Job advertisement do’s and don’ts

June 12th, 2018 by hrsimple

Finding the right person for a job can be tricky. You have to go through resumes, interviews, offer letters, the process can go on and on. A thing most employers don’t realize, is that they can be making costly mistakes from the first step: the job advertisement. A simple paragraph or two written by an employer can open a whole can of legal worms. Here are a few steps to take to make sure your job advertisement isn’t really looking for trouble.

DO use a rock solid job description. 

A well-written job description can be a great tool in not only finding the best applicant, but also in defending any discrimination claims or disability issues.  A clear list of responsibilities that was set before an applicant applied will go a long way in proving there was no pretext for not choosing the candidate. Plus a thorough list will attract candidates who most closely fit your needs.

For job description templates, check out your Model Policies and Forms guide.

DO include an “Equal Opportunity Employer” Statement. 

A simple “_________ is an Equal Opportunity Employer” at the end of a job advertisement can make clear that your company means no unintended discrimination and can save you a lot of hassle down the road.

DON’T make any promises you don’t intend to keep. 

Statements like “pay increase after 6 months” or “weekly bonuses” may be misleading as they don’t mention anything about performance. If these aspects are important to finding the right person for the job, make sure to explain the requirements necessary in attaining them.

DON’T discriminate ­– even accidentally. 

Any mention of age, race, sex, national origin, disability, or religion is a major job ad no-no. Often, employers make discriminatory statements without even realizing. Phrases like “seeking recent college graduates” or “young and energetic” can be examples of age discrimination. Similarly, attributes such as “a clear speaking voice” can exclude minorities or persons with disabilities. A better practice is to state job responsibilities, such as: “will be responsible for office IT” or “Answer phones and help callers as necessary.”

DO use online-only applications wisely. 

If a position that doesn’t require use of computers only accepts online applications, an employer opens themselves up for claims of disparate impact or discrimination as the ad would leave out lower income applicants. In these cases an employer could also run ads in other media (such as newspapers) or allow applicants to respond via telephone.

Make sure to check your ads for these few topics and get to the task at hand: hiring the (hopefully smartest, funniest, responsible, most qualified) new member of your team! 

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