“We’re two introvert misfits who who hated working for other people enough to start our own business, all in service of the pipe dream that one day we could be left the hell alone all day, every day to make jokes about existentialism and cats.”
This is exactly what Matt Snow and Meredith Erin posted to job listing sites in the hope that they’d find an employee that was the right fit for their business.
One of the tricky parts of hiring is coming up with catchy job descriptions that will attract a great employee. A candidate on paper might look like a solid option, but in person not everyone turns out to be a great fit.
So how do you attract top talent? It all starts with the job post.
We spoke to eCommerce employers that were willing to share creative job description examples that worked for them. Here are some creative job posting ideas to steal right now.
“I do not believe the team player quality is an absolute requirement for a good employee,” says Meredith Erin, co-owner of Boredwalk T-Shirts. “I’ve never been much of a team person but even when I worked for employers I still got positive reviews and was able to get raises and promotions and move up professionally.”
It was this realization that made Meredith and her partner Matt realize they had been hiring all wrong. After countless employees that didn’t work out, it was time to try something drastic – something that would attract the types of candidates they’d want working for them.
They needed to find employees more like them.
Every good job description example should catch the attention of a candidate right away. It’s why Meredith and Matt decided to start their ad with the following title:
Print Shop/eCommerce Business Seeking Detail Oriented Introvert for Production Role
A line like this is specific, candid and appealing enough to want to click through. The first line of their job description was just as catchy:
Do you hate people? We sure do, they’re the worst! So here’s the deal: If you would love to work where you can be left alone all day, you are gonna LOVE this job. Tasks are fairly solitary and not terribly difficult.
If you can follow directions and pay attention to what you’re doing, you should be able to handle this job. It’s essentially just working with our production equipment to print apparel products that are going to be shipped out to our e-commerce customers.
Since people skills have nothing to do with the job they are hiring for, it made sense to highlight this as a benefit to the warehouse worker they wanted to hire. Rather than shy away from being honest about the traits that would work best for their ideal employee, they chose to be upfront about it.
Matt and Meredith decided to be honest with themselves (and their future hire) about the type of atmosphere they’d want employees to adapt. They included things like not to worry about idle chitchat and stressed the importance of not showing up wearing perfume/cologne to the office, which was important since their employee would be around inventory all day.
They chose to highlight unique perks like their super informal dress code, the ability to listen to music/podcasts while on the clock and the fact that as employers, they’re super hands-off.
It’s clear from the posting that Matt and Meredith aren’t looking for employees that want a ton of social interaction. They wanted an employee that likes being productive, working independently and can do without a ton of small talk. In fact, being alone time was listed as a perk.
Their listing also stated that for a job that requires little skill, they offered pay above market average.
The result? They received over 100 applications the first week the post went live. They received so many good candidates that for the first time ever, they had trouble deciding who to hire.
“If you’re struggling with staffing like we were, give unconventional job ads a try. It’s been a total game changer for us,” says Meredith.
They received so many good candidates that for the first time ever, they had trouble deciding who to hire.
Johnny Michaels has a company that sells prank gifts and by nature, tends to skew a little crass. So it wasn’t too shocking that he’d include “Don’t Be A Pussy” in his job posting, even if it could turn off a few potential hires. He includes this, among other racier copy, so that people self-select themselves out of the running right away.
“If the value ‘Don’t be a pussy’ offends you, then it’s far better for you to opt-out at this stage,” he says. “The result is we get fewer applicants who are obvious non-fits.”
Although traditional job postings would balk at using off-the-cuff language, Johnny uses it at length.
Other company values he includes in his postings are “Don’t be a d*ck” and “Treat people really f*cking well”.
You don’t need to be comfortable dropping the f-bomb to work for Johnny, but you can expect to work in a company that is bursting with personality.
Just how successful is this out-of-the-box approach? Johnny’s traditional job postings would get a pool of around 50 applicants. Hires from those ads didn’t have a high retention rate and often candidates wouldn’t end up being the right fit.
His latest ad for a $13/hour warehouse employee (above minimum wage for his state) with no benefits, managed to garner a whopping 600 applicants.
“Many people mentioned the values as the reason they applied,” said Johnny. “We also received a ton of independent feedback from people saying how refreshing it was to see an honest ad.”
According to the American Time Use Survey, Americans spend 8.7 hours at work on an average work day. Since the bulk of our lives are spent at work, values are more important than perks and even salary, according to Johnny.
“Many excellent employees value lifestyle and good management way more than lots of cash, which means that you can compete with much more well-funded companies simply by offering non-monetary perks,” he says. “Posting an ad like this this is me doing my small part to chisel away at professionalism, which gets in the way of human connection.”
Johnny suggests taking a step back and looking at the values you believe to be crucial to your business. If you have non-traditional ones, be sure to promote those in your posting. Though it can take a lot of work upfront to sit and think through what the core values for your company are, it will pay in dividends down the line. And will make hiring and firing that much easier.
Many excellent employees value lifestyle and good management way more than lots of cash, which means that you can compete with much more well-funded companies simply by offering non-monetary perks.
In summary, you can’t expect a world-class pool of candidates if you’re using a standard template that doesn’t show the vision of your company, the culture of your team or make the job enticing for top-level talent to apply.
Here’s our checklist before you post your next job opening!
Candidates will be checking out your website to find out more about your company, so make sure you entice them with a great careers page that highlights the company culture.
Here’s a few we really love.
The company does a great job of weeding out any candidates that respond “Yes” to their first set of questions by sending them to Walmart’s jobs page. Snarky, but funny too.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich
A killer video, hilarious group photo and the promise that you’ll learn more in one week than you have in the past three months on the job. It’s a charming combo that attracts the best of the best.
Compelling messages like “Create a World That Inspires Human Connection” and “Apply Today and Change The Travel Industry” are grand statements that will feel aspirational to potential employees.
You know how they say if you put something into the universe, the universe will bring it to you? The same applies to job openings.
If you want someone that has the ability to tell a great joke on demand, mention it. Or like Matt and Meredith, maybe you just want someone who will put their earbuds in and do the work. Either way, give concrete and specific examples of the traits you’re looking for and at all costs, avoid the boring “hardworking” and “self-starter” descriptions.
This doesn’t need to be a fancy video, but that never hurts. Think about why your company is awesome and why someone would want to work there. If you don’t know the answer to this, heed Johnny’s advice and figure it out before you make a hire.
Do you pay over market value? Can dogs come into the office? Does everyone get “Work From Home Fridays”?
Find the benefits that make your company stand out and list them. If you don’t have anything particularly noteworthy, don’t worry. Just make the dull stuff a little more exciting! Everyone appreciates free coffee in the break room.
You don’t have to offer unlimited vacation days, a completely remote lifestyle and free happy hours to entice top talent to apply for your job. But you do need to sound like a job people will actually want to apply for.
We all love to read a cover letter where a candidate’s personality shines. It’s important to keep that in mind as you write your job description too. Whether you’re hoping to write up a clever posting for your next CEO or want a job description for millennials, showcasing the personality of your company is crucial.
Hopefully you’re feeling inspired about the next job posting you plan on putting together. To find top eCommerce talent, be sure to post to our job board right here.
And if you have any creative job description examples you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below!