Vague job listings

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DiggleRex
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:17 am

Vague job listings

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:55 am

As I’m searching for a job, I’m noticing a common trend no matter what site or job search engine I use. So many job listings do not even say what company they are or provide a website—so you have no idea who you’re applying to. And yet they want your resume, and in some cases, more (e.g., previous salary etc.). I recently sent my resume to a company that in their job ad for a position, referred to themselves as a “tech company” but did not say what kind or what they do—that could be anything. When I come across an ad like this, I sometimes will reply asking for more information (company name, website) so I can see if it’s a potential fit for me. That approach has about a 99% failure rate for me so far (no reply to such a request). The one I referred to above, ignored my request for more info, and just asked for my resume.

And I’m not talking about recruiting agencies listing the job on behalf of a company—I’m talking about when it’s the company listing their own ad. There must be a reason why they’re all so intentionally mysterious. Any insight? The only thing I can think of is so that they can rule you out first (they have your resume etc. before you have info on them). The way I think about it is: I want to know who they are so I can look them up, see if it’s the type of company/job I’d be interested in, check glassdoor.com, etc. This can potentially save time—if I determine it’s not a company I’m interested in, then that’s one less email/resume they look at. Seems to me it would be better for everyone if they just say who they are, but clearly I'm missing something.

ResearchMed
Posts: 5496
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Vague job listings

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:05 am

DiggleRex wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:55 am
As I’m searching for a job, I’m noticing a common trend no matter what site or job search engine I use. So many job listings do not even say what company they are or provide a website—so you have no idea who you’re applying to. And yet they want your resume, and in some cases, more (e.g., previous salary etc.). I recently sent my resume to a company that in their job ad for an assistant, referred to themselves as a “tech company” but did not say what kind or what they do—that could be anything. When I come across an ad like this, I sometimes will reply asking for more information (company name, website) so I can see if it’s a potential fit for me. That approach has about a 99% failure rate for me so far (no reply to such a request). The one I referred to above, ignored my request for more info, and just asked for my resume.

And I’m not talking about recruiting agencies listing the job on behalf of a company—I’m talking about when it’s the company listing their own ad. There must be a reason why they’re all so intentionally mysterious. Any insight? The only thing I can think of is so that they can rule you out first (they have your resume etc. before you have info on them). The way I think about it is: I want to know who they are so I can look them up, see if it’s the type of company/job I’d be interested in, check glassdoor.com, etc. This can potentially save time—if I determine it’s not a company I’m interested in, then that’s one less email/resume they look at. Seems to me it would be better for everyone if they just say who they are, but clearly I'm missing something.
Some don't want a particular employee, usually somewhat high level, to know they are looking for a replacement.
The company name plus the job title and/or description might spotlight who is likely to be replaced... possibly leading that person to jump ship before any replacement is found.

That can work both ways. Sometimes a job seeker might want/need to be careful that a resume/overture not be sent to one's own company.

It can get tricky at certain levels, or with positions of unusual competency.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

barnaclebob
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Re: Vague job listings

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:06 am

Why not make a list of companies in the area you want to work and apply directly at their websites or wherever their websites direct you. That way you wont be scammed.

DiggleRex
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:11 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:05 am
Some don't want a particular employee, usually somewhat high level, to know they are looking for a replacement.
The company name plus the job title and/or description might spotlight who is likely to be replaced... possibly leading that person to jump ship before any replacement is found.

That can work both ways. Sometimes a job seeker might want/need to be careful that a resume/overture not be sent to one's own company.

It can get tricky at certain levels, or with positions of unusual competency.

RM
That make sense but what would possibly be the benefit/motive when it's not replacing someone? Say it's just a position that needs to be filled (such as an assistant to help out the current employees) or a department where there's a need for more hands on deck (additional help is needed rather than someone getting replaced)?

DiggleRex
Posts: 168
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Re: Vague job listings

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:16 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:06 am
Why not make a list of companies in the area you want to work and apply directly at their websites or wherever their websites direct you. That way you wont be scammed.
I've tried this and you bring up an interesting point that I want to address. One might think if they're leaving out who they are etc., that it must be not legitimate. But sometimes I am able to figure out who they are because maybe they say what they do, and show a general location on a map, and with those two pieces of info, I may be able to figure out who they are. Or there are context clues that allow me to figure it out (sometimes). So far, they have all been legit, so let me reframe the question this way: Why would a legit company intentionally not provide info about who they are, and often ignore requests for more info?

