State:

National
Job posting programs are an integral part of the employment process for many organizations. Effective posting methods can include bulletin boards to which job notices are posted as well as electronic and intranet posting systems. Regardless of the method, the purpose is to notify employees of available positions so that qualified employees may apply for open positions. Generally, job posting is not required by law, but it is a great way to demonstrate the employer's commitment to fair employment practices and a desire to see employees advance within the organization.
Job postings can be a very powerful human resources tool for a number of reasons. These include:
• Demonstrating the employer's commitment to fair employment practices
• Demonstrating the employer's desire to see its employees advance and develop new skills
• Tapping into a pool of potential applicants that are “known commodities” and thereby avoiding some of the risks associated with hiring from outside the organization
• Bolstering employee morale
• Discovering previously unknown talent in the employee ranks
• Minimizing the chance that employees will be held back by superiors
• Reducing turnover
• Locating qualified applicants at low- to no-recruiting cost
Job posting programs can backfire if not designed and implemented with care. This occurs most frequently when the employer hires an outside applicant even though current employees have sought the position in response to a posting. This can lead to a perception by employees that the posting program is a sham. This problem cannot be entirely avoided, but it can be minimized by careful structuring of the posting program. It should be made clear to employees that notwithstanding the internal posting, the employer will hire the most qualified person for the job, whether that person comes from inside or outside the organization.
Another potential problem with posting programs is a poorly designed distribution system. If employees in outlying satellite offices are not on the posting schedule or do not receive postings until the application deadline is closed, it can lead to resentment and dissatisfaction in the satellite offices. Employers should plan to have posting boards at every company location and should make sure that posting notices are distributed to all locations well in advance of the deadline. Alternatively, if an employer has a computer network that allows access by all employees, it can use an intranet posting system as an alternative or addition to the traditional bulletin board system. Electronic bulletin boards allow for distribution to all employees, at all locations, at the same time.
Inevitably there will be some employees who will express dissatisfaction with the program, no matter how carefully it is implemented. However, a carefully designed and fairly implemented program will be regarded as a valuable asset by the employer and most employees.
Having a comprehensive policy on job postings and making it known to all employees will avoid many potential problems and complaints. It is important that this policy go beyond simply explaining that the employer believes in promoting from within. If this is all the policy says, employees will feel cheated each time a job is filled from outside. An effective job posting policy will explain exactly what kinds of jobs will be posted, what criteria an employee must satisfy in order to respond to a posting, how long postings will remain on the board, what information the posting will contain, and how to respond to a posting. In addition, it is a good idea to address confidentiality issues, such as the circumstances under which an employee's current supervisor will be notified that the employee has applied for another job within the organization.
If employees are represented by a union, the employer must be sure that any policy it adopts conforms with all relevant provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. Requirements under the collective bargaining agreement regarding seniority and pay rates may affect every policy question (who can bid for the jobs, which jobs are posted, etc.).
A statement of purpose describes the employer's goal in establishing a job posting program. It might include a commitment to advancement within the organization and a reaffirmation of the employer's commitment to equal employment opportunity and/or affirmative action. The statement should stress the employer's commitment to the advancement and growth of qualified and motivated employees so that employees understand that simply being an employee will not give them an advantage over outside applicants who are better qualified.
It is very important to communicate which jobs will be posted. Many employers limit posting to jobs below the senior management level or below a particular pay grade. Typically this is because the employer prefers to “handpick” candidates for key positions at the uppermost levels of the organization. If an employer chooses this option, it is crucial to communicate to employees the fact that upper-level management jobs will not be posted so that employees do not feel cheated (or worse, discriminated against) when a fellow employee is promoted to a position that was never posted. An employer should consider carefully the types of jobs it will fill through open postings and express those limitations in the clearest possible terms. The class of jobs to be posted should not be defined more narrowly than is necessary. If only jobs at the lowest echelons of the organization are posted, employees will not feel that the program is an effective tool for their advancement and may feel the organization is discriminating by holding back all the “good” jobs for handpicked candidates.
If an employer has a need to diversify its workforce at the upper management levels, it may want to consider broadening the class of jobs that can be filled through the posting process. When upper-level management is not diverse, handpicking candidates for promotion may perpetuate the problem because of the unconscious preference that many individuals may express for candidates with whom they share characteristics. Using postings to fill upper-level positions may help to eliminate the effects of unconscious bias and level the playing field.
Another issue to consider in deciding which jobs to post is what to do with jobs in one department for which employees in other parts of the organization might be qualified. Some employers post all jobs companywide; others limit some or all postings to the specific department in which the opening exists. Whatever the choice on this issue is, employers should be sure it is clearly stated in the posting policy.
