cup of your preferred choice of stimulant and let’s proceed. We want to ensure we accept every application, so help us keep up the success rate by thoroughly going through the questions

Replace the requirements with a questionnaire (a well thought out one):

Outdated requirements like has a degree is irrelevant for most jobs these days (unless there’s a degree that focuses on powerpoint slides and helping you choose pretty color palettes)

Personally I’ve found questions (when asked in the right way) to feel more personal (and it helps to filter out non serious applicants reducing the workload of the HR Recruiter)

  • Can you see yourself spending 40 hours a week on this role in this company. If not no hard feelings
  • How do you approach meetings?
    (this may seem like a joke but it’s an important question to determine how people manage their time in one of the biggest time sinks of any role)

If you are enjoy a laugh at the expense of our corporate overlords, I hope my sense of humour is the cause