DiggleRex
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:18 am

DiggleRex wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:16 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:06 am
Why not make a list of companies in the area you want to work and apply directly at their websites or wherever their websites direct you. That way you wont be scammed.
I've tried this and you bring up an interesting point that I want to address. One might think if they're leaving out who they are etc., that it must not be legitimate (a scam). But sometimes I am able to figure out who they are because maybe they say what they do, and show a general location on a map, and with those two pieces of info, I may be able to figure out who they are. Or there are context clues that allow me to figure it out (sometimes). So far, they have all been legit, so let me reframe the question this way: Why would a legit company intentionally not provide info about who they are, and often ignore requests for more info?

dcabler
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by dcabler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:18 am

In some cases, the listings are from an agency that makes their money placing you with a company. In those cases, it's not in their best interest to reveal the name of the employer. However, sometimes they simply cut-and-paste the job description directly form the company's website. So, if you're lucky, sometimes you can google a key phrase from the job description which might lead you to the same employer. And since you know that the employer is also using an agency, it gives you a little negotiation leverage for a sign-on bonus since the company was willing to pay an outside agency for placement. :moneybag

I have often suspected that some companies put out listings for openings that don't really exist. In those cases, they might be looking for a "superstar" and they'll create a position for the individual, if they find one. In other cases, they might be looking to "upgrade" and replace somebody they already have with somebody they perceive to be better. In each of these cases, they may make the description somewhat vague.

quantAndHold
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Re: Vague job listings

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:36 am

dcabler wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:18 am
In some cases, the listings are from an agency that makes their money placing you with a company. In those cases, it's not in their best interest to reveal the name of the employer. However, sometimes they simply cut-and-paste the job description directly form the company's website. So, if you're lucky, sometimes you can google a key phrase from the job description which might lead you to the same employer. And since you know that the employer is also using an agency, it gives you a little negotiation leverage for a sign-on bonus since the company was willing to pay an outside agency for placement. :moneybag

I have often suspected that some companies put out listings for openings that don't really exist. In those cases, they might be looking for a "superstar" and they'll create a position for the individual, if they find one. In other cases, they might be looking to "upgrade" and replace somebody they already have with somebody they perceive to be better. In each of these cases, they may make the description somewhat vague.
You’ve hit on it. It’s usually an agency that has a non exclusive contract with the company, and if you knew what company it was, you could go straight there yourself, and the agency would be cut out of the commission. If you’re desperate you can certainly send your resume to these folks, but don’t be surprised at the random places your resume turns up in the future.

I agree with the person who said to identify companies in your area that you would like to work for and contact them directly. Years ago, agency recruiters were a necessary part of the job search because they had access to jobs that were hard to find on your own. Now it’s all out there on the internet.

dcabler
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by dcabler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:43 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:36 am
dcabler wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:18 am
In some cases, the listings are from an agency that makes their money placing you with a company. In those cases, it's not in their best interest to reveal the name of the employer. However, sometimes they simply cut-and-paste the job description directly form the company's website. So, if you're lucky, sometimes you can google a key phrase from the job description which might lead you to the same employer. And since you know that the employer is also using an agency, it gives you a little negotiation leverage for a sign-on bonus since the company was willing to pay an outside agency for placement. :moneybag

I have often suspected that some companies put out listings for openings that don't really exist. In those cases, they might be looking for a "superstar" and they'll create a position for the individual, if they find one. In other cases, they might be looking to "upgrade" and replace somebody they already have with somebody they perceive to be better. In each of these cases, they may make the description somewhat vague.
You’ve hit on it. It’s usually an agency that has a non exclusive contract with the company, and if you knew what company it was, you could go straight there yourself, and the agency would be cut out of the commission. If you’re desperate you can certainly send your resume to these folks, but don’t be surprised at the random places your resume turns up in the future.

I agree with the person who said to identify companies in your area that you would like to work for and contact them directly. Years ago, agency recruiters were a necessary part of the job search because they had access to jobs that were hard to find on your own. Now it’s all out there on the internet.
Yep - and that reminds me of something else. In the past, when I was looking for a job, I have had some agencies contact me directly. After our brief discussion, I always send them an email with something like the following:
1. I am sending you my resume' only for the position we discussed.
2. You may not send my resume' to any other company for any other position without my express written permission
3. You may not in any way alter my resume' before sending it on to potential employers.

And, unsurprisingly, this usually leads to an email or phonecall with "we'd never do that any of those things" or "we have to put our logo on your resume' so we get credit for it, etc.". I tell them it's non-negotiable and I'm more than willing to vouch that you are the ones who presented my resume'.

Remember, agencies typically do not act on behalf of the candidates - they act on behalf of the company they are representing.

DiggleRex
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:49 am

Thank you for the replies and insights. I'm referring to situations where it's the company placing their own listing and not saying who exactly they are (not an agency on their behalf).

dcabler
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by dcabler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:51 am

DiggleRex wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:49 am
Thank you for the replies and insights. I'm referring to situations where it's the company placing their own listing and not saying who exactly they are (not an agency on their behalf).
If they don't say who they are, how can you know that the company is placing the listing themselves and not an agency?

DiggleRex
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:04 pm

dcabler wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:51 am
If they don't say who they are, how can you know that the company is placing the listing themselves and not an agency?
Fair question. Just to use one example, in my original post, when the company responded to my request for more info by asking for my resume, I googled the name of the person who replied, and was able to figure out what company it was and that the person who replied was the individual in charge of the company. She then later provided me with more info after I gave my resume. So I was speaking directly with the company, not some middle man/agency.

dcabler
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by dcabler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:08 pm

DiggleRex wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:04 pm
dcabler wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:51 am
If they don't say who they are, how can you know that the company is placing the listing themselves and not an agency?
Fair question. Just to use one example, in my original post, when the company responded to my request for more info by asking for my resume, I googled the name of the person who replied, and was able to figure out what company it was and that the person who replied was the individual in charge of the company. She then later provided me with more info after I gave my resume. So I was speaking directly with the company, not some middle man/agency.
Excellent use of an internet search!

DiggleRex
Posts: 168
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:17 am

Re: Vague job listings

Post by DiggleRex » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:22 pm

dcabler wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:08 pm
Excellent use of an internet search!
Haha thank you! So I understand why a job agency would be vague, and I understand why a company who is looking to replace an employee might be vague. But I don't understand why if a company is listing their own ad, and they're just looking to add someone to their team or fill a position that's already open, how it benefits them to withhold info on who they are. Hypothetically, say not knowing exactly who a company is, I send a resume and maybe even a cover letter (if requested) based on the job description. They take the time to read it and determine I'm not a fit so they don't reply. But maybe if I knew who they were and was able to look them up, I wouldn't have sent them anything in the first place (if I didn't like what a read/saw), thus saving us both time.

ResearchMed
Posts: 5496
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Vague job listings

Post by ResearchMed » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:36 pm

DiggleRex wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:22 pm
dcabler wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:08 pm
Excellent use of an internet search!
Haha thank you! So I understand why a job agency would be vague, and I understand why a company who is looking to replace an employee might be vague. But I don't understand why if a company is listing their own ad, and they're just looking to add someone to their team or fill a position that's already open, how it benefits them to withhold info on who they are. Hypothetically, say not knowing exactly who a company is, I send a resume and maybe even a cover letter (if requested) based on the job description. They take the time to read it and determine I'm not a fit so they don't reply. But maybe if I knew who they were and was able to look them up, I wouldn't have sent them anything in the first place (if I didn't like what a read/saw), thus saving us both time.
It could also be that they don't want to alert an insider (or a few insiders) who might otherwise apply internally, if they saw how the position was listed (responsibilities, salary, etc.).
Or perhaps they don't want to share certain job characteristics/information/pay level/whatever with others of their own employees, or with competitors?

If this is even a somewhat senior position, have you considered working with a job placement company?
(I don't know at what level these agencies typically handle.)
They can screen and make sure that job seekers don't end up with interviews scheduled with their own current boss, for example :shock:

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

dcabler
Posts: 312
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Re: Vague job listings

Post by dcabler » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:15 pm

DiggleRex wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:22 pm
dcabler wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:08 pm
Excellent use of an internet search!
Haha thank you! So I understand why a job agency would be vague, and I understand why a company who is looking to replace an employee might be vague. But I don't understand why if a company is listing their own ad, and they're just looking to add someone to their team or fill a position that's already open, how it benefits them to withhold info on who they are. Hypothetically, say not knowing exactly who a company is, I send a resume and maybe even a cover letter (if requested) based on the job description. They take the time to read it and determine I'm not a fit so they don't reply. But maybe if I knew who they were and was able to look them up, I wouldn't have sent them anything in the first place (if I didn't like what a read/saw), thus saving us both time.
Maybe it's sort of like spam email or phonecalls. They only need 0.01% of resume's they get for it to be worthwhile to them. :D

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