Caution: Sometimes determining who the members of a “department” are can be difficult. Employers might want to use a different method to determine posting limitations.
An employer should determine and clearly state who can apply for any posted job. Anyone in the organization? Only those in the department in which the opening exists? Only full-time employees? Only those who have worked for the employer for a certain length of time? Only those who have worked in their present position for a certain time period (such as 6 months)? Only those within a certain grade level (relative to the grade level of the opening)? Is there a particular minimum level that employees must have achieved on their most recent performance evaluation in order to seek a promotion? If each of these questions is clearly addressed in the policy, employees are less likely to be surprised or disappointed if they are later found to be ineligible for a desired promotion. Furthermore, by clearly defining the pool of eligible applicants, employers will reduce the number of applications received from ineligible applicants, thereby minimizing wasted effort in the résumé review process.
The policy should indicate where job openings will be posted. The posting boards should be conspicuous and easily accessible. An employer's internal computer network can be highly effective in publicizing job opportunities if all employees have access to computers. Some employers provide computer kiosks in which employees can access the employer's intranet.
The policy should explain the period for which a job will be posted. Some employers post jobs for 3 days, 1 week, or 2 weeks, before accepting applications from external candidates. The time may depend on a number of factors, including the economic climate, unemployment levels, and the grade of the job to be filled.
The posting policy should also include a deadline for applications. Many organizations stop accepting applications from internal candidates within 1 or 2 weeks after the job is posted. Again, this depends on the individual employer's situation. The policy should also include information about where employees can obtain application forms and to whom they should be returned.
Employers should indicate the type of information employees can expect to find in a job posting. Typically, job postings include the title of the job, department and location, a brief job description, required skills and abilities, recruiter for the position, phone number and e-mail address of the recruiter, and perhaps the name of the supervisor for the job. Each posting should be carefully reviewed for compliance with federal and state employment nondiscrimination laws and for conformity with the stated purpose of the employer's job posting program (diversity, advancement from within, etc.). The posting should also include any special prerequisites, such as drug screening.
Questions of confidentiality frequently arise in relation to job posting programs. Sometimes workers are reluctant to apply for promotions because of a fear that if they are not selected, their current supervisor will take a negative view of their attempt to move on. Therefore, in order to maximize the possibility that qualified employees will respond to postings, it is a good idea to set up a system in which the employee's privacy is protected, at least during the initial application process. However, at some point in the process, it will inevitably become necessary to make the employee's supervisor aware of the potential transfer, either to seek a reference prior to a final decision or to work out the logistics of a transfer.
Employers should determine when in the process supervisors will be notified and clearly communicate this in their posting policy so that employees are not taken by surprise when HR informs them that it is about to speak with the current supervisor. Many employers decide that supervisors should be notified either when a candidate is chosen for an interview or when a candidate is selected as a finalist for the position.
A posting policy should include the employer's standard practice regarding notification of applicants. Some employers notify applicants if they are not selected to be interviewed by the hiring supervisor. Other employers wait until an applicant has been offered the position. Ideally, all applicants should be notified of the outcome of the process as quickly as possible. Waiting to hear about a job (or hearing about it from the successful applicant in the lunchroom) can be very stressful. However, some employers prefer to wait until the person selected actually accepts the job before notifying other candidates. In that case, the successful applicant should be counseled to keep the job offer strictly confidential until he or she has accepted it, and other applicants have been notified.
It is a good idea to address issues regarding the transition from the old to the new position as a part of the job posting policy. The way that the transition to a new position is handled can affect the decision an employee makes regarding whether to apply for a posted position. For example, can the successful applicant for a posted job start immediately, or must he or she wait to be transferred or promoted until someone is found to fill the old job? Some companies offer a 30- to 90-day trial period and allow the successful bidder to return to the former position if the new job does not work out well. Stating this information in the job posting policy may encourage applicants who are hesitant to give a new job a try.
A job posting program requires the support of top management as well as all other supervisors and managers. Without this support, good employees will be afraid to bid for better jobs because they fear the reaction of their supervisors. Employees may also worry about how an unsuccessful bid might affect their image within the organization.
A good job posting program strives to minimize these anxieties by stressing total management support of promotion from within and by encouraging unsuccessful candidates to try again.
An employer just implementing a posting program should consider training sessions to explain the process and to gather the support of all involved. In addition, the supervisors' and managers' policy and practices manual should include a section on the job posting program. The section should cover not only the topics above but also the process for notifying HR of a department vacancy and requirements of any approval process.
