When Job Descriptions Go Wrong

3 min read
Apr 15, 2016

When Job Descriptions Go Wrong by TINYpulseOur Employee Engagement Survey found that 10% of employees feel like they can’t fulfill their duties because, well, they don’t know what their job is. That starts with a poor description. If your employer cant tell you what your responsibilities are, how can you do your job?

But we doubt your job's description (or lack thereof) reaches these epic fail proportions.


Wanted: Lowly Intern We Can Abuse Without Consequence

intern.gifSOURCE: giphy.com

One UK publishing company lived up to the hype of movies like The Devil Wears Prada when they posted this ludicrously over-the-top ad. According to the Daily Mail, for the honor of working without pay, the company demanded that the candidate “not have any other commitments (personal or professional) that will interfere with their work at the Press (family obligations, writing, involvement with other organizations, degrees to be finished, holidays to be taken, weddings to attend in Rio, etc).”

In other words, sacrifice your first born to the company, and maybe you’ll qualify to apply for an entry-level editor position.

They go on to describe a whole litany of offenses that could get you fired from your internship:

  • Coming in late or leaving early without prior permission
  • Being unavailable at night or on the weekends
  • Failing to meet any goals
  • Giving unsolicited advice about how to run things
  • Taking personal phone calls during work hours
  • Gossiping
  • Misusing company property, including surfing the Internet while at work
  • Submission of poorly written materials
  • Creating an atmosphere of complaint or argument
  • Failing to respond to emails in a timely way
  • Not showing an interest in other aspects of publishing beyond editorial
  • Making repeated mistakes
  • Violating company policies

The sad thing is that some college student was probably desperate enough to apply anyway.


Wanted: Copywriter Literary Genius

Check out this winner of a job post.  


SOURCE: urspostrophe.com

We have some questions:

So you don’t want a copywriter? Because it sounds like the job is writing ad copy, i.e., a copywriting.

How could “strong opinions about beat poetry” in any way make you better at this job or any job other than beat poet? And, of course, it’s reasonable to expect that whoever is hired will be capable of producing “mind-blowing, sky shattering work in digital.” You’ve set your expectations at just the right level.



overwork.gifSOURCE: giphy.com

That was the headline for this post on Journalism Jobs.

How bad do you want to be a reporter? Bad enough to work nights and weekends? The poor glutton for punishment that’s chosen will cover city and county government. Sports and general interest feature stories.

In exchange for your long hours and tireless efforts you will be rewarded with low pay and marginal health insurance. Please send resume, and 3 writing samples to [email]. This is a full time salaried position located in the beautiful northwest.

Wow. This sounds like the white-collar equivalent of indentured servitude. YOU WILL BE PUNISHED AND YOU WILL LIKE IT. At least its honest.


Wanted: Loser With No Standards

An Australian company took an unconventional tactic advertising a senior producer position, according to PayScale. Julian Viard, who wrote the ad, said that he was tired of seeing every company claiming that they had the best location, the best team, and the best job.

So he played reverse psychologist, saying that it was the “worst job in town,” in a “poor location,” and “paying below market.” If that wasn’t enough to scare off most people, he added, “With poor processes, a below-average client folio, and a bunch of at-best mediocre staff, they're still giving it a crack and are desperate to hire a Senior Producer.” Then he goes on to describe the awful clients, poor software, and terrible colleagues.

The cherry on top — the end of the ad, “Why are you still reading this?”

Searching for the best candidates is tough stuff. And we get that sometimes these quirky job descriptions are just for laughs at best, but if youre trying to reel in top talent, why are you scaring them off in the first place? Perhaps its time to rethink your recruitment strategies.





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