Red Green Flag Flags

The Red and Green Flags in a Job Post

Job hunting can come with a lot of trial and error. The more you know about what to look for, the more likely you are to avoid applying for toxic companies or multi-level marketing schemes. Take a look at some of our tips for recognizing the green and red flags that come with job hunting.


Rockstar VS Dedicated


Rockstar, Ninja, or other inviting fantasy titles can be used to cover up the fact that the job posting isn’t anything particularly special. When companies ask for a Rockstar, they’re not just asking for someone who is good at what they do, but are asking for someone who is going to spend their days, nights, and possibly weekends living up to an unobtainable title.


Dedicated differs from Rockstar, or other fun titles. It’s not unusual for employers to be looking for dedicated candidates. Dedicated refers more to the quality of the work over time more so than the time spent doing the work.


Better put, when an employer asks for a dedicated professional, they are looking for someone who will be focused on the work before them and will complete the projects they are assigned with whatever skills and resources are available. A company who is looking for a dedicated employee is not looking for someone who will devote all their time to the work, but instead someone who will do the work right and with timely quality.


Can you Start Immediately VS What is Your Timeline for Starting


Starting immediately is an interesting offer to receive. If the employer knows that you are not working and looking to work as soon as possible, it might be a blessing. If they know that you are currently working, then an offer like this becomes a huge red flag.


It’s common practice to give an employer two weeks notice, if not more, before leaving a company. A company that will ask that of you will surely be willing to ask more that will break the expected norms. Additionally, this could point to the company suffering from an unexpected or mass exodus that they were not prepared for. If the position is for a high level, this would also point to a lack of internal promotion.


An employer asking for your input, checking for your timeline, is much better way to be approached about the subject. This shows that a company is respectful of your time and standing with your soon-to-be previous employers. While it may suit them best to have you start as soon as possible, your new employers are making it clear that you, including what you think and how you feel, matter to them as an individual.


Vague Job Descriptions VS Detailed Job Descriptions


Job descriptions are meant to catch your eye and encourage you to apply. The part that many job posters forget is that a job description should give an accurate and complete idea of what the day-to-day will look like. A vague job description is a warning sign that something is either undecided or hidden in the role. Vague descriptions are marked by hype words, unclear promises, and asks for extensive effort from applying candidates before making any effort to return it.


Applications that praise the idea of low expectations, that encourage the idea that salary and benefits should not matter to passionate candidates, are a giant red flag to stay away. If employers want your time and high quality work, they need to be realistic about what they are offering you in return.


A job description, done well, should have you applying with security. You should be applying with the knowledge that you have a clear idea of what you are walking into. This does not mean that they are required to give every answer about benefits, salary, or other factors up front. The goal should be for posters to address it clearly enough that applying candidates feel comfortable moving forward, knowing their time will not be wasted.


Temporary with Future Possibilities VS Probationary with Future Possibilities


Temporary and probationary starts have a thin line of difference between them, and it will largely depend on readers to decide what the job poster means. This is a difference that you will see often in high-stress and high-turnover positions as companies want to facilitate longevity, but do not want to repeatedly feel like they are wasting time and money investing in the wrong candidates.


A temporary job can also be called a contract or short-term offer. Often, this will have a set timeline, between weeks, months, or seasons, where the hours and work are guaranteed. Many positions will go on to say that there may be future opportunities with the company or the ability to stay on. This can be a yellow or a red flag, depending on what context the offer is in.


If the offer is for something like seasonal sales, substitution, or a designated project, then there is little to worry about. If the offer describes a long-term career, but is marketed as a temporary assignment, then it pays to look into the company’s track record of turnover. Listed the way it is, candidates might be willing to stick out a bad position for a designated period of time, where they might have otherwise simply quit.


Probationary is the term that raises the green flag here. Probationary lets you know that the company acknowledges the possible high-turnover and difficulty of the setting and is giving both you and themselves time to feel each other out as a match. Companies often set this up for 60-90 days and will address this up front, leaving no questions to be had about expectations and requirements for continuation. The upfront and honest nature of this note is a great sign of a socially aware company.


Entry-Level VS Entry-Level


It’s not a typo; you read this section’s header correctly. Entry-level is a status you see tagged onto job opportunities often, which is not inherently bad. What makes this a divided term is the description that follows. Entry-level jobs should make sure of basic knowledge, offer training, and encourage upwards movement.


A false ‘entry-level’ job will be looking for high ranking skills, multiple certifications, and multiple years of experience, but will only be interested in paying true entry-level salaries. A true entry-level job will be looking for candidates who exemplify what the company values in terms of long-term employees. A company should be looking for an investment, someone to teach and train so they can move up within the company ranks.


This breakdown only begins to touch on the idea of red and green flags in job postings. If you want to find the perfect job without the additional stress of job hunting on your own, check out our job postings! If you do not see an opportunity that you are interested in there, then send us your resume and let us do the job hunting for you.

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