Category Archives: human resources

Good-Time Rock and Roll Excellent Company Want You

The headline immediately caught my attention — but not in a good way.  “President Of Staff, Powerful Company Posistion” set off red flags before I could read the body of the posting.  It reads like an email from a Nigerian Prince who wants “kind and gracious help in the name of Jesus Christ” to move $137,549,011.95 out of his Country, of which he’ll give half for your help.
We’ll never know if this is a legitimate job posting because no self-respecting executive is going to allow this company to have their personal information.  The title President of Staff is not in the current business lexicon of which I am aware.  What “Powerful Company” and are they driven by good intentions?  Don’t want to get half way through an interview to find the position is the president of the League of Doom or ISIS.  Unless you’re Lex Luthor, it would not look good on your resume.
So, if assumptions are made this is a legitimate offer, where did the staff err?  This wasn’t posted on Craigslist, but on a site I have not heard of, “” — which itself sounds like it was not created by someone for whom English is their first language.  Unfortunately, postings on this site are being picked up by legitimate job listing aggregators like ZipRecruiter.
But are legitimate companies suffering from similar errors in their job postings?

The note above comes from a legitimate company advertising on Monster for a VP of Sales and Marketing.
Did the company’s HR department misunderstand the hiring manager’s request for references prior to a job offer? 
“. . . you may be required to arrange an interview with your previous bosses, peers and subordinates.” 
The wording is clunky and open to misinterpretation.  Does the hiring manager want to check references, or interview the references to see if they’re a better fit for the position.  And the prospective employee may be responsible for setting up the interview?  Phone or in person?
“Hey Bob, it’s me, Jack.  Jack Taggert, I was the Director of Marketing up until two weeks ago when the SEC came in and you had to layoff 90% of the staff.  Okay, now you remember.  Well, I have a pending job offer that looks good, but they want to interview you first.  I don’t know, they just told me to set it up.  No.  In person.  Come on Buddy, can you do me a solid?  No?  Home confinement?  Damn!  Sorry to hear about the indictment, Bob.  Sure.  Maybe we can get together in a few weeks. 
Then there’s the second paragraph:
  • Send a resume.  To this:  duh.  The job hunter is applying for a position with the company.  Of course they are going to send my resume.
  • Recent salary history.  According to Nick Corcodilos, a veteran Silicon Valley headhunter, “Politely but firmly decline to disclose your salary history. Substitute this: ‘I’d be glad to help you assess what I’d be worth to your business by showing you what I can do for you but my salary is personal and confidential, just as the salaries of your own employees are.'”
  • A short write up describing a time when you managed a team that grew revenue substantially.  Does the HR department or the hiring manager even intend to read the resume of the applicant?  As a serious professional would have this information as a highlighted item in their resume.
My advice, proofread job postings as carefully as you will judge an applicant.  A company doesn’t want to damage its reputation by reading like a scam email.  Even in a tight economy, prospective employees are interviewing employers as well.

If you have questions regarding your business’ marketing strategy, feel free to contact me at

Is HR Damaging Your Brand?

“Marketing?  Not my job.”

Due to the changes in the job market over the past two decades, professionals keep their resumes up-to-date and monitor the open job postings.  An executive never knows when there will be a layoff, restructuring, buyout or merger.  When things are good open positions provide insight into the strength of the economy, changes within the structure of competitors, and leverage when asking for a raise.  During a downturn resumes are sent as a hedge against an unexpected meeting with the boss and a representative from human resources.  Postings on Monster, CareerBuilder and Indeed provide insight into an organization that can be more damning that an angry former employee’s screed on GlassDoor.


“Work here.  We re-post the same job over and over.”
Since 2007, a content and conversion company based in Utah has consistently re-advertised the same Marketing Manager position.  Sometimes the position may not be advertised for six-months – other times it may consistently be posted for over a year.
At networking events marketing professionals consistently complained that they had not heard from the company’s Human Resources Department.  The complaints turned to derision, the derision turned to humor at the company’s expense.  “Are they a real company?”  “How f**ked up are things over there they cannot return an email?”  The most concerning, “If this is how they handle HR, how bad is their customer service?”
A major non-profit consistently advertises for an Executive Director, Marketing Manager, or both every year about six-weeks prior to their primary telethon.  This has led to the positions being filled by the desperate, under-qualified, or recent college graduates as experienced executives avoid applying with this group.

What About the Brand?

“It doesn’t take much to bust a brand.”
The executives watching these job boards are also decision-makers.  They select vendors, and where company funds and resources will be allocated regarding charities.  How human resources advertises open positions and deals with applicants will make an impression regarding the company’s brand.  Repeated posting of the same position will bias if it’s a company with whom an individual wants to do business.  Not having the courtesy to reply to an applicant will leave a negative impression if that company ever wants to do business with the executive’s new company.  A non-profit who continually re-posts the same position will find a decline in donations.

What Should be Done?

“At least the job posting was truthful.”
Companies need to recognize any external communication will be a reflection upon the brand.  Human Resource staff may understand benefits, company policies, and EEO regulations – but they are not trained on the company stylebook.  Job postings should be handled like a press release.  The company needs to be presented in the best light.  Even when posted as “company confidential”, it doesn’t take much sleuthing to make an educated guess as to who is hiring.  Including the corporate marketing department in editing the posting can avoid the embarrassment of a poorly executed job advertisement.  
“We’re cooler than you because we already work here.”
And, for goodness sake, have the courtesy to acknowledge an applicant’s submission.  People apply for a position believing they are a great fit for the position.  Thanking them for their time and letting them know their status in the filling of the position can positively or negatively affect their opinion of the company.  Human Resources is the customer service department for the human element of a company.
A customer may not always be right, but they are always the customer.

If you have questions regarding your practice’s marketing strategy, feel free to contact me at