For employers subject to federal affirmative action requirements, job posting programs can be especially helpful. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has endorsed internal job posting programs as a highly effective means of fulfilling Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) obligations regarding promotion. In addition, OFCCP has stated that it will review documentation regarding a employer's posting program as part of any compliance review. In other words, having a posting program in place that is nondiscriminatory both in its design and in its implementation will be valuable evidence of an employer's fair hiring practices in an OFCCP compliance review.
Contractors subject to affirmative action requirements should be careful to retain accurate records regarding the employer's posting program, including copies of all postings, in the event that these need to be produced to OFCCP during the compliance review process. Please see the national Affirmative Action section.
The OFCCP has issued a rule that clarifies recordkeeping requirements for electronically submitted job applications. Under the rule, when individuals respond to a job posting through electronic technology, employers need to collect information regarding an applicant's race, gender, and ethnicity only from those individuals who meet the definition of Internet applicant. An individual is considered an "Internet applicant" if all four of the following criteria are met:
• The individual submits an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies.
• The contractor considers the individual for employment in a particular position.
• The individual’s expression of interest indicates the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position.
• The individual does not remove himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he or she is no longer interested in the position during the contractor’s selection process before receiving an offer of employment from the contractor.
Detailed information in a question-and-answer format is available through the U.S. Department of Labor's website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.
Most of the time, the phrase “job posting program” is used to refer to internal posting programs designed to facilitate promotion from within the organization. However, the federal Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) requires government contractors with contracts valued at $100,000 or more to engage in an external posting program aimed at employing and advancing covered veterans. Detailed information is available. Please see the national Affirmative Action section.
The Internet can be a great, cost-effective way to post a position and reach thousands of candidates. The problem with online recruiting is that the employer may be flooded with unqualified candidates. Here are a few suggestions for solving this problem:
• Screen out candidates who on their résumés fail to use certain key operational terms that show that they are truly qualified for the position.
• Choose a “niche” website, that is, one that attracts only a small segment of the job-seeking population.
• Establish a policy that the employer does not accept unsolicited résumés. This way the employer will limit the number of individuals the employer considers as applicants. This is important for affirmative action purposes and will cut back on the number of records that the employer is required to maintain.
• Post a closing date for accepting résumés and an instruction that any submitted résumé must refer to a specific job in order to be considered.
• Instruct all candidates to refer to a specific job posting in order to be considered.
Related Topics:
National
Job posting programs are an integral part of the employment process for many organizations. Effective posting methods can include bulletin boards to which job notices are posted as well as electronic and intranet posting systems. Regardless of the method, the purpose is to notify employees of available positions so that qualified employees may apply for open positions. Generally, job posting is not required by law, but it is a great way to demonstrate the employer's commitment to fair employment practices and a desire to see employees advance within the organization.
Job postings can be a very powerful human resources tool for a number of reasons. These include:
• Demonstrating the employer's commitment to fair employment practices
• Demonstrating the employer's desire to see its employees advance and develop new skills
• Tapping into a pool of potential applicants that are “known commodities” and thereby avoiding some of the risks associated with hiring from outside the organization
• Bolstering employee morale
• Discovering previously unknown talent in the employee ranks
• Minimizing the chance that employees will be held back by superiors
• Reducing turnover
• Locating qualified applicants at low- to no-recruiting cost
Job posting programs can backfire if not designed and implemented with care. This occurs most frequently when the employer hires an outside applicant even though current employees have sought the position in response to a posting. This can lead to a perception by employees that the posting program is a sham. This problem cannot be entirely avoided, but it can be minimized by careful structuring of the posting program. It should be made clear to employees that notwithstanding the internal posting, the employer will hire the most qualified person for the job, whether that person comes from inside or outside the organization.
Another potential problem with posting programs is a poorly designed distribution system. If employees in outlying satellite offices are not on the posting schedule or do not receive postings until the application deadline is closed, it can lead to resentment and dissatisfaction in the satellite offices. Employers should plan to have posting boards at every company location and should make sure that posting notices are distributed to all locations well in advance of the deadline. Alternatively, if an employer has a computer network that allows access by all employees, it can use an intranet posting system as an alternative or addition to the traditional bulletin board system. Electronic bulletin boards allow for distribution to all employees, at all locations, at the same time.
Inevitably there will be some employees who will express dissatisfaction with the program, no matter how carefully it is implemented. However, a carefully designed and fairly implemented program will be regarded as a valuable asset by the employer and most employees.
