The hiring policy that has everyone talking

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Would you consider listing a job which specifies the applicant must be "Nice: Life is too short to work with jerks"? One US company did and it is part of their strict “no jerks” hiring policy.

Henry Albrecht, CEO of health and wellness company Limeade, implemented the policy after a staff member posed a rhetorical question; “That person could totally do the job, but do we really want him representing our company?”

From there the conversation turned to that maybe the company should focus on hiring team players and the “no jerks” policy was born.

Albrecht explained to that the company’s definition of a jerk is someone who cares more about his or her own personal or career interests than the teams.

Once they had the definition Limeade then amended and added to their company values to reflect the “no jerks” mind-set. And while it wasn’t added to the employee handbook they did include it in job descriptions.

So how does it work when it comes to hiring? Albrecht said they look out for a smile, a laugh or a ‘thank you’.

“Gratitude and self-awareness is big to us. A little homework on the company helps. Complaining is a quick ticket out,” he told

The policy must have hit the right nerve; Albrecht states that since adding the “no jerks” line to the job description they’ve noticed an increase in people actively pursuing roles with them.

So is this something Kiwi companies could employ in their recruitment processes?

Elephant Training & HR general manager Angela Atkins told HRM Online New Zealand organisations would go with a positive approach such as ‘must be a team player’ or ‘must be good at building relationships’. However she said it is a possibility more light-heartedness may come into the recruitment process.

“As companies grow and establish the behaviours they want to see they normally take a more serious approach. I think now that most companies have performance review systems and people understand descriptions around what behaviours are expected it might turn a little bit more light-hearted, it might get a bit more quirky like that,” she said.

Atkins said her company is currently working with a Kiwi company who do have a “similar type of phrase” as one of their values which also lists the types of behaviours they mean.

She advised organisation adding such phrases to their list of values or code of conduct to define what is meant and some general guidelines.
Do you agree with this policy? Would you consider implementing a “no jerks” hire policy? Let us know in the comment section below.
  • Kate Batkin on 12/02/2014 11:33:18 a.m.

    One company within New Zealand that is using this tact for employment marketing is Vend. Their ad's are fresh, forward thinking and create a similar image. They seem to be hiring excellent creative people and the culture (from the outside) is refreshing.

  • Alexis Siermans Career Team on 12/02/2014 11:28:11 a.m.

    ... I am not sure I agree with a "no Jerk" policy - sound's a bit "jerky" to me! But a smile a laugh and a thank you are vital positive ingredients for ANY candidate seeking a new opportunity.Thankfully at Career Team we enjoy this feedback most days!

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