One Way To Rule Out Dead-End Job Postings

We already knew that a job that was posted months ago and is still mysteriously showing up online might just be a computer glitch, especially if it looks like it got aggregated from an aggregator that found it online on some other website. (In other words: that three-month old posting on the company’s own website has a better chance of being legit—but that means they really take their time about hiring, or are just seeing whether they can live without paying an extra person.)

And super-tight deadlines don’t do anyone any favors.

But the third tip presented in Ruth Mantell’s On The Job column for MarketWatch today is a good one, we think.

If you’re looking at a job ad where the desired employee characteristics sound far too specific, says Larry Katz, a labor economist at Harvard University, it might mean that the company already has an internal candidate but is required by company policy to post the opening publicly anyway.

“Sometimes when there are odd requirements, that’s a way to justify hiring the person they want. They are just generating applications to satisfy some bureaucratic process,” Katz said.

Who knew?

This post was updated at 10:43 a.m. on July 28, 2011 to correct the name of Ruth Mantell’s employer. She writes for MarketWatch, not Marketplace.