Having a comprehensive policy on job postings and making it known to all employees will avoid many potential problems and complaints. It is important that this policy go beyond simply explaining that the employer believes in promoting from within. If this is all the policy says, employees will feel cheated each time a job is filled from outside. An effective job posting policy will explain exactly what kinds of jobs will be posted, what criteria an employee must satisfy in order to respond to a posting, how long postings will remain on the board, what information the posting will contain, and how to respond to a posting. In addition, it is a good idea to address confidentiality issues, such as the circumstances under which an employee's current supervisor will be notified that the employee has applied for another job within the organization.
If employees are represented by a union, the employer must be sure that any policy it adopts conforms with all relevant provisions of the collective bargaining agreement. Requirements under the collective bargaining agreement regarding seniority and pay rates may affect every policy question (who can bid for the jobs, which jobs are posted, etc.).
A statement of purpose describes the employer's goal in establishing a job posting program. It might include a commitment to advancement within the organization and a reaffirmation of the employer's commitment to equal employment opportunity and/or affirmative action. The statement should stress the employer's commitment to the advancement and growth of qualified and motivated employees so that employees understand that simply being an employee will not give them an advantage over outside applicants who are better qualified.
It is very important to communicate which jobs will be posted. Many employers limit posting to jobs below the senior management level or below a particular pay grade. Typically this is because the employer prefers to “handpick” candidates for key positions at the uppermost levels of the organization. If an employer chooses this option, it is crucial to communicate to employees the fact that upper-level management jobs will not be posted so that employees do not feel cheated (or worse, discriminated against) when a fellow employee is promoted to a position that was never posted. An employer should consider carefully the types of jobs it will fill through open postings and express those limitations in the clearest possible terms. The class of jobs to be posted should not be defined more narrowly than is necessary. If only jobs at the lowest echelons of the organization are posted, employees will not feel that the program is an effective tool for their advancement and may feel the organization is discriminating by holding back all the “good” jobs for handpicked candidates.
If an employer has a need to diversify its workforce at the upper management levels, it may want to consider broadening the class of jobs that can be filled through the posting process. When upper-level management is not diverse, handpicking candidates for promotion may perpetuate the problem because of the unconscious preference that many individuals may express for candidates with whom they share characteristics. Using postings to fill upper-level positions may help to eliminate the effects of unconscious bias and level the playing field.
Another issue to consider in deciding which jobs to post is what to do with jobs in one department for which employees in other parts of the organization might be qualified. Some employers post all jobs companywide; others limit some or all postings to the specific department in which the opening exists. Whatever the choice on this issue is, employers should be sure it is clearly stated in the posting policy.
Caution: Sometimes determining who the members of a “department” are can be difficult. Employers might want to use a different method to determine posting limitations.
An employer should determine and clearly state who can apply for any posted job. Anyone in the organization? Only those in the department in which the opening exists? Only full-time employees? Only those who have worked for the employer for a certain length of time? Only those who have worked in their present position for a certain time period (such as 6 months)? Only those within a certain grade level (relative to the grade level of the opening)? Is there a particular minimum level that employees must have achieved on their most recent performance evaluation in order to seek a promotion? If each of these questions is clearly addressed in the policy, employees are less likely to be surprised or disappointed if they are later found to be ineligible for a desired promotion. Furthermore, by clearly defining the pool of eligible applicants, employers will reduce the number of applications received from ineligible applicants, thereby minimizing wasted effort in the résumé review process.
The policy should indicate where job openings will be posted. The posting boards should be conspicuous and easily accessible. An employer's internal computer network can be highly effective in publicizing job opportunities if all employees have access to computers. Some employers provide computer kiosks in which employees can access the employer's intranet.
The policy should explain the period for which a job will be posted. Some employers post jobs for 3 days, 1 week, or 2 weeks, before accepting applications from external candidates. The time may depend on a number of factors, including the economic climate, unemployment levels, and the grade of the job to be filled.
The posting policy should also include a deadline for applications. Many organizations stop accepting applications from internal candidates within 1 or 2 weeks after the job is posted. Again, this depends on the individual employer's situation. The policy should also include information about where employees can obtain application forms and to whom they should be returned.
Employers should indicate the type of information employees can expect to find in a job posting. Typically, job postings include the title of the job, department and location, a brief job description, required skills and abilities, recruiter for the position, phone number and e-mail address of the recruiter, and perhaps the name of the supervisor for the job. Each posting should be carefully reviewed for compliance with federal and state employment nondiscrimination laws and for conformity with the stated purpose of the employer's job posting program (diversity, advancement from within, etc.). The posting should also include any special prerequisites, such as drug screening.
