CASE STUDY: Culture Bull? Job Postings Show You Have One

CASE STUDY: Culture Bull? Job Postings Show You Have One

Whether you agree or not with the title of “culture”, most agree with what I will call the “concept” of work culture.  Culture is simply “the way we do things around here”.  One of the most impactful ways to share your culture, whether intentionally or not, is through a job posting.

Here is a great case study on this concept!

I was formerly on an email distribution list for a company who sent the following call-to-action.  Since this list is somewhat public and intended to be shared, this is ostensibly a job post.  This post was so descriptive, I shared with approximately 15 people to get thoughts on:

  • Their perception of what this company culture is.
  • Who could be the best cultural fit for this job/company.

The 15-people included software development, HR, services, marketing and PR professionals.  Before I share their perceptions and my thoughts – look at the job post.  I redacted any direct reference to the company.

The Job Post/”Call-To-Action”

Hi, everybody…We are looking for a technical leader who is ready for a profound change in life. Do you know someone who is tired of Tim Ferriss podcasts, bullshit statements on culture, and unfulfilled promises on diversity and inclusion? Point us in the direction of someone with entrepreneurial dreams, and who is sick and tired of taking orders from people who lack imagination and a decent work ethic.

We need that technical person. It might even be you!

 We are a team of experienced business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking for a technical co-founder. We have an idea… that’s been validated by a large body of research.

We have an MVP built on Django and written in Python. It has a javascript front-end. We use a highly-customized Bootstrap theme that allows future versions to be more responsive. We employ fuzzywuzzy to condense user data, and we created a proprietary sentiment map with NLTK.

We want users to solve their own problems and move from learned helplessness to action. Our next version could be in the form of an app, a gamified app, or a B2B enterprise software application. Yes, I just wrote that. I’m going to throw up.

Our founding team has expertise in B2B marketing, operations, finance and human behavior. We believe in radical candor without creating a hostile work environment because we are adults. Our culture is progressive, discerning and mature… We don’t have time for stupid shit.

Also, fuck Trump and those alt-right assholes who try to rewrite history with bots. If we build and commercialize (our product) properly, we’ll help people avoid mistakes and stop voting against their own best interests. What we are missing is a technical co-founder who can be a partner and help us dream, build, and iterate quickly on user feedback.

 If you know someone who is done messing around on Product Hunt and ready to work on something unique, give us a shout.”

Feedback From Respondents On Post

Here is the feedback I received in my very non-scientific poll.

A.  Perception on “What kind of culture this company has”:

  • “Cowboy Culture” that is “Uber-like”
  • “Led by people with low EQ”
  • “Free-wheeling”
  • Very “Progressive”
  • “Anti-Trump”
  • “Anti-establishment”
  • “Hostile”
  • “Open to Harassment”
  • “Hip but rebellious/anarchistic”
  • “Filled with smart and passionate albeit rebellious anarchists”
  • “Not team players”
  • “Must have to think a certain way politically”
  • (Not) “really looking for diversity of opinions”
  • “Bully(ing)”
  • “Conflicted leadership: statements made about culture, hostile environment, diversity, inclusion, yet this seem to foster these (negatively). Post says the author wants to ‘throw up’ regarding the company’s actual product.  This messaging is confusing and makes me second guess the leader.”
  • “Close-minded”
  • “Arrogant”
  • “Operates without tact”
  • Comprised of “extroverts”
  • “Doesn’t consider feelings but expects a hard-core argument and a beer the next second”
  • “Pressure” – filled.
  • “Immature”
  • “Pro-Conflict”
  • “No set direction”
  • “Not open to considering other’s opinions on direction”
  • Must “produce”’/ “results-driven”
  • “Valley” Culture
  • Company as a “splash of southern liberal aggression” > BTW, I liked this one!
  • “Unorthodox”
  • Pro-cussing
  • (Led by) “Drunk Frat Boy”
  • Can articulate a “vision”!

B.  “Who would be the best cultural fit for this job/company?”

  • “People who lack professional maturity who want to work for a startup”
  • People OK with making low compensation
  • “Smug idealistic extrovert who enjoys confrontation”
  • OK with “incubator” environment
  • “A serial entrepreneur”
  • “Male”
  • A “millennial” or one that has a “millennial mindset”
  • Someone “politically and socially concerned and motivated by social entrepreneurship”
  • “An architect that doesn’t have to come to this company for the job (money)”
  • “Drunk Frat Boy”
  • Someone who is a “hard-ass”
  • Someone not easily offended
  • “Must be able to stand their ground through an argument”
  • Someone in for the short term
  • “Hip, rebellious/anarchist(s)”

My Thoughts: Culture In Posts Prevail

Here is the deal.  I have no idea if this is the actual culture of this organization.

Also, in my very non-scientific poll, most of the respondents’ perceptions were in the same sandbox.

And if you are wondering, is this an organization I would work for?  Based on this, probably not – this culture is a little too hardcore for me. However…

This is a powerful post with what appears to have been thoughtfully scripted. Especially regarding “how things work around here”.  I am a fan of posts that paint a picture, tell a story and give candidates a clear idea of what work life/culture can be like. I think this post does that pretty damn well. Bravo –

This is crucially important because no-one has time to waste in the hiring game.  Companies want to do everything they can to drive the best candidates, the most qualified candidates, the most culturally-fit candidates to their site quickly.  More importantly, they want candidates who do not fit to self-select out.  Quality vs quantity.

Now, companies can run into trouble if what they promote isn’t real.  Or if the picture painted supports a perception that isn’t true.  Or turns away a large portion of qualified candidates, especially if you are bootstrapping, etc. Or turns away too many qualified candidates and customers because they appear offensive.  That is where HR pros need to hold a mirror up to themselves, the recruiters, the hiring manager, company leaders or the recruitment marketing pro to monitor.

It’s a brave new work world.  And culture, whether you like it or not, is planted firmly in the center of the hiring game.  This includes your job posts.

Reader, share with the FOT crowd your thoughts —

The post CASE STUDY: Culture Bull? Job Postings Show You Have One appeared first on Fistful of Talent.