Organizational initiatives focused on supporting employees’ careers, also referred to as “organizationally supported career management practices,” are geared toward career planning and development. Using job-posting programs, organizations can play a critical role in their employees’ career-development efforts by providing accurate and updated information about promotion and growth opportunities within the organization. Organizations can proactively focus on their employees’ careers by using job-posting programs and, in some cases, by selectively making these programs available to specific individuals.
Job-posting programs serve as an information service in assisting organizational employees in career-development endeavors and in generating a pool of internal candidates. Job-posting programs were initiated in the early stages of affirmative action, when organizations began publicizing available jobs internally. These programs offered organizations the possibility of providing equal opportunities for women and minorities to compete for existing job openings and were viewed as measures for circumventing the traditional “old-boy” networks existing in organizations.
Organizations can post job openings on bulletin boards, in organizational newsletters, through recorded phone messages, by e-mail messages, or, increasingly, using organizational intranets. Job openings are published, and interested employees are expected to respond within a stipulated time period. Some job postings apply to specific organizational locations or offices, whereas other postings are organization-wide openings applicable to multiple locations or offices. Increasingly in a virtual world, organizations are connecting their intranets to external job-search engines to cast a wider net for their job-posting programs.
Characteristics of Well-Constructed Job-Posting Programs
A well-constructed job posting, critical to the success of the program, should delineate the competencies required for the position, information about compensation, performance standards, the supervisory structure, the work schedule, and the job-selection criteria. If possible, a well-constructed job posting is framed within the larger context of the organizational goals and objectives, enabling employees to determine whether they are qualified for the position and to assess the “fit” between their goals and the organization’s goals. Sometimes employees are skeptical about whether the recruitment efforts resulting from the job posting are political processes or genuine searches for the best internal candidates. When a posting clarifies how the open position will be filled and what the job selection criteria are, it is likely to alleviate employees’ apprehension concerning the credibility of the recruitment process.
In addition to its comprehensiveness, the success of well-constructed job postings is determined by its scope or reach. No matter how the job-related information is disseminated, it is important for information in any job-posting program to be available to all employees who are eligible for the position. Some unions require that job postings reach their members first for any new positions opening up within the organization. Job postings are an excellent idea even for non-unionized organizations, as they assist organizations in employees’ career development by transferring and/or promoting suitable internal candidates to appropriate positions.
Outcomes of Job-Posting Programs
Well-designed job-posting programs are a tremendous asset to organizations as they reinforce the notion that the organization promotes from within and is focused on developing employees’ careers. This notion enhances employee retention and boosts employee morale because it signals to the employees that they do not need to go elsewhere to find opportunities for career development. Posting jobs also creates an open-recruitment process, which helps give all employees equal opportunity for advancement and helps in recruiting for jobs from a pool of existing employees with proven track records.
Job-posting programs are also advantageous with reference to employees’ career development, as astute employees observing postings over time soon learn a great deal about their organizations. They realize that following job postings yields information about turnover rates in different departments and information about skills and competencies in high demand within their organizations. Equipped with these data, employees are likely to be able to better shape their careers by getting additional and relevant training and/or experience to advance their careers.
Not all job-posting programs’ outcomes are positive, however, as mismanaged programs are likely to have more detrimental effects. A critical threat plaguing internal recruitment from job-posting programs originates from supervisors’ or managers’ reluctance to allow their employees to be interviewed for potential promotions and/or transfers. This reluctance stems from the fact that supervisors and managers have invested tremendous resources in training their employees for their current positions. When trained employees apply for other positions, their supervisors/managers are encumbered with the predicament of selecting and training new employees to replace their existing employees. To assist and prompt supervisors/managers to overcome this reluctance, organizational policies allowing and encouraging employees to seriously contemplate internal job opportunities must have top-management support. Job-posting programs that have not overcome this managerial reluctance are likely to result in political selection decisions and distrust in the employees applying for internal jobs.
Job-posting programs may also be vulnerable as some employees, to gain a better job title or salary, try to outsmart the organizational system by transferring to new positions that do not necessitate any varied or incremental skills beyond what their current jobs require. This temptation may be counterbalanced by organizations establishing consistent compensation structures and policies across varying jobs and in different locations. Job-posting programs can also be expensive in terms of additional administrative costs unless organizations have rules and policies about applying for jobs posted. For example, some organizations do not accept applications from employees who have been in the organization for less than a year and/or in their current positions for less than six months. Finally, the outcomes of job-posting programs are critically dependent on the post-selection follow-up and feedback process in place. Unless organizations provide employees with honest, precise, and factual feedback about their applicant screening and selection, unselected employees may feel slighted and distrust the organization in the future. In summary, well-constructed job-posting programs enhance employees’ careers and organizations’ abilities to retain good employees.
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