Questions of confidentiality frequently arise in relation to job posting programs. Sometimes workers are reluctant to apply for promotions because of a fear that if they are not selected, their current supervisor will take a negative view of their attempt to move on. Therefore, in order to maximize the possibility that qualified employees will respond to postings, it is a good idea to set up a system in which the employee's privacy is protected, at least during the initial application process. However, at some point in the process, it will inevitably become necessary to make the employee's supervisor aware of the potential transfer, either to seek a reference prior to a final decision or to work out the logistics of a transfer.
Employers should determine when in the process supervisors will be notified and clearly communicate this in their posting policy so that employees are not taken by surprise when HR informs them that it is about to speak with the current supervisor. Many employers decide that supervisors should be notified either when a candidate is chosen for an interview or when a candidate is selected as a finalist for the position.
A posting policy should include the employer's standard practice regarding notification of applicants. Some employers notify applicants if they are not selected to be interviewed by the hiring supervisor. Other employers wait until an applicant has been offered the position. Ideally, all applicants should be notified of the outcome of the process as quickly as possible. Waiting to hear about a job (or hearing about it from the successful applicant in the lunchroom) can be very stressful. However, some employers prefer to wait until the person selected actually accepts the job before notifying other candidates. In that case, the successful applicant should be counseled to keep the job offer strictly confidential until he or she has accepted it, and other applicants have been notified.
It is a good idea to address issues regarding the transition from the old to the new position as a part of the job posting policy. The way that the transition to a new position is handled can affect the decision an employee makes regarding whether to apply for a posted position. For example, can the successful applicant for a posted job start immediately, or must he or she wait to be transferred or promoted until someone is found to fill the old job? Some companies offer a 30- to 90-day trial period and allow the successful bidder to return to the former position if the new job does not work out well. Stating this information in the job posting policy may encourage applicants who are hesitant to give a new job a try.
A job posting program requires the support of top management as well as all other supervisors and managers. Without this support, good employees will be afraid to bid for better jobs because they fear the reaction of their supervisors. Employees may also worry about how an unsuccessful bid might affect their image within the organization.
A good job posting program strives to minimize these anxieties by stressing total management support of promotion from within and by encouraging unsuccessful candidates to try again.
An employer just implementing a posting program should consider training sessions to explain the process and to gather the support of all involved. In addition, the supervisors' and managers' policy and practices manual should include a section on the job posting program. The section should cover not only the topics above but also the process for notifying HR of a department vacancy and requirements of any approval process.
For employers subject to federal affirmative action requirements, job posting programs can be especially helpful. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has endorsed internal job posting programs as a highly effective means of fulfilling Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) obligations regarding promotion. In addition, OFCCP has stated that it will review documentation regarding a employer's posting program as part of any compliance review. In other words, having a posting program in place that is nondiscriminatory both in its design and in its implementation will be valuable evidence of an employer's fair hiring practices in an OFCCP compliance review.
Contractors subject to affirmative action requirements should be careful to retain accurate records regarding the employer's posting program, including copies of all postings, in the event that these need to be produced to OFCCP during the compliance review process. Please see the national Affirmative Action section.
The OFCCP has issued a rule that clarifies recordkeeping requirements for electronically submitted job applications. Under the rule, when individuals respond to a job posting through electronic technology, employers need to collect information regarding an applicant's race, gender, and ethnicity only from those individuals who meet the definition of Internet applicant. An individual is considered an "Internet applicant" if all four of the following criteria are met:
• The individual submits an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies.
• The contractor considers the individual for employment in a particular position.
• The individual’s expression of interest indicates the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position.
• The individual does not remove himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he or she is no longer interested in the position during the contractor’s selection process before receiving an offer of employment from the contractor.
Detailed information in a question-and-answer format is available through the U.S. Department of Labor's website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp.
Most of the time, the phrase “job posting program” is used to refer to internal posting programs designed to facilitate promotion from within the organization. However, the federal Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act (JVA) requires government contractors with contracts valued at $100,000 or more to engage in an external posting program aimed at employing and advancing covered veterans. Detailed information is available. Please see the national Affirmative Action section.
The Internet can be a great, cost-effective way to post a position and reach thousands of candidates. The problem with online recruiting is that the employer may be flooded with unqualified candidates. Here are a few suggestions for solving this problem:
• Screen out candidates who on their résumés fail to use certain key operational terms that show that they are truly qualified for the position.
• Choose a “niche” website, that is, one that attracts only a small segment of the job-seeking population.
• Establish a policy that the employer does not accept unsolicited résumés. This way the employer will limit the number of individuals the employer considers as applicants. This is important for affirmative action purposes and will cut back on the number of records that the employer is required to maintain.
• Post a closing date for accepting résumés and an instruction that any submitted résumé must refer to a specific job in order to be considered.
• Instruct all candidates to refer to a specific job posting in order to be considered.
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