For some of us, posting a job opening both internally and externally is a given. We want to ensure that we have the largest possible applicant pool to choose from for a position. But for others, whether or not to post a job is a question and not just a given assumption.
This brings us to the question, Are employers actually required to post job openings either within the organization or externally for outside applicants?
The answer in many cases is no, but there are some important exceptions. Let’s take a look.
For the most part, the average employer is probably not required to post a job opening, either internally or externally. As such, most employers are free to opt to post job openings when doing so is the best course of action for the situation and to refrain from doing so when they’re so inclined.
However, there are some important exceptions. Here are some cases where it’s required, either by law or by policy, for an employer to post a job opening:
- For federal contractors that meet certain requirements, job openings must be posted with the appropriate employment services to ensure the openings are referred to veterans. This is a requirement under the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA). VEVRAA requires federal contractors to have an affirmative action plan for hiring veterans.
- For any other employer subject to an affirmative action plan, that employer will create its own rules for job postings and must follow its own rules in that regard.
- Any employer that has entered into a collective bargaining agreement should ensure it’s following the job posting rules set forth in the agreement, if applicable.
- Some government agencies have a requirement to publicly advertise job openings.
- Employers that create their own policies regarding job postings should be careful to follow their own guidelines. Failure to do so will appear inconsistent and may give rise to claims of favoritism or discrimination. If your organization wants the leeway to post—or not—as it sees fit (and if it does not fall into the above categories), it may be wise not to create a policy for job postings that it then must follow!
Benefits to Posting a Job
Though most employers may not be legally required to post a job, many human resources teams choose to do so for the majority of job openings in their organization. This is because there are many potential benefits to posting a job internally and/or externally.
Here are a few of the benefits of posting a job as opposed to selecting someone to fill the role without posting it:
- Posting the job and holding a full recruitment process can reduce the chance of claims of favoritism within the organization (assuming the process is impartial, of course).
- Posting jobs internally can help to create an environment where employees see the opportunity to be promoted by seeing advancement options. This perception can assist in employee retention.
- Posting jobs internally and externally widens the potential pool of job applicants, thus potentially increasing the likelihood of finding someone who is an ideal fit for the role.
- Posting all jobs shows a commitment to fair hiring practices.
- Posting jobs can give internal employees the opportunity to express interest, which the employer may not have known about otherwise.
What does your organization do? Do you post all job openings internally and externally?
*This article does not constitute legal advice. Always consult legal counsel with specific questions.
About Bridget Miller:
Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.