Job Criteria

Lately, I’ve been wondering if I can identify some of the factors that interest me about a particular posting/position, and wondering whether these can be scored, even if on a completely subjective basis.  So first of all, what makes a posting or a position interesting?

Interesting Company
The company is interesting, they’re doing interesting things or doing it an interesting way.

Interesting Work
This can be in one of three areas: the domain of the work is interesting (sustainable development, alternative energy, consumer web-2.0 development) or the technology of the work is interesting (a good modern Java stack like Spring/Hibernate/GWT; Interesting dynamic languages or newer development choices like Ruby on Rails, Grails, Waves, Lift/Scala, etc.) or finally the role is rare or senior enough to be interesting in its own right (CTO, Director/VP Dev, Release Manager, Scrum Master).

Interesting Compensation
Well-paid (high salary, mostly, although bonus and equity count somewhat), good perks (maternity/paternity leave, benefits, RRSP matching, daycare, etc.).  Many postings don’t go into detail on this subject.  Usually the ones that do, do so because they know they’re above average, which leaves one to conclude that those who don’t specify believe they may not be above average.

Morbid Curiosity
This is usually when something catches my eye but not necessarily in a positive way.  Postings that hope the candidate is experienced with multi-tenant SaaS and Photoshop, or distributed development with model-driven EJBs, or something else that sets off red flags.

I’m often amazed by how many postings absolutely fail to be interesting on one of these counts.  A job posting should be a kind of marketing, not a checklist.  By all means, you need to establish some criteria for sending in resumes, but do also take the time to get your message across.

I’m going to try scoring jobs using these criteria for the next little while, see how it goes.  I’ll follow this posting with a trial posting.  If you’ve got a job you’d like to send this way, I’m happy to see it, and if I find it interesting, I might post it. This is for readers and recruiters alike. That said, posting criteria is, as implied, “Do I find the posting interesting.


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