Why Do You Keep Posting The Same Job Ad Over and Over Again?

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonTHIS ARTICLE HAS nothing to do with leadership. Then again in a way it does. This article has nothing to do with ethics. Then again it does. This article has nothing to do with growing older. Then again perhaps it does in a way or perhaps not. So what you ask is this article about. To find out the answer to this question you’ll have to read the article. By the way Photo ID is almost always asked for at a job interview but this article has nothing to do with that subject.

Have you ever applied for a job for which you were invited in for an interview which seemingly goes very well only not to hear anything back? Many of you have had this frustrating experience. Have you then seen the same job posted a couple of weeks later? In the weeks and sometimes months that followed after your interview have you noticed that same job posted over and over again? In the back of your mind did you ever wonder what is going on that you keep seeing this same ad?

There are many questions that arise from this situation. One of them who is in charge of hiring? This person who is in a leader type of role does not seem to have a clear picture of the type of employee he or she is looking for. After repeatedly running the exact same ad without hiring anybody reinforces the above statement. Perhaps the hiring manager does not know how to hire subsequently continually hiring the wrong type of person resulting in the need to restart the hiring campaign.

The most common answer given to the question about the frequency of the same ad appearing is that the company is rapidly expanding thusly more people are needed to keep the office staffed up so as to be able to handle the growth. While this is plausible it is not all that likely that there is such a tremendous growth spurt that more and more people are needed for the same position. If the position is a sales role the above holds no water.

As a recruiter who monitors who is hiring and how often perhaps I can offer up a couple of alternative explanations. It may very well be that this company does indeed hire people but either fires them just as quickly for whatever reason, does not pay on time or pay what they promise to pay , fail to pay at all or has a very toxic work environment to the point nobody stays for very long. In either case they have created a recipe for a severely shortened company life expectancy.

Another explanation may be that this company is not actively looking to hire anybody but continually runs ads simply to stockpile resumes. If they see a candidate who looks to offer something different that would be a nice added piece to their corporate puzzle they may bring this person in for an interview and hire them. This practice is what a colleague of mine brilliantly labeled as “tire kickers.”

For purposes of clarity a “tire kicker” (years back when somebody was looking to buy a car the first thing they would do is literally kick the tires. No rationale was ever given to this practice) is a company or even a job candidate who is not really looking to hire or change jobs but just want to see what the market looks like.

The problem with this practice is that before long you have a credibility issue. Since your name is on public display time and time again you give out the distinct foul odor of a company (or even a candidate) that has serious issues with ethics or truth telling. Perhaps not serious enough to earn a fine or other disciplinary action but enough that a virtual DO NO NOT ENTER or ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK sign flashes before your eyes.

Back in the days (I told you in the beginning this article may have something to do with the subject of growing older) when I was looking for a job I would notice these types of repetitiously repeated ads in the Help Wanted Section (does anybody know if those still exist?) of daily newspapers. Invariably having the misfortune of being hired by more of these organizations than I care to remember I will attest to the fact that my suspicions of them were right. Getting fired from one of these “shops” or “houses” (getting fired is never something that you want to happen to you) but in many of these cases termination almost brings a sense a relief.

If you happen to come across one of these ads and like what you see by all means apply. You may very well have found a “home” for yourself. Should that come to pass I wish you nothing but many years of success and happiness on the job. Take pride in the fact that you overcame obstacles others could not.

As to the question asked in the title of this article “why do you keep posting the same job ad over and over again?” I am fairly confident (there is no such thing as being 100% confident that you are right since that type of thinking should you be wrong will have the word fool attached to you)that the explanations I have offered up on the above are well within reason.

Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity has brought to life a more "user friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that result in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me us to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.
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Having been in the roles of job seeker, recruiter and hiring manager throughout my career, I acknowledge and empathize with how maddeningly frustrating this practice can be for all concerned. Not only is it wasteful and inefficient, in terms of both time and money. But, it also leads to feelings of bad faith among the parties. As you mentioned such companies deservedly develop a “bad rep”.

It’s my certain knowledge that neither the writer nor this reader participates in such behavior. And those individuals and corporations that do merely taint our good names by continuing to do it. It would be nice if they would wake up and truly realize how much time, effort and money they are wasting. But even then it probably wouldn’t make much difference. Unfortunately, it would seem there are too many who still chase the “something for nothing” dream.

We owe it to ourselves not only as recruiting professionals but as potential job seekers and hiring managers to uphold the highest standard of integrity and ethics. Anything less is a disservice to all.

Thanks for another awesome, and as you can see, thought provoking article, Joel.

Shelly Olliff
Shelly Olliff

This information is great to know, however, I see repeated job postings from companies I have applied with and never hear back from them. Makes me wonder if anyone is even looking at them at all??? Work ethics work both ways. I’m concerned that some of the newer companies don’t care to see beyond what’s on paper. Thanks for the article Joel.


This is a sign that the company is rejecting candidates for idiotic reasons.

Over 40? Rejected. US Citizen? Rejected (they want H1B visa holders).
Hotmail e-mail? AOL e-mail? Rejected. Skirt too short? Rejected.



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