When companies create a job posting, they hope to attract the best talent. However, sometimes it backfires. For example, if a job listing uses misleading language or overly lengthy descriptions, it could end up repelling highly qualified candidates. Recently, the Paychex team surveyed Americans who have looked for a job within the past year. As a result, job seekers across the country shared their current standards for evaluating an open position and what constitutes a potential warning sign.
Let’s look at what respondents considered to be the top ten job posting red flags and how they impact the application process.
1. No salary range specified
Compensation is one of the most important aspects of a job—especially now. So, it’s unsurprising that not including a salary range was the top red flag for job seekers (65%). For many candidates, omitting that information implies that perhaps the salary range is low. Not including a salary and using the phrase “gain experience” could also signal that the company expects you to work for free.
2. Low base salary
Second to not including a range at all was listing a low base salary. Sometimes, a great benefits package can make up for a salary that’s a little lower than you want to accept. But if the pay is much less than you know you’re worth and there aren’t other benefits to compensate for it, it may not be worth considering.
3. Experience requirement too high
One of the most frustrating parts of looking for entry-level jobs is the requirement to have several years of experience in a related role. Having that expectation is extremely discouraging for new graduates trying to start their careers while needing to be compensated for their work.
4. Pay commensurate with experience
Job postings that include a vague reference of “pay commensurate with experience” is another potential warning sign for job seekers. For one thing, it’s dated. It also signals that the company is paying you based on experience, skills, and education and training rather than the work you’ll be doing.
5. Spelling and grammar mistakes
Just as employers don’t want to see misspelled words in a resume, candidates are turned off by the same mistakes in a job posting. It shows little attention to detail and looks sloppy and unprofessional. The best candidates know their worth and will generally be put off by these errors.
6. A long list of job qualifications
If you have to tick a lot of boxes even to get your foot in the door, it could be a red flag. That’s because the company may not really know what it’s looking for, which means you’ll be set up for failure. Also, it could mean the scope of the role is too broad, in which case you might be over your head right from day one.
7. No mention of paid time off
More and more top candidates consider paid time-off benefits an important deciding factor when choosing a company to work for. So, it’s no surprise that omitting this information can be detrimental to an employer.
8. No mention of paid sick leave
It only takes one sick employee to infect many more. When this happens, it spells productivity troubles for the company. Therefore, paid sick leave is a must to attract the best talent—especially in the current environment.
9. Mention of occasional work on weekends
Workplace culture is everything. If family is your number one priority and the job posting is already mentioning work on the weekends, it could be a big red flag.
10. Too many interview rounds
In the survey, most respondents considered anything more than two rounds of interviews excessive. Ideally, the interview process should be organized and efficient. When the process drags on, it could indicate that the team is indecisive or overly consensus driven.
A job posting is one of your first encounters with a potential employer. The last thing you want to do is accept an offer of employment only to find out later that the position isn’t what you thought it was. By keeping an eye out for these subtle clues, you’ll soon find the role that’s right for you.