Job Posting Etiquette Shows Respect for Applicants & Saves Time for All Involved

Set of job grunge rubber stamps on white, vector illustration


The job-hunting process is all about a candidate’s ability to impress potential employers. In today’s economy, the buyer’s market predominates; it is not unusual for dozens if not hundreds of applicants to vie for a single opening, allowing organizations to demand pristine work records and flawless resumes. Candidates often are willing to jump through any hoops companies present in order to get noticed and prove their worth: Providing sample projects, analyzing test cases, etc. While hiring managers hold all the cards, playing them all risks alienating candidates and even losing a potential star employee.

There are plenty of ways to vet top prospects without resorting to these questionable tactics:

Omitting the salary in the job posting – When they see a job announcement with no salary mentioned, many people assume it’s for an entry-level, or commission only position. In addition, many of the on-line ad sharing sites do not even share ads that provide no compensation information, and Candidates often times create their searches to not show jobs that do not show base salaries. This can dramatically reduce the number of potential applicants that can even see the ad, to begin with. All of which diminishes the investment & point of crafting the ad, if it is not shared or seen.

Inexperienced applicants may inundate the hiring department with wholly unsuitable resumes. On the other hand, people with supervisory or management experience may not apply. Companies risk missing out on the very candidates they are targeting. Many firms are reticent about hiring “overqualified” people, but they have only themselves to blame if their posting encourages $150,000 earners to apply for $100,000 jobs.

Using unclear job descriptions – Vague descriptions also invite the wrong kind of applicants, creating a flood of work for the Human Resources department. Worse, making a job sound more lucrative or exciting than it is to attract better applicants, borders on the unethical. A job as a telemarketer or field survey administrator may by advertised as a “market analyst” position. Just as annoying, some companies downplay job titles in an effort to offer less pay. Looking for someone to oversee internal and external communications, a small firm may advertise not for a communications director, but for a “public relations specialist” instead.

Advertising a non-existent job –Even when companies keep and file resumes of qualified candidates, they still renew the application and interview process when a new position opens. Having already interviewed – and rejected for whatever reason – a prospect is not guaranteed to get a leg up during the next candidate search. Cattle calls simply to gather resumes for some vague future opening are a waste of time for both the applicant and the hiring team. Non-existent jobs also include those for which an internal candidate already has been tabbed.

As the American economy gets rolling again, upwardly mobile professionals are devoting more time to finding more rewarding positions. At the same time, many industries are expanding, creating more demand for qualified employees. It is smart to provide as much detail as possible when crafting job descriptions, in order to attract the appropriate candidates, and to honor everyone’s most precious asset…their time.

Ann Zaslow- Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, a leader in Executive Search since 1999. Please reach out to ISC for any recruitment needs in the following 5 areas of focus: Sales, Financial Services, Healthcare (non-clinical), Higher Education, & Real Estate Acquisition & Development.

For candidates that are open to exploring new opportunities, feel free to go to our Job Seekers page  and you BUILD YOUR OWN RESUME or if you already have one, you can add your resume to our confidential database, and you can also take a look at all of our current, active searches.