Update: Barone has responded in a series of tweets, saying that the job posting isn't accurately conveying the level of work he is expecting out of the position.
Hi everyone, I'm seeing the comments & concerns here, and there definitely seems to be a discrepancy between what I'm looking for in this position and how people are interpreting the posting. I'll need to adjust the posting if it's not conveying the intention properlyApril 22, 2019
Just to be clear, I've been doing the tasks with the help, of course, of my accountant, lawyer, payroll and HR software. This position isn't to take over those responsibilities, just help me in managing or interfacing with those existing systems, if that makes senseApril 22, 2019
Original Story: Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone is expanding his Seattle studio with a new team, and more Stardew Valley, in whatever form that takes, is exciting. There's nothing unusual about the growth—the game has sold more than 3.5M copies across all platforms—but I bring it up because the first job posting is so comically overstuffed with responsibilities that it's hard to believe anyone would be able to do it for more than a week.
It's really a sight to behold. Whoever were to take the position, simply called 'Administrator,' would be responsible for:
- Updating social media feeds
- Updating the Stardew Valley website
- Collecting feedback from players
- Answering troubleshooting emails
- Maintaining payroll and employee benefits
- Hiring and on-boarding new employees
- Managing travel logistics
- Executing projects with contractors
- Corresponding with "external business partners to track and maintain various projects"
- Organizing and stocking the office
- Mailing packages
- Working with an accounting firm to maintain finance records
And that's the abridged version. The job title, put more accurately, is 'social media and community and business development and office and human resources manager producer accountant.'
The qualifications Barone is looking for are likewise broad. He wants someone who understands difficult subjects like employee benefits and employment law, who can publicly represent Stardew Valley, has web development skills, can grapple with office equipment, and who has an iron grip on the nucleus of all job postings, Microsoft Office Suite.
Eric, this is an unrealistic ask for any single person. I get that you built this yourself but bringing in employees is a whole different thing. If you want to talk, I’m local and willing to help. Good luck.April 21, 2019
At such a small developer—it's just Barone right now, as far as I know—this may all sound like more than it really is. But as the "core team" grows, the idea that someone could be a marketing and project manager, HR manager, accountant, and more without exploding is just a little questionable. These are all different fields.
It makes some sense why Barone would seek such a multifaceted generalist: he created Stardew Valley largely by himself, with some help from publisher Chucklefish, which he recently split with. (It is probably not coincidental that some of the listed responsibilities, such as promotion and working with third-parties, are things a publisher might provide.)
But Twitter users were quick to point out that making a game by yourself isn't the same as running every part of a multi-employee business. Human resources is especially not something typically mixed with other roles, given the sensitive nature of the information being handled.
I've asked Barone if, given the feedback, he's thinking of modifying the job description before making a hire. If not, then I hope those who apply ask for seven figure salaries. If you make it through a year, you'll have earned it.