WANTED! People who aren’t stupid

I’m looking to hire an additional Recruiter for my team – business is brisk, we are growing, blah, blah, blah.  We’ve been in business 31 years, profitable all 31 years.  Part of that profitability is we don’t overpay for talent.  That is a good way of saying, we’ve been very good at hiring entry level college kids and turning them into very good recruiters.  Basically, I have some upfront investment into teaching them the trade and that investment pays off in the long run.

I hear that there are millions of people out of work.  What I don’t see are people who actually want to work to get paid.  I wrote a job description, qualifications, etc. and put it up on one of the Big Job Boards to see what I would get – see below:

Here’s the JD:

Technical Recruiter:
What the heck is a Technical Recruiter?  We find great talent for our client companies.  You need to be part private investigator, part blood hound and part jealous girlfriend – basically you will be using the training we give you to get out and find Rock Stars – the best of the best – in the fields of engineering and Information Technology.

You spend a lot of time on the phone and on the internet tracking down and networking to find these types of folks.  Then once you find them – you put them through the 3rd Degree on why they might be good enough to get passed onto to our client.  It’s a fast pace environment and every day you never know what you’re going to run into.

Why this might be for you?

1. You’re smart (i.e., you have a Bachelor’s Degree – no a real bachelor’s degree, not one out of the back of an airline magazine)

2. You’re are self motivated (Look, we don’t want to babysit you, we’re busy – you need to be able to push yourself)

3. You can take rejection (Recruiting isn’t easy – you spend all day tracking down the perfect candidate and they tell you to take a hike – that’s life – time to put on the big boy/big girl pants)

4. You’re a networker (this means you have probably have more than 1000 Facebook/Instagram/Twitter Friends combined – and most actually know who you are and haven’t blocked you)


Ok, Let’s recap – here’s what you need to work here:

1. Smarts – Bachelor’s Degree

2. Motivation – I want to be successful, and willing to do more than show up and wait for someone to give me a trophy

3. Business Sense – we negotiate and sell all day – that’s the real world.  We sell people on why they should want to go to work for a company, and we sell the company on why they need the person we have. It’s fun!

4. Guts.  Yeah, that’s right – you’re going to have to pick up the phone and talk to real people that you don’t know – scary right – you mean I just can’t text them? No.

This is a Big Girl job – business cards, your own phone extension, 1 hour lunch breaks. Welcome to the show.  We expect that you’ll actually work.

If you send me your resume and you don’t have all the stuff above – we might ridicule you publicly on our blog.  The End.


Seems pretty straight-forward right?  You need to be out going and have a BACHELOR’s Degree – and probably a sense of humor.  If you don’t have that, don’t send me a resume.

Guess what I got from my Ad?

19 responses with Resume.  Of the 19 – 6 had a bachelors degree (No, having 82 credits towards a Bachelor’s degree does not constitute you having a bachelor’s degree).  6 were female, 13 were male – 4 out of 6 females met the requirement, which tells me Females are less stupid than males.  One female was currently a Licensed Attorney with her JD – which tells me all I need to know about that profession right now.

We don’t have a jobs problem in this country.  We have a candidate problem.  People are mostly stupid.  Employers don’t want to hire stupid people.

So, I’ll ask you – my overly smart and snarky readers – Was I clear enough on my Job Descriptions and Qualifications on what I was looking for?

42 thoughts on “WANTED! People who aren’t stupid

  1. Keep in mind, by definition, HALF of the entire population is at, or below, median intelligence.

    To make this statistic even scarier, consider this…

    In 1950, the US population was 150 million.

    Today, the US population is over 300 million.

    That means 150 million people are at, or below, median intelligence.

    So, today we have the entire population from 1950 who are stupid.

  2. You posted this on a job board? It’s a clever blog post, but the types of people who respond to something like this are going to want more than a job posting on a job board.

