Psychopaths welcome but no “whingers” need apply: The traits these two employers are looking for in new employees

Job applicants

Have you got an employee who whinges too much? Or would you rather one who displays psychopathic traits?

With job advertisements an opportunity to showcase exactly what your business is about, two employers in New Zealand and the UK have sparked attention for their humorous and perhaps concerning job ads.

On a whinge and a prayer

A New Zealand-based pest destruction operator, Duane Trafford, has been praised for his honesty, after posting an ad on an online job board in late September, seeking a “possumer”.

A possumer is presumably a possum hunter with the job of eradicating the furry pests from farms in the area, but the job description requires more than just someone handy with a rifle. In particular, propsective employees must not be ” shit stirring whingers”.

The ad claims that the “requirements are pretty simple”, and goes on to detail a number of key criteria for applicants to the job.

“I am looking for possumers. Not pig hunters, not people that tried hunting once and thought they liked it and thought they were having a midlife crisis and decided they needed to get out of the office,” Trafford states.

“Now by Possumers I mean people that can work as part of a team. Come back to accommodation at night and NOT WHINGE!!!!”

The ad goes on to emphasise the importance of not whinging, with Trafford emphasising that he is “not their mother”.

“Start the day with a positive attitude and not WHINGE!!! Can talk to other members of their team with respect and not WHINGE!!!! I don’t want shit stirring whingers!!!,” he said.

A number of dubious working conditions are also outlined, including no breaks, getting cold, getting hot, getting hungry, and getting thirsty. The employer also details that there is no mobile phone reception at the property, rounding the sentence off with another reminder to not whinge.

Ben Watts, general manager at WattsNext HR, told SmartCompany it’s clear the employer is attempting to “weed out” applicants who may not want to do the job but warns it may reflect badly on the business.

“The occupational health and safety requirements are a bit dubious, he’s basically admitting to no breaks and no food,” Watts says.

“I understand he is trying to be a bit different and stand out from the crowd, but some statements could reflect badly on his own business.”

However, Trafford claims in the ad he is “very health and safety conscious” claiming this means “lots of audits, training, audits, paperwork, more training, and audits”.

The advertisement has been successful, as reports Trafford’s ad had attracted over 4000 views and two people have signed up for work.

Trafford concludes the ad stating he’s simply offering “a bloody job” and the chance “to do something other than sit on your arse”.

Psychopathic executives wanted

Would you want to work with a psychopath? UK-based broadcast PR specialist Radio Relations clearly would, posting a job ad on The Guardian’s job boards seeking a “psychopathic new business media sales executive.”

“You didn’t expect to see a job ad for a psychopath did you but this is no ordinary role,” the company said.

This unusual request comes off the back of recent research that many chief executive officers display psychopathic tendencies and behaviours and that 21% of surveyed executives have “significant psychopathic traits”.

Forensic psychologist Nathan Brooks from Bond University told The Independent the figure “shared similarities to what we would find in a prison population”.

However, the company doesn’t want the whole package when it comes to its new psychopathic executive, claiming it is seeking only the “positive qualities that psychopaths have”.

“By this, I mean that they have a high sense of self-worth, are incredibly ambitious and a do-whatever-it-takes mentality,” the company said.

Watts says he “wouldn’t recommend” putting down “psychopath” as a quality you’re looking for in an applicant, but acknowledges the power of a humorous and different job advertisement.

“Making your ads a bit different is a good way to display the culture of your business, and you’ll naturally get more interest in a job ad by being clever,” he says.

“I’d encourage people to differentiate their ads a bit. If you’re up against 50 other businesses looking for the same applicant, it’s good to be different.”

The ad signs off by claiming “criminal psychopaths need not apply.”


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