Does an employer have to post a job opening?

  • Hiring
  • By Aleks Szymanski
  • Published on July 9

Questions often arise about the protocols and requirements regarding the posting of job vacancies. One such question is whether or not employers are obligated to posting openings before they are filled. The answer depends on several factors, including federal and state laws, company policies, and the circumstances surrounding the position becoming available.

Legal considerations

Employers in the United States are required to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These guidelines aim to ensure fair and non-discriminatory hiring practices. While the EEOC does not explicitly mandate that all job openings must be posted, it does recommend that employers widely advertise job opportunities to attract a diverse pool of candidates.

Affirmative action obligations

For employers who are federal contractors or subcontractors, posting job openings may be obligatory as part of their affirmative action obligations. Employers of this nature are required to reach out to underrepresented groups and provide equal employment opportunities.

State-specific requirements

Similarly, some states and municipalities have their own regulations that may require employers to post job openings. For example, Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act stipulates that employers disclose promotional opportunities to all current employees. Similarly, New York City’s salary transparency law requires employers to include salary ranges in job postings. These laws are designed to promote fairness and transparency in the hiring process, and to combat wage discrimination.

Company policies 

Of course, many will companies establish their own internal policies regarding job postings. These will often align with the organization's commitment to fairness, transparency, and equal opportunity. Common practices include:

Internal job postings

Larger organizations frequently use internal job boards to notify current employees of available positions. This approach encourages career development, and advancement within the company. Internal postings ensure that employees are aware of opportunities, and can apply for positions that align with their career goals.

External job postings

To attract a wider and more diverse pool of candidates, many companies choose to post job openings on external job boards, company websites, and social media platforms. This practice not only increases the visibility of the job opening but also enhances the company’s brand as an inclusive, and equal-opportunity employer.

Benefits of posting job openings

Posting job openings can attract top talent, as it allows a larger number of qualified individuals to apply for the position. This can result in a more robust selection process and potentially lead to the hiring of highly skilled individuals.

Furthermore, advertising the available roles enables employers to demonstrate transparency and fairness in their hiring process. Publicly posting job openings, and actively seeking diverse candidates, can also enhance an organization's diversity and inclusion efforts. It allows all interested parties to have an equal opportunity to apply for the position, promoting a sense of equity in the workplace.

While it may not be a legal requirement for all employers to post job openings, doing so can bring about various benefits, including attracting top talent and promoting transparency. Indeed, by adhering to best practices and promoting transparency, employers can create a fair and inclusive hiring process that attracts a diverse and talented workforce.