    Those kids with degrees are going to want to get paid. You basically say they’re smart, but that you’re not going to pay them. So you pump them up, then tell them their degree is worthless because they have to be trained.

    Then you tell them to send you their resume. Right. Because the type of person who is going to succeed is going to follow the rules.

    Why not tell them to call and leave a message at a specific time? 60 seconds – and you’ll call the interesting ones back? Why not give details as to what they’ll actually do (keeping in mind that no one outside of industry knows what a day looks like). Video of the office? Examples of how to actually recruit? How much money can they actually make (what’s the average year one and year two?). What’s your turnover rate?

    It’s clear what you were trying to do, but it seems like you didn’t really commit. You laid out a job posting that talks about how awesome you are without actually communicating what they’d need to do to get the job and be awesome as well.

  3. I think the type of candidates that are applying tell you all you need to know about your posting. Disappointed with your results? Better take a look in the mirror instead of calling your applicants “stupid.”

  4. Dude. You are a smart dude. A funny and CLEVER dude.

    And I’m a dude with absolutely NO experience in recruiting or hiring. But my two cents on the description are this:

    You know those job descriptions for “Entry level marketing/PR/advertising” positions? They mean outdoor sales.

    I can’t put my finger on it, but something about the description gives me that vibe.

    You want rock stars, yeah?

    Instead of starting by telling them you’re not going to pay a killer salary, start by telling them how important your employees are to you. Tell them how they are the reason your business succeeds and how you need to keep a great team of qualified, extraordinarily hard workers. Tell them you focus on the quality of work, not the hours they’ll work. Tell them you focus on the environment they work in, not cutthroat performance reviews. Find the unique things that are true about you and how you run your business and sell those things to them — the perks.

    But keep the work front and center. If there’s anything rockstars pay attention to when they read job descriptions, it’s the actual work, in my opinion. They want to know what their responsibilities will be and how they’ll be measured for success.

    Just a thought.

    I’m almost 100% positive that you’re a great leader and hundreds of rockstars out there would kill to work for you.

    The description, for me, though, doesn’t show that, necessarily, yeah?

    I hope that’s helpful and good luck! Also — are you looking for someone in Michigan or remote? I might have a recommendation for you if you’re looking for a remote employee.

  5. Did you also want someone who would fix the typos in the Ad? ‘Cause they’re driving me crazy.

    “out [get?] out and find Rock Stars”
    “This [is] a Big Girl job”
    “you’re [your] own phone extension”

  6. I’ve a BComm (yes, from a real university). I’m 20. I’m in recruiting 3 months; software recruitment, to be specific. I like the work, and the chase. I go to tech events and I meet the kind of people I need to fill my jobs. I’d go for this job- and I definitely have my big girl pants on.

  7. I questioned the references to “jealous girlfriend” and “Big Girl Job” – makes it sound like you’re only looking for “girls.” Not women, but girls, implying not only a gender preference, but a specific age group as well. Maybe the JD is applying to see how you handle her application and if you are applying a gender bias? Just a thought.

    Also, I agree with the others that 1) you don’t need a BA to be smart OR a recruiter, and 2) the humor gets a little clouded by the condescending tone.

  8. I questioned the references to “jealous girlfriend” and “Big Girl Job” – makes it sound like you’re only looking for “girls.” Not women, but girls: implying not only a gender preference, but a specific age group as well. Maybe the JD is applying to see how you handle her application and if you are applying a gender bias? Just a thought.

    Also, I agree with the others that 1) you don’t need a BA to be smart OR a recruiter, and 2) the humor gets a little clouded by the condescending tone.

  9. There are plenty of smart people who don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree. Conversely, a BS doesn’t guarantee smarts.

    If you insist on a BS, then the Job Description should say
    * Bachelors Degree (required)

    If, however, you want smart candidates, take out the (i.e. you have…) and Interview People!

