Is introducing a vacancy to a potential candidate in terms of what they do not need to fulfill for the vacancy ethical?

For example: "Dear potential candidate,

There's a vacancy available at 'nnn' which we think might be a fit for you.

The vacancy does not require 'mmm'.

If you are interested, please follow the following link: ..."

Update: the requirement in question would be an academic degree.

  • 1
    Is there some reason applicants would expect it to require 'mmm'? Otherwise don't even bring it up
    – cdkMoose
    Nov 3 '21 at 16:17
  • Is the thing you're saying isn't required itself an ethics issue? Are you attempting to hire for a job that has legal requirements (like a license) and the message to the candidate is saying that they don't need to meet these legal requirements? Or is 'mmm' not being required by the company actually a lie in and of itself?
    – BSMP
    Nov 3 '21 at 17:22
  • 2
    Could you update your question with an explanation of how this is an ethics issue?
    – BSMP
    Nov 3 '21 at 17:24
  • @BSMP, I added additional detail around the requirement which could improve context.
    – Pedro OS
    Nov 3 '21 at 22:03
  • @Joe Strazzere, no, it's not a requirement which can be fulfilled in the job.
    – Pedro OS
    Nov 3 '21 at 22:04

It's not really a question of ethics (or lack thereof), but it's, well, it's weird. Everyone advertises roles based on the required skills because that's the most effective way of doing it. Listing things they don't need is just confusing noise, the only reason I can think of doing anything similar would be if the particular position was unusual compared with typical ones in not needing a given skill maybe? But there's more elegant ways to make that clear.


I fail to see how this is an ethical issue.

If a vacancy has X, Y and Z requirements be sure to mention them. If the vacancy does not require A, B nor C why even mention them?

If you are explicitly mentioning certain requirements it is understood that all of them are desirable, and the ones that weren't mentioned are not required. If a candidate then inquires about another requirement M, them clarify to them if it's desirable or not.

Now, if X,Y and Z are related to A, B or C then we are entering a more gray area, where it would be best to be more explicit and clarify straight up that those are not expected even though they are related.

  • More context has been added to the question.
    – Pedro OS
    Nov 3 '21 at 22:05
  • Thanks for the heads up @PedroOS I see your edit and hold my answer as it is, as the suggestions given still apply completely to your case, regardless the requirement is academic in nature or not, which is: 1) I doubt this has anything to do with ethics 2) if you explicitly list requirements, anything not listed is implicitly understood as not required 3) if this is some gray area it never hurts to be completely explicit and mention it (again, nothing unethical here, or at least the way you describe the situation)
    – DarkCygnus
    Nov 3 '21 at 22:35

When we design something, we often have section "These are non-goals: ..."

Similarly, you can design your job opportunity, if you think that might be helpful, or if you think potential candidates have this regular misunderstanding.

One of the trends, which is softer, is to have job opps, that mention bunch of skills and then add:

these technologies are examples of what you will work with, but you don't need to be proficient in all of these.

This is especially important because some people will read list of requirements as "I have to know everything about all of these in order to apply"

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .