Can You Tell If a Company Is On Its Deathbed Based on Job Postings?

Kris Dunn Culture, Interviewing, Kris Dunn, Sourcing

Throwing up a careers site says something about your company.  It could say thousands of things, including the following:

1.  We’re hip, and you want to work here…
2.  If we were a person, our nickname would be steady Eddie.  You’re not going to get a Matchbox Twenty show in the lunchroom, but we make payroll and have Blue Cross….
3.  Damn, I’m tired.  So tired, I couldn’t even proof this copy.  Is it 4:55pm yet?
4.  We value your resume.  So much so, we’re sending it to a big mailbox in the sky called careers@fistfulcorp.com.  Abandon all hope, ye who enter here….

What about posting volume?  Can you tell if a company is doing well by their careers site?Dear_applicant

Some people think so and think you should market accordingly…. From StandOut Jobs:

"One thing I know for sure — people do look at a company’s job page or career site to gage the company’s health.

I don’t think most people look at the specific breakdown of jobs; they just want to see if the company is hiring at all. I would never suggest that you post jobs on your career site for the sake of it, just to look like you’re alive and well. But, I would suggest that you post jobs on your career site even if you’re not hiring immediately, if you believe you’ll be hiring for those jobs in the future. That’s just smart planning."

Not bad advice, but it can backfire.  If you post a "future" (nice way to say that, instead of fake) job, you’ll be able to troll for candidates.  Of course, if you have a date on the job, you’ll need to update the date, close and post another one, etc., all the while alienating those who have applied unless you really manage the relationship. 

I like the flip side of this equation.  As a recruiter, I love looking at the careers site of the candidate’s company.  No jobs up?  Means there’s not a lot going on.  Last news release from June of 2007?  Could mean a liquidation is underway, etc.  I think I learn more from the careers sites of the candidate’s company than they can learn from mine. 

Of course, I made all the employees of FOT email me their resumes, then I made them wait four months for the initial phone call.   Now that’s some sweet employment branding….

Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.