I hate job listings that describe what the job might become in the future if the immediate project is successful. It seems inheritly dishonest to tempt people to apply for a possible good future job as a package deal with a current lower-paying, short-term job.

I’m not really looking for a work. I bitch and moan about my curent job a lot, but I know it’s a pretty good place. (That didn’t come from me ;-) I do, however, subscribe to the jobs.perl.org telecommute rss feed. Why? It’d be nice to find some part-time telecommute work to do on evenings and weekends. Maybe hone some new skills and bring in a few extra bucks at the same time. Not that I have a lot of free time, mind you – I’ve got two kids, and the wife and I are trying to paint the house.

Anyway, I see on a number of number of job postings, not just on perl jobs, some verbiage like this:

This is a part time job, but if the project works out successfully then we may be offering a more permanent position to the candidate.

One particular job listing listed many of the current technologies I’m well-versed in. I use them almost every day at my current job. But the listing had that little poison nugget in there that completely discourages me from looking further into the opportunity.
My reading of that kind of text in a job listing is this:
We’re going to trick you into to taking a lower than usual rate for the current project because you will be hoping that subsequent projects with us will be more lucrative. Of course, full-time work and well-monied future projects will never materialize, and we will string you along as long as we can to get cheaper work until you figure out the scam. We’re hope you are desperate enough to make this a long-term arrangement.

That’s how I interpret it. I hesitated linking to the specific listing above, because I didn’t want to imply that the particular listing is being duplicitious. There’s no real way to tell. I’m making a more general observation here.

I think I would be able to accomplish whatever they needed, however. It’s a part-time telecommute position, so I should be a good fit. Provided they don’t have real tight deliverables ($DAYJOB trumps $MOONLIGHTINGJOB in any crunch), I should apply for that position. But I won’t.

Mostly likely, I wouldn’t take the permanent position even if they offered it, but I can’t help but to be put-off by the attempted subtle manipulation.

I just don’t get the warm fuzzies from a listing that describes what the job might become if the current job is successful, holding that out as some kind of carrot. I want to know exactly what the job is and, only apply for that one, and deliver on actual expectations.

Employers should leave the speculation out of job listings. For better or worse, speculative job listings discourage me from seeking work from you.