5 Lessons Learned From That Job Post Fail

5 Lessons Learned From That Job Post Fail

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Want to avoid making a job post fail?

Like you, I see lots of stuff on LinkedIn that makes me cringe or simply wonder if I’m actually on Facebook.

But when I saw that secretary job post, I was horrified!!! I simply couldn’t comprehend that a woman would do that to another woman or that she would leave it up after so many complaints.

So what can we learn from it?

Firstly, a little reminder….



5 ways to avoid a job post fail

1. Think before you act!

What would your grandparents think of the post?

How will this job post impact on my client, my company or my reputation?

Will everyone see the funny side?

…and if your agency’s website states, “Day-to-day, ICS builds on its reputation for honesty, integrity and professionalism” does using such an image reflect their claims?


2. What laws are you be breaking?

Simon Jones was quick off the mark with this excellent post explaining What’s wrong with this advert?

In it Simon states (…and OMG dear hiring companies sit up and listen!)


a) Contravene the Equality Act. It’s illegal to advertise for someone of a particular sex (with some very clear exceptions) or age, yet this advert visually implies that only young women can be secretaries. As the client, you would be held liable together with the agency if an individual decided to make a claim –  and remember that they could do so without ever having applied, if they could show they were dissuaded by the advert. [Continue reading]


3. It’s not going anywhere…

Your reputation is everything! Your Agency’s reputation is everything.

I just looked up ICS Recruitment, to get the aforementioned quote on honesty, integrity and professionalism, and look what popped up on Google:

5 lessons learned from that job post

The reason this became as bad as it did was because at the very first instance that somebody said it was offensive they failed to act.

Instead they mocked.

Instead they left it up for days, ignoring hundreds of complaints from men and women alike.

Instead it was tweeted and retweeted, and Stephanie and ICS’s reputation marred.

5 lessons learned from that job post

Ignoring the irritating use of the hashtag on LinkedIn, I find the use of AIDA interesting…

Is Stephanie suggesting that Becky & Robyn are being drama queens? A possible response for those who immediately thought of the opera, as I did.

But if Stephanie is in fact referring to the AIDA marketing term, I again query her thinking.

From Wikipedia:


AIDA is an acronym used in marketing and advertising that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement.

  • A – attention (awareness): attract the attention of the customer.
  • I – interest of the customer.
  • D – desire: convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs.
  • A – action: lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing.

Indeed she did raise awareness, amongst marketers, recruiters, HR, and other professionals, and just one solitary secretary (who sadly didn’t do her reputation any good either with the comments she added over and over!)

Wouldn’t she prefer to raise the right kind of awareness on a site better suited to sourcing secretaries? [She should come along to my training!]

It may have evoked desire among some who saw it, but certainly not the right interest or action.


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4. Naivety isn’t an excuse

Recently I heard of a company under new leadership, taking the knee-jerk reaction to shutdown their YouTube channel. A channel that had been delivering a steady stream of applicants due to their great employer branding videos.

Why? Lack of understanding!

And it’s stupidity like the post above that causes this fear. People who don’t know how to use social media or use it little being turned off by the occasional incident of negativity.

It’s 2015, social media has been around a long time now and its use for good far outweighs instances like this.

If social media still fills you with fear, let’s chat because your employees are already using it so discover how it can be used to your advantage, with ease.


5. Copyright

Besides being disgusted by the use of the image, I wondered if Stephanie actually had permission to use the image. Unlikely.

Just because you can find an image on Google, doesn’t mean you can use it.

There are plenty of free places to find images but always adhere to the licenses and give credit where credit is due.

And, of course, use something far more appropriate!


What’s the best or the worst job post you’ve seen?