Binary Redneck

How NOT to Hire Me

Recently, I’ve recieved a number of job offers from people who make even this died-in-the-wool techie feel like business and marketing experts rolled into one. I’m all for finding work. As a matter of fact, I’m on the market right now. However, anyone who manages any of the following acts of cluelessness had better be starting their own job search ASAP. I present, for the sake of learning from one’s (or better yet, others’) mistakes, “How NOT to hire me”…

Misrepresent that you are prepared to pay me for my work. Posting on a forum entitled “Paid [web technology] Services” leads readers to believe that you are offering money in exchange for a service. If this is not the case, post elsewhere. If you are looking for someone to front the effort to launch your latest brainchild, in the hope of some compensation when it takes off, say so up front. Do not use the phrase “full time employee” unless you intend to pay me for approximately forty hours of work per week on an ongoing bases.

Try to present spamming 50,000 high school teachers as a marketing strategy. Yes, it happened. Today, I spoke to someone who wanted me to develop for his education-related portal project. When asked about his stated plan to leverage “access to a large educator community from other involvements”, he said that he had “acquired” a list of 50,000 high school teachers’ email addresses. I confronted him directly about his intentions, and he told me that he just hands over the list to a “marketing agency”, and doesn’t really know what they do with it.

Have no idea about the laws that effect your business. The person with the education portal had seemed very proud of his idea to create a portal that was a thriving community of teachers and students using social networking tools. When asked how he forsaw DOPA effecting his business model, he was at a loss for words. After I’d explained to him just what DOPA was, he still couldn’t grasp how a ban on social networking sites at schools would effect an education-oriented social network targeted at teachers and students.

Lack a basic understanding of your own business model. A woman came to me recently with an idea for yet another new e-businessed based on an advertising model. She didn’t know the difference between getting “clicks” and “conversions.” (A “click” means someone clicked on an ad, a “conversion” means someone clicked on an ad and purchased something, gave information, or otherwise did whatever the advertiser was hoping for.) She also didn’t understand why search-engine ranking was important.

Lack a business model. When I asked one potential employer “How do we make money off of this?”, he couldn’t answer me.

Cold-call me without knowing anything about me. I am not a C# developer, nor do I live in Colorado or have any idea why you think I’ll be “just perfect, ma’am” for the job you have there.

Return my call about your business venture from a bar or club at 9pm on a Saturday evening. The sounds of inebriated people whooping it up in the background does not make you sound professional; neither does interrupting my putting my son to sleep for something that doesn’t involve smoking servers and/or lots of blood.

Call me about your business venture while I am out with my family, decline my offer to return your call at a more convenient time, then order me to tell “that kid” to be quiet. I am a human being with a life. I am not your personal drone. If this is how you woo me into your employ, I’d hate to see how you might act if I actually worked for you!