Candidates have shown how a job posting alone can affect how many you have in your talent pool to submit for a position. If you know what red flags to avoid adding to your requisitions, you may be able to spare yourself the challenge of no interested applicants…and avoid candidates getting the feeling of marrying-up with a bad organization. No one enjoys new-hire remorse.


Job postings are still part of your brand, and you might be surprised that it’s giving off the wrong vibe to candidates.

1. Leaving out the salary.

One of the things candidates care about most when applying to a new job is the pay. Playing coy is never worth losing the best candidate, so avoid the ping pong back and forth and list the salary if you are desperate for candidates. When an organization is vague around the subject of compensation (think ‘competitive salary’) or doesn’t mention it at all, it gives candidates a bad taste in their mouths because you should be able to give at least a range.

2. Overselling it.

If your job postings include information on your benefits or company culture, beware of over-selling them. Also, phrases in job descriptions like “willing to take on responsibility or manage within their team” in a non-leadership role could mean a contractor wants a manager for the salary of a non-managerial employee. This can suggest there could be headaches down the road in the role.

3. Too many requirements.

In addition to what’s in the RFP, maybe you have spoken with the government customer about additional requirements that good quality candidates should meet. However, if you list every last item that is in between the lines, you could be weeding out perfectly fine candidates and preventing them from applying. Having a never-ending list of “must-haves” could sway candidates in the direction of your company being unrealistic or unreasonable. If the customer is looking for a unicorn, it could signal that you don’t know what you’re looking for, or that the mission / program is disorganized.

Besides the online requisition, ensure your company has a great digital brand and that your current employees engage / share that story. Candidates are always doing their research to make an informed decision on if you are their next best gig. So, avoid the “work hard, play hard” (indication of a burnout), the “fast-paced environment” (maybe you can’t keep up), or the need for a “self-starter” (no training or development available).

Oh, and “jack-of-all trades”. That’s a big red flag.

it software meme


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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