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Sometimes I run across jobs on Monster and other similar sites that look really good, and they're listed for companies that are good companies that I'm familiar with. However, when I go to the company website and look through their careers pages, the job doesn't seem to exist and isn't listed anywhere on their pages. Sometimes these jobs are posted just today, a day ago, or up to a couple weeks ago.

It seems very strange that a company would list a job opportunity on a site like Monster but have no trace of that opportunity on their very own careers page. Is this a common practice, or should I be wary of listings such as these? What reasons would a company have to list a job opportunity this way?

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Yes, it happens, for a variety of reasons:

  1. The company web site doesn't support an easy way of posting and maintaining listings

    This may sound unrealistic but if you think about it, job listings websites are designed exactly for that purpose, and offer a far friendlier interface to post and more importantly keep track of and organize listings, and collect and archive resumes. Some countries may have specific regulations when it comes to collecting resumes, and it makes much more sense to make use of a job board that already follows them.

    In most company websites I've developed such facilities were not asked for, and when I proposed them, the common response was "well, we are using careers site foo and we are happy with it".

  2. The company web site doesn't really have that much traffic

    For companies that don't have much use of their web site other than simply having some sort of on-line presence, it makes much more sense to post their listings at a site where they'll be way more visible, especially from the job seeker's perspective.

  3. The company doesn't want to directly advertise they are hiring

    Several companies opt to post listings on job boards anonymously, and only reveal themselves at a later stage of the hiring process. Even if they do post under the company name, it's far less likely that their listings will be found by people who usually check their company web site, employees, clients and competitors.

Now, one could argue that for the first couple of reasons it would make sense to post a listing in both a job board and the company web site. Well, that's really a question of cost, effort and value, in some instances it makes sense and in some it doesn't. If the job board provides an API or any other easy technical way of accessing your own data, the cost and effort are significantly smaller, as most of the process is automated.

In conclusion, it's not unreasonable for companies to only post listings in job board sites and you shouldn't really worry about it.

  • I was all set to offer a few reasons in response to this question, when I found that you had covered them all beautifully here. Great answer! I have seen all three of these reasons in action myself - particularly the first. – Carson63000 Apr 17 '12 at 23:18
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One more reason to add to the answers already given.

The company may be using an outside recruiter and the recruiter is posting the ad on the job board and not the company directly. In this situation where the company wants the recruiter to do some vetting of candidates before HR looks at them they may not post the ad on their own site to avoid being contacted directly by the candidate.

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Websites dedicated to job finding probably have a clear and easy way to input new job opportunities and get them displayed in manner of minutes. When it comes to company's private website, sometimes it can be wholly managed by a single webmaster without any special tools for any such tasks. In that case it can take awhile before the new information is inputted to the website, especially if the person is making it harder for some people.

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