It happened again this morning. It is the question “can we post a free test posting”? After 18 years managing Diversity.com this question continues to perturb – grate on my nerves. The question came after 15 minutes of my extolling the extraordinary benefits (IMHO) of posting jobs on Diversity.com. As it turns out my efforts to educate the caller fell on deaf ears.The HR associate’s only comment was can we post a free test posting? I thanked her for the inquiry and politely ended the phone call. Heaven help them. If she represents the knowledge base at her employer regard hiring diverse men and women they are “red meat” for major career sites.
Free Test Posting – A Big Deal
Yes – It is a big deal. Aside from pushing me over the edge, any offer to provide a free test posting is a bogus offer. It is designed to attract employers looking for a free ride without making an investment of time or money. A something for nothing offer is hard to beat since it appeals to HR personnel charged with gathering information who are not authorized make a purchase.It never occurs to them their free job posting is placed on the bottom of 3-5 million other postings.To appear on search results page 4009. The employer would not be able to find it. – but it’s free!
The following statement appears on a web page promoting free test posting
“You have nothing to lose when you post jobs free online other than time. Free online job posting sites have been shown to perform as good as many as the paid job boards so just because they are a free place to post jobs does not mean they are not visited by quality candidates.” Yeah -right- B.S!
Why is a free test posting request an issue?
1: Everyone offers it. It’s a common method for hundreds of job boards to entrap naïve employers. Since some percentage of employers who accept the offer will continue using the site with paid postings. So, why not grant a free test posting -it gets them in the “building” so to speak. All the freebie website requests is your contact information. Yes. your contact information !!!
2:The HR associate presumes : The career website should be eager to grant their request since there is a possibly (not probable ) their company will use their website to buy postings in the future.
3:Doing what my boss wants: Requests for free test posting is often the result of a dialogue such as this:
CEO / CFO says: “OMG – we are a national corporation with hundreds of engineers and only 3 engineers are of color and no females”. We need to start recruiting diversity candidates now before Forbes magazine “outs us”. I want you Mr. HR Executive to solve this problem now.”
At this point, the HR Executive is puzzled as to what to do. They’ve known the issue of diversity workforce has been hovering in the backroom of issues needing resolution – but now he must do something. One option is to direct a subordinate manager to do something now. The manager, not wanting to appear incompetent, decides to create an HR diversity committee to study the issue. The goal of the committee is to identify the best source for diverse candidates. The committee invites associates from other departments in the company to join the hunt. The committee meets monthly or, at best, bi-monthly.
Diversity search committee – Action plan
Let’s ask an HR associate, who was hired to process benefit claims, to call diversity websites and collect data such as number of website visits, features, statistics, pricing, client and partner names,number of available resumes – blah,blah,blah.. Making sure to ask the site if they track which candidates see their postings and ultimately submit an application.
Next: Let’s put the data on a spreadsheet to compare sites. Sites who offer a free test job posting are highlighted and given priority. Let’s choose the website seen on television. These are major career boards who boast zillions of visitors and next day qualified applicants. They promise applications the next day and they provide free test posting too. “It’s a freebie. Since the committee has no budget anyway they chose the free test posting offer”.
The spreadsheet is put online for all committee members to study.The committee member, Mr. Engineering VP, looks at the data on the spreadsheet. Who cares about the number of resumes in their file? The website says it has 10 million resumes on file. He suspects the website has fudged the numbers. “You kidding me? I am not going to spend my time searching an outdated resume database. HR sure as hell won’t do it.
Soon the diversity committee disbands and blames the dysfunction on the HR department.
Bottom line. Paid postings receive high visibility and candidates see them.
Free postings are there but not seen.
Next: money matters. Did anyone ask? How much is saved by accepting a free test posting versus paying for a posting and getting premium visibility. If someone had asked Diversity.com, they would have learned:the average cost of posting a job for a professor, executive or professional is $6 per day or as low as $3 per day. About what is costs to purchase a grande latte either with no fat skim milk or almond milk.
In addition their paid posting would have been physically posted by Diversity’s staff and a full page branding profile would be created too. The job and profile is shared with all major search engines and social networks.Their job would get maximum visibility on Diversity.com appearing inside banners and on high traffic pages. The job would be guaranteed to appear on either pages # 1/2 of search results. Everything include for $3-$6 per day.
The career board’s reaction
If it is a major career board who advertises zillions of site visitors and next day candidate delivery then the reaction is post your free job and complete the contact portion of the registration. Almost never do these major boards mention they also have 4-5 million other jobs competing for attention.
At Diversity.com the inquiry for a free test posting sets off a series of alarms..
Here are a few that come to mind.
1: You got to be kidding me. No where on the Diversity.com website is the word “free”. We are not a non for profit organization. You are asking our staff to spend time and effort to promote your job and company for free while other companies are agreeable to pay.
2: The employer is clearly out of touch with the realities of attracting qualified diverse men and women. Where has this employer been? Haven’t they heard about the how America’s population is becoming more a people of color. Perhaps they did but thought it was fake news? It’s clear they are unaware of the fierce recruitment war to attract and hire diverse candidates. The war has been ongoing for the past 10 years. Warning... be careful not to encourage this caller. Don’t try to educate them either because they are already suspicious about your not giving them a free test posting.
3: If this employer is asking for a free test posting then it’s clear they don’t have a clue about how to attract diversity talent. Posting one job – one time for 30 days is akin to buying a Mega Million lottery ticket and hoping it’s the winning ticket.The key to successful diversity recruitment is branding,branding and more branding.
4: What’s worse is this free test posting employer is apt to be one with high expectations of receiving dozens of applications. If a few applications or none are received then the natural conclusion is it’s Diversity.com’s failure. Any attempt to educate the requester may not be well received by them. They called to get a free test posting.They are accustom to being deluge with applications from major career boards.That’s what they expect and aren’t interest in diversity branding blah,blah.They forget most of those applications are worthless. Many feel they’ve waited to start a diversity outreach and they want quick results.
5: This newbie diversity employer is oblivious of the fact there are substantially more jobs available in America than are available diverse candidates. Their attempt to recruit candidates is too little too late unless they get educated real fast and begin acting aggressively.
6: The actual free test posting selected by the employer is another issue all together. They pick the most harden job opening on their site. The job has remained open and posted on their site for months on end so they think it would be the best test to use. The job qualifications might read such as:
Electrical Engineer Manager w/Masters Degree
8-12 years of experience managing multiple bridge construction projects
Multilingual – Spanish preferably
Active Secret DOD Clearance
Travel International – up to 40%
No Relocation Assistance
How to Apply
Send resume,media portfolio of prior projects,3 references,
Apply before month-end
Not To Late To Compete – Our recommendations:
-Accept your company is late to the party
-Analyze why you are late – such as an existing good old boys network
-Resist immediate quick ideas or solutions
-Check out your competitor’s diversity outreach programs
-Accept diversity recruitment will cost money but the rewards are great
-Realize all postings expire – you must build a diversity brand
-The labor pool of qualified diversity talent is dwindling. If you hesitate you are lost
-Eventually your clients,investors and employees will pressure you to do something.