Arlington Sports Conditioning - Pete Leibman

Faster. Stronger. Fitter.

Why Job Postings Are a Bad Idea for Executive Recruiting

Several years ago, the CEO of a tech start-up told me that he had recently tried to hire a Head of Marketing. He posted the position on LinkedIn, and he received over 100 applications in less than 48 hours. He was thrilled… until he actually went through the candidates. There was not even one person who met the qualifications for the role.

Job postings are a cheap way to generate a lot of candidates quickly, and that is why many companies still use them. It is not uncommon for a top employer to receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for a publicly advertised role. However, job postings rarely attract the best, most qualified candidates- especially at the executive level.

Job Postings Do Not Attract the Right People

Top executives are usually not actively seeking a new role. They are too busy exceeding expectations in their current role. Even when they consider new opportunities though, they rarely need to resort to job postings. Because of their reputation and track record, they often hear about compelling opportunities through their network and through recruiters. That is usually how they end up in their next role.

Even though job postings can attract a lot of candidates, they are still only seen by a tiny percentage of the talent pool. According to research by LinkedIn, only 30% of the workforce is actively looking for a new job at any given time. However, LinkedIn has also found that 87% of the workforce is actually open to hearing about a new job opportunity. Therefore, 57% of the workforce is not searching for something new, but still