  10. There is no way, I would ever consider applying for that position. The tone is demeaning. You won’t get rock stars interested with that dribble. You might on the other hand entice a few burned out career women. Obviously you did just that.

  11. There are a few points I would like to make regarding this ad…
    “We don’t overpay for talent” – tells me I am going to work my butt off for you with little to no reward and you still will think you are doing me a favor.
    From an EEOC perspective, you are opening yourself up to liability issues with your statement of ” hiring entry level college kids.”
    Given your tone, are you looking for a recruiter or a used car salesman? With the above ad, it is likely you will find the latter.
    Lastly, I really think that you are selling yourself short with your education requirement. Lack of degree does not equate to a stupid individual. This line of thinking is not only ignorant, but “stupid” in itself. Regardless of your education, you either have it or you don’t. If you “have it”, you didn’t get it from a 4-year university.

  12. “One female was currently a Licensed Attorney with her JD – which tells me all I need to know about that profession right now.”

    It tells you bupkes, Tim. Maybe she was looking to try something different. Maybe she found out she hated working with her fellow lawyers. Maybe she thought the tone of your post was so encouraging that she dared to do something different.

    Don’t presume.

  13. 25+ years of technical recruiting experience (including over ten managing staffing teams); guess what Tim? I don’t have a bachelors degree. The absolute best technical recruiter I’ve worked with? Again, no degree. I’m usually a big fan and agree with many of your ponderings…but you are wrong on this one. I would have been off-put by your job description as well. You might want to reconsider your position the education requirement. Many great superstars come from the old school of hard knocks. We just happen to have the fire in the belly to get stuff done.

  14. I don’t think those who didn’t meet the specs are necessarily stupid, and calling applicants that you’ve never met “stupid” in a public forum, is pretty unprofessional, and stupid itself, in my book. Good luck with the search.

  15. So many things are wrong with this ad. A. Don’t expect to get a rockstar candidate via an ad! For Christ’s sake, that is Recruiting 101 – go source your own recruiter! I have never applied for a recruiter job, people have either come my way or I have been referred in. Even the junior candidates that we hired at the agencies I worked at came via a referral, never ad response. Also, the tone of the ad is REALLY nasty. Last, I have worked with many folks with a BA who are DUMB, DUMB, DUMB! A BA does not automatically equal smarts. This from a super smart gal with a good BA. And to answer Laurie’s question: You don’t need a BA to be a recruiter….

  16. The job description was clear enough. But unless I was desperate for employment, I wouldn’t have sent a resume in. If I haven’t even started working for you yet, and you’re already telling me to “put my big boy pants on,” I’m reading that this is a line you really love to use and couldn’t even wait for me to act like a toddler before you dished it out. I’m envisioning a boss that expects his subordinates to act like toddlers, treats them like toddlers from day one, then is surprised when they act like toddlers.

    So I don’t think clarity is your problem; it’s tone. If you want hard-working adults that are worthy of your respect to respond to a posting, try writing a posting that assumes its audience is made up of hard-working adults, and respects them as such.

  17. I think the job posting is pretty stupid, actually. It sounds very condescending and doesn’t in any way create a sense of excitement to apply – other than it’s an open job. Which is perhaps why you got the responses that you did.

  18. I don’t see the need for the degree. I don’t have one – and a high percentage of the top recruiters I know don’t either.

    What part of the degree actually lends itself to the kind of crap that constitues the majority of our day?

    If it is some sort of “have the completed something major” in life – then perhaps there might be other ways to show that. For me though – I don’t see the actual educational value coming into play on a recruiting desk.

  19. You don’t need a Bachelor’s degree to be a recruiter so why are you making it a requirement? You lost me at “process.” It is this sort of hiring attitude that pushes people into this spiraling debt trap. Employers who don’t value the education of college but do value people who can jump through hoops and put up with bullshit can find alternative “processes” rather than slapping on a non-requirement requirement.

  20. I think your posting for a Technical Recruiter was perfect. Your tone explains you mean business, but still keep it light. Anyone qualified for the position should have already been able to visualize a day in the office, and those not qualified need not apply. Most JD’s are so dry that I fear the office culture will be the same. It is refreshing to see an employer willing to break the mold and tell it how it is.
    In reference to your question – I believe your post was so candid that anyone who came across it knew exactly what you were looking for. A few downsides to that could be:
    – Those less-than-qualified candidates were so inspired to apply with your company due to the nature of your JD, they had to at least give it a shot and figured the worst thing that could happen is they get rejected like every application before it. In the same light, those candidates may have figured an employer that would write this type of JD may be willing to make exceptions if they were only given the chance to express their amazing drive and personality.
    – Less probable but still possible – it was so blunt that some qualified individuals felt they did not match the office culture or were simply turned off by the tone and decided to not even apply.

  21. It’s pretty clear, so clear you even said you were going to do JUST what you are doing right here on your blog…ridicule them. If someone doesn’t get the humor and bluntness of this positing they won’t like your culture and more than likely won’t make the cut anyway. It’s often pretty easy to see when you’ll even fit with a company based on how they chose to write job descriptions. While clearly some things are open to for you, you have some non-negotiables.

  22. The actual “Bachelor’s” degree is meaningless for most positions – let’s face it – unless you’re doing something like engineering or accounting. The process of going 4-5 years to school, finishing multiple projects, classes, deadlines to get over the finishline – is what I’m after. Finishing a Bachelor’s degree is within reach of most people, but not everyone does it – so the process of finishing shows me a ton as an employer. (and don’t give me the “I can’t afford it” stuff – have you been to college admissions office lately?! The poorer you are the better – they will pay you to go to school if you’re dirt poor!)

  23. People are more desperate than stupid. Unemployment is still too high, and people who have the necessary experience, via hands-on work, feel that their work experience should balance the lack of a Bachelor’s. I can’t say that I disagree with them.

    =>Donna Caissie, the ExtraOrdinary HR Virtual Assistant

  24. Don’t forget all the “career experts” out there who tell you that sometimes, a company doesn’t really *need* a Bachelors Degree, but they think they do because that’s what they’ve always done, and you are the special snowflake that will change their mind.

    I must admit, I did bristle at the “stupid” comment. I don’t think it’s necessarily stupidity, just people who may have been looking a long time for a job and are pretty much throwing resumes at the wall to see what sticks.

    I don’t think it’s a great idea, mind you, but knowing a few of those long-term unemployed, and having been on the job hunting game myself for a while (although fortunately still employed) I can understand the level of desperation.

    I personally don’t have a Bachelors. I don’t apply for jobs that have that as a minimum requirement, unless there is something about an Associates and/or years of experience that can “make up” for it. (There are plenty of intelligent people out there, perfectly capable, who don’t have that piece of paper, by the way. Despite what the collective “you” might think, not everyone has access to the tools needed to get that. Still.)

  25. I agree with Cindy. You were clear in your minimum qualifications, and like she said, most people think they will be the exception. However, I’ve found this is typically with the years of experience qualification and not education. However, to just chalk up current unemployment woes to people being stupid–and they are–over simplifies the issue. Employers are also being too picky and relying too heavily on resume parsing Jeff been called out as two big problems by Peter Cappelli, and he’s typically got great insight. However, this is obviously is not the case with your job posting. Look at it this way, the stupid people gave you great material to write about.

  26. Needs people who like humour – particular kind- yet pretty clear. Perhaps the ad channel not aligned to what your looking for… such a great US opportunity should have many more non-stupid candidates.

  27. Tim:

    You’re more clear about the person than about the required experience.

    Do you need experience in engineering and IT? Where is the job located? Are you looking for the entry-level candidate you describe?

    Love the bulleted structure you used, but wanted more specifics on the role. And, with all respect, a bit more of a positive tone might be useful.

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