Survey: Recruiters want 'rockstars' and 'ninjas' for jobs

Nowadays, it’s not enough to just be an employee with ordinary human skills. Recruiters are requesting rockstars, gurus, wizards, and ninjas in their job listings. That’s according to a new survey from job search engine Indeed, which found that quirky job titles like these have been on the rise in the past two years.

This past July, the top five job quirky job listings were “rockstar,” “guru,” “ninja,” “genius,” and “wizard.” These otherworldly, magical employees are requested in some states more than others. Indeed found that rockstars were most requested in Idaho, ninjas were most wanted in Maine, geniuses were most wanted in Delaware, and gurus and wizards were most requested in Oregon.

Do you need to be a ninja to be employed?

Although spicing up the language of a job listing can be a fun creative writing exercise for recruiters, it’s important to remember that first and foremost, a job description needs to clearly delineate the roles and expectations of a job for applicants.

The language within a job listing is a job seeker’s first look at what the culture of a company will be like. Requesting a rockstar may communicate a culture that does not take itself so seriously. Requesting a ninja, known for assassination, can communicate a company culture that takes its productivity very seriously.

Maybe employers should leave wizards to J.K. Rowling

But for those of us who don’t relate to rock ‘n roll and mercenary agents of feudal Japan, these job listings can feel off-putting. At worst, these quirky job listings can deter qualified job seekers from applying.

Even Indeed ultimately concluded that titles like wizards are best left in the world of fantasy, because we don’t naturally search for “wizard” opening when we are job hunting.

“Without a cultural frame of reference, using them in your job listings can affect how well your job posting does,” the survey concluded. “Most people search for roles that match their skills and experience and so using terms like ‘ninja’ and ‘rockstar’ in job titles and descriptions can confuse job seekers and put them off from applying.”