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I occasionally bump into job postings that are essentially just a job title, with no description of what the job actually entails. Next to it is a link that indicates how an applicant can contact them to get details about the job posting.

I've seen this many times, but it does not seem as common as the "traditional" approach of just displaying the position's requirements and details directly on the website.

What does a company stand to gain (or lose) by taking this alternative approach instead of being more direct? What things should a company consider when deciding between the two approaches?

  • To me (opinion) it means that the company is a "job farm" where turnover rate is so massive that they don't bother taking the time to make an effort in posting the job. I move on and rarely give it a second thought. – Joel Etherton Oct 8 '13 at 15:02
  • Interesting. I hadn't thought of that, Joel. That's probably the case for at least some of the ones I've seen, now that you mention it. To be fair, though, I know at least a few of them that are too small of companies (and as far as I can tell, too little turnover) to be "job farms". – rbwhitaker Oct 8 '13 at 15:07
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    It's possible also that the person posting the job link is simply inexperienced at the process :) – Joel Etherton Oct 8 '13 at 15:16
  • There's got to be a legitimate reason beyond just inexperience. Two of the three that I've seen recently actually switched away from displaying the information directly, and started asking for you to contact them. – rbwhitaker Oct 8 '13 at 15:39
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Three reasons:

  • they are listing the job lots of places using incompatible systems. To avoid a lot of copy and paste, or to overcome formatting problems, they put the least amount of information they can in most of the places
  • they are putting up a slight barrier to application, either because they are a recruiter who wants to prove contact with applicants, or to push back against a recruiter trying to prove contact with applicants, or to prevent their listings being scraped and displayed elsewhere, or to prevent floods of applications from people with very little desire for that specific job at that specific company
  • they worry that publicly listing all the details of the job would reveal a lot about their future plans (Microsoft watchers link to job ads all the time and often they do reveal a lot.)

I bet the number one reason is laziness, but I can't rule out the others.

  • In my specific case, I know the companies that are doing this enough that I don't think it is out of laziness. After all, they had the job posting there at one point (they already did the work) and then removed it. But I'm sure there are other companies that do it for this very reason. They're probably doing it for one of the other reasons you've listed. At any rate, I think this is a great answer. – rbwhitaker Oct 10 '13 at 15:38
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They might be a third party recruiter, and are competing with other recruiters for filling the position. If they provide too many details, before they collect information from you, they risk that you will be able to find the real job posting on their clients website.

If you register on the client site they miss an opportunity to collect the fee. If they get your vitals and send it to the client they can claim that they provided a valid candidate.

  • The ones I've seen are not third party recruiters. They're the actual company. – rbwhitaker Oct 8 '13 at 15:36

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