Unless you’ve been living under a rock or in a giant mansion, you’ve probably noticed that the economy has locked itself in the shitter for the past three-plus years.
The poor economy has put a cramp on companies’ ability to hire. And so we have a large pool of people that are swimming around in unemployment. Many of these unemployed folk are really talented. But unfortunately, the only jobs they can find don’t pay a decent wage. And I’m not talking about a gig that requires operating a deep frier. I’m talking about jobs that should be paying very decent wages.
Just do a casual search of Craigslist, and you will find dozens upon dozens of completely ridiculous job ads that are basically searching for highly talented indentured servants. Usually these companies are seeking a highly trained and experienced individual to fill a fairly technical position for roughly $10 an hour. That’s about as much as you’ll make putting sandwiches on a conveyor belt at Potbelly. And I should know! I applied to work at Potbelly!
In order to justify their pathetic wages, these companies will often advertise for “paid interns.” Frankly, an internship should be an educational opportunity that benefits the intern more than it benefits the employer. It should provide on the part of the company ample training and education. The intern should be expected to contribute minimally. After all, if you really wanted someone to churn out professional work product, you’d fucking fork over the money to hire a professional. Hell, the only reason why these companies pay their interns these days is because the federal government started cracking down on this corporate slave-trade scheme.
Here’s a fictitious example of exactly the kind of job ad I’m talking about:
Innovative marketing firm seeks highly motivated self-starter
Do you like living life in the fast lane? Are you a motivated self-starter who works well alone and with others? Do you know anything about wage-and-hour law? If you answered “yes” to the first two questions and “no” to the last one, you’re the candidate we’re looking for.
We have an amazing highly awesome completely paid internship position we are looking to fill immediately. Our ideal candidate will have 3+ years experience in direct marketing, media relations, public relations, community relations, data analysis and social marketing techniques. Advanced knowledge of SEO is required. Managerial experience couldn’t hurt either. Also, if you can do Web and graphic design, that’d be sweet. Did we mention this is a fun work environment? We didn’t? Well, okay.
You will get hands-on experience with all of our major campaigns, from pursuing client leads to coming up with campaign ideas to executing these campaign ideas. Basically, we’re handing the keys over to you while we go and buy hookers and Potbelly sandwiches. Also, we have a ping pong table. (You must supply your own paddles.)
This is a paid internship position, so you will be supplied with a stipend at the end of your tenure. We will not be supplying you with a 401(k), transportation reimbursement or health insurance. Did we mention that our office is full of incredibly rusty and sharp objects that randomly fall from the ceiling? Well, it is!
If you are interested in applying for the position, please send us your resume and three work samples. Also, you will be asked to come onsite for a computer aptitude test, which will take up about half your day. We want to make sure you know what a mail merge is because we don’t. You will not be paid for this time, though you are free to use the community water fountain in the hallway. Also, you will be asked to write three press releases in our firm’s style. We will then remove your name from these press releases and use them as our own work product. Also, when we say “style,” we mean the most insipid attempt at humor on the planet. Think the television show Friends meets a knock-knock joke.
So if you’re ready to bend over and get fucked in the ass, apply today! Seriously, hurry. Our current intern has taken to begging for food and water, and it’s kind of a drag.
So here’s my list of tips to employers seeking good talent through job sites like Craigslist:
- State your wage range in the job ad. Everyone’s time is important, including the time of prospective hires and your hiring managers. You want to get candidates that you can afford? Then put this in there. Leaving it out is kind of a dick move.
- Do not use interns as temporary labor. Interns are there to get some experience and an on-site education. They are not cheap labor that you can take advantage of. Quit being a greedy bastard and either hire able talent or develop an honest-to-God internship program.
- Pay an actual wage. Some employers, especially those that hire artistic talent, feel it’s totally fine to offer a low flat rate for deliverables. For instance, I just saw a business writing position that pays $10 an article. The only people that will take you up on this are people that can’t write. A green professional writer won’t charge any less than $30 an hour minimum.
- You get what you pay for. You pay shit, you’ll get shit. Your turnover rates will be insane, which in the end actually costs you hundreds of dollars more due to the interruption to business. You need someone with talent but can’t afford someone with the right skills? Then you have no business running a business.
- Do not be funny in your job ad. Odds are you are not very funny. In fact, 100% of all “funny” job ads I have ever read were painfully unfunny. If you show yourself to be a talentless hack, then you will likely attract talentless hacks.