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In addition to including the requirements and skills needed for the open role, your developer job listings should include a brief look into your company’s culture.  After all, the job posting is often the first time the candidate is learning about your company (unless you’re a household name). Your job listing likely has a limit to the number of words you can include, so you’ll need to succinctly convey your culture in a paragraph or two. Not an easy task, right?

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up a few of the common mistakes we see in job listings when it comes to describing company culture. Are you guilty of any of these?

Focusing too much on perks

Yes, perks are great. Who wouldn’t want unlimited snacks or a brand new computer as part of their new job? But companies who rely solely on the outrageous perks they offer are often seen as covering up for something. Developers may think, “Are they offering us all these perks because they expect us to be at the office until 9 PM?” Additionally, are these perks so outrageous that only a small number of employees will even use them or benefit from them? (No, not every developer cares about your fully-stocked beer fridge or weekly games of beer pong.) You shouldn’t be using your perks as a crutch. Instead, they should be seen as something that showcases how much you value your employees.

Using generic phrases

If your company brags that you have a laid-back culture that includes a “business casual dress code,” “relaxed work environment,” or “flexible work hours,” you may want to rethink what you’re writing. The truth is that most places hiring developers don’t require them to wear suits to the office, so advertising that is pointless. Terms like a “relaxed work environment” and “flexible work hours” mean very different things to different people, and you’ll need to be far more specific. Does flexible work hours mean someone can leave at 5:00 PM once a month? Or does it mean you allow employees to create their own schedules? Those are two very different things.

Making assimilation to the culture a requirement

I’ve seen more and more job listings that word their culture as a requirement to the candidate. Phrases like “we only hire the best of the best” or “Company X values people passionate about the [insert niche industry here].” This type of phrasing is problematic for a variety of reasons. It immediately turns off candidates who don’t immediately identify themselves with the characteristics. How many of us really believe we are, in fact, “the best of the best?” Does being “passionate about the tech industry” mean I have to attend events and code in my spare time? Be careful about describing your culture to avoid these potential problems. 

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