Startups hiring product designers.

I came across this job listing from Bandcamp and it took me by surprise. We’ve all heard the old adage “designers should code” and while I agree with some of that sentiment, the way companies are forcibly wielding this phrase is startling. First off, if you want your designers to code there should be a damn good reason for them to be taking a dip in your developer environment. Secondly, a massive list of hard production skills is more of a sign that the organization doesn’t know what they want or need.

Here’s a list of a few of my favorite requirements:

  1. You will be able to take your ideas from sketches to mockups to production-ready HTML/CSS.
  2. You can’t understand why a job posting would list HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Sketch, Principle, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver as requirements when that’s already obvious.
  3. You have experience in animation, illustration, print, video and/or photography.
  4. You have conducted user tests and used the findings to address design issues.
  5. Your portfolio reflects all of the above.
  6. Recent and soon-to-become graduates warmly encouraged to apply.

Who is this person, fresh out of school with an understanding of front end development, ad-agency level video, animation and photography work, who not only sketches UX flows but designs, prototypes, builds and tests the thing? I have never met this person, or at least someone claiming to be fully skilled in all these practices that I would actually hire.

So, product companies like Bandcamp, who are you looking for? What is this swiss-army designer going to actually do on your team? In my personal opinion, job listings like these reflect poorly on the organization looking for new hires as if they were standing on a mountain shouting at no body in particular hoping one poor soul will hear their call. Figure out what you actually need and hire the professionals who will actually get the job done (and then some).

My favorite bit is the riddle an applicant has to solve just to find the email address just to apply.

Edit: one day after writing this post they’ve taken down the job listing. I’m assuming they’ve found the golden-goose they’ve been searching for. Here is a screenshot of the job listing.