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I recently saw a job ad for a junior technical (data science) position in a very large reputable company. The ad had no application deadline and provided absolutely no contact details for anyone (like a recruiter or hiring manager) and didn't mention any names, only the name of the department. Contact details for that department are not available from their website or anywhere else, it seems.

What would be the reason for this? Not wanting to be disturbed by applicants? Could it be a sign this isn't a real job ad? No deadline or contact details seems a bit strange to me.

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, DarkCygnus, JasonJ, The Wandering Dev Manager, Michael Grubey Nov 14 '17 at 1:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Sounds completely normal. I'm not sure I have even SEEN a job ad that specifically said "Call John Smith". – Fattie Nov 13 '17 at 13:43
  • @Fattie I have. When a company has multiple recruiters they will often divide the open positions between recruiters so people for position X will only go to recruiter Y. But both situations are completely normal. – Summer Nov 13 '17 at 15:25
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    provided absolutely no contact details for anyone Do you mean there was no way to apply (a mistake ?) or just that there was no direct contact person (which is quite normal). Or was the application email address seemingly unrelated to the company or recruiter (possible phising) ? – StephenG Nov 13 '17 at 15:59
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They expect you to use either their corporate system to apply for the job, or the system provided by the job board to apply.

Many companies don't want applicants to contact the hiring manager, recruiter or HR POC directly. They don't want to be disturbed.

The lack of deadline may mean that they are hiring these positions frequently. They may need one or two a month and they just look through the recent applications whenever they have a project or contract that needs that position. That would also explain the lack of contact info because they have no idea which projecy will be sifting through the resumes the next time they need a junior technical (data science) person.

  • "may mean that they are hiring these positions frequently" or they need one ASAP. – Mast Nov 13 '17 at 15:12
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    @Mast Definitely not ASAP. Lack of deadline implies continuous or reciprocating need, billboard implies long publishing cycle and lack of contact details cause further delays. Everything about it screams "at leisure. – Agent_L Nov 13 '17 at 15:19
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    Some specialist positions, especially in areas without large numbers of qualified candidates, often take longer to fill than a reasonable deadline that might be imposed by the recruiting company. Thus the position will remain open until it is filled by a suitable candidate. There is an assessment to be made if the likely number of candidates available justifies a fixed period to allow all potentially interested candidates to apply or if the position is advertised open-ended to avoid repeatedly posting the same role. – pwdst Nov 13 '17 at 18:00
  • Data Science positions are very hard to fill, likely they leave it open at all times for that reason. – HLGEM Nov 13 '17 at 19:44
  • Lack of contact details also means recruiters can't simply call to offer their services to the advertising employer in filling the position. – HorusKol Nov 13 '17 at 21:04
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The lack of a deadline isn't something that I'd worry about - it's not uncommon to have a fairly open-ended situation.

Lack of contact details may or may not be an issue - as you touch upon in your post it may be to prevent them being spammed by applicants, I assume that there was a way of applying through the site that listed the ad? In that case I'd take it that they are wanting to funnel the applications through that process. Out-of-band applications and details are a pain for hiring managers to deal with and tend to be more annoying than useful.

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You don't specify the location, but one possible, slightly dodgy, reason for doing this in some countries would be that they want to hire a foreigner who requires a visa, and have to advertise the job first in order to show that they can't find a suitable national (or EU citizen, in the case of EU countries). In that case, lack of applicants would actually be desirable.

  • The usual method for preventing applicants is to tailor the job requirements so precisely that there is only one person qualified for the job. – Mark Nov 13 '17 at 22:31
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Another simple reason that contact details are conspiciously missing is that a specific, important employee is about to be replaced and this person has currently no clue of the impending doom.

This would work in your case if the department is big enough, so mentioning it in the ad does not raise the alarm (if the employee searches for a new job).

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Yes, this is a legitimate thing that businesses do.

This is common for business that use ZipRecruiter/similar service.

I know this from personal experience. I found a similar advertisement and did some research. In my case I found the contact information for the job by searching the description of the job and the location in google maps. I completely bypassed the hiring service. When I called the business with the contact info obtained by google maps they were confused, because they posted the job listing hoping that nobody would be able to find the contact information.

Why do businesses do this?

  1. They just don't want the business phones tied up.
  2. They also don't want other companies to find their number and contact info in their job ads so they can avoid spam/other problems.
  3. They might not want their customers or competitors to know about any restructuring going on in the company.
  • Additionally the company may not want to inundated with calls and emails from recruiters. The larger or higher profile the company, the more desirable the account for recruiters - simply stating "no recruiters" on the advert makes little or no difference. As well as the hassle, many enterprises have approved suppliers lists which would preclude negotiations with any recruiters not already retained by the company, making all such approaches a waste everyone's time. – pwdst Nov 13 '17 at 17:52
  • @pwdst Yes, exactly. I understand why it is frustrating to those applying because it does seem fake. Businesses can get desperate and try various free trials from hiring agencies and that's where a lot of these types of ads come from. They don't mind experimenting with free trials and I'm sure that some business might have success with these hiring agencies and may continue this style of job advertising. – LateralTerminal Nov 13 '17 at 17:57
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    If I as a humble applicant can figure out that BigCo is hiring, then surely BigCo's competitors and stakeholders must have figured it out. – emory Nov 13 '17 at 19:13
  • @emory Do you think the conversation would go like this? Boss: "Hey hiring manager, did you do something to make it harder for solicitors to annoy us?" Hiring manager: "No, I didn't feel like it because they can figure out if they want." It's psychological. Just because it's easy to exploit doesn't mean people won't use it. It's the same as disabling right click on a website. Does it really accomplish anything? – LateralTerminal Nov 13 '17 at 19:18
  • @emory Why do anything to make anything more complicated if there is a way around it? – LateralTerminal Nov 13 '17 at 19:18

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