A job advertisement is an announcement that informs people that a certain job position is available. The primary goal of a job advertisement is to inform potential job candidates about a new opening and attract them to apply.
However, you need to ensure that you are legally compliant when hiring new people. If you give someone the job without proper advertising or format it incorrectly, they could find you liable for things such as discrimination.
Let’s see what the law says about advertising job posts and how best to approach them.
Do you have to advertise a job vacancy?
When you are trying to fill a role, a crucial part of the process is how you advertise it. However, when considering the question do you legally have to advertise a job vacancy, the short answer is no you don’t.
There is no legal requirement for you to advertise every job that you want to fill. However, we recommend you do.
You should remember that only advertising a role internally, or just giving it to someone, can work against you finding the right person for it.
There are also potential accusations of unfairness, nepotism and discriminatory elements to consider.
Employment law advertising vacancies
If you want to fill a role, your first thought may well be to turn to someone that you are already familiar with. This could be someone that already works for you or even a member of your family.
However, if you just recruit someone on this basis, you may see yourself facing allegations of unlawful discrimination.
For example, if your workforce is mostly made up of men, informal recruitment methods such as personal recommendation may disadvantage female workers. Informal measures can continue this imbalance. This means female workers, who otherwise would have gone for the role, would feel they are being placed at a disadvantage due to their gender.
There is also an employee relations element to consider. If staff do not feel you will give them the opportunity to progress in your company, as more senior roles are only being given to certain individuals, they may become disillusioned in their roles and look elsewhere.
Whilst you are still free to consider someone you already know for the role, it is also advisable to hold a fair, and open, recruitment procedure.
What is important when advertising a job vacancy?
You want the advertisement to reach as many people as possible. As said above, advertising internal vacancies law UK does not prohibit you from only advertising internally and your organisation’s policy may require you to advertise internally prior to looking externally or for this to be done consecutively.
The aim is to bring all vacancies to the attention of current employees and give them the opportunity to apply.
That said, it is always highly advisable to consider external applicants. To find the best candidates for a role, you need to ensure you advertise in the right place. It is advisable to carry out some research specific to your role, company, industry, location etc to determine the best options.
Purpose of job vacancy advertisement
Job adverts should achieve two goals; outline the expectations that will be placed on a successful candidate whilst also explaining what the company is looking for. Such as certain levels of experience or qualifications.
There is a skill in writing job advertisements and the style and wording needs to adapt to fit the media. You will write a different copy for an advertisement in a professional journal than one placed on a job board or social media, for example.
Advertisements need to grab attention, be clear and easy to read and include the following key information:
- Job title: the job title defines the role; the discipline or area of expertise and is a good indicator of level and status which is important to potential applicants.
- Salary: candidates want to know whether it meets their expectations before applying. Law does not require you to include the exact salary and usual practice in this area includes advertising the range, a top amount or an approximate amount.
- Location: candidates will know how far they are prepared to travel and will decide whether to apply on this basis. It may be appropriate to include a requirement to travel if this is significant to the role and incorporating whether they will be able to work from home.
- Layout: make sure the advert is attractive and easy to read.
- Content: the information should be short and to the point, highlighting the essential criteria.
- Keywords: use keyword search terms to make your advert searchable.
- How to apply: you need to clearly show how the application process works.
Having a clear job advertisement can help make the overall recruitment procedure less time-consuming and easier to manage.
Expert support with recruitment from Peninsula
There are many issues you can face with recruitment. Discrimination is the most pressing, with tribunals able to issue an unlimited fine. Make sure you stay compliant with expert support from Peninsula.
Our employment law and HR consultants can help with this. Peninsula clients get access to 24/7 HR to consult our specialists on or secure air-tight contracts with our document experts.
And if you’re not yet a client, you can still enjoy a free advice call from one of our business experts. Simply call us on 0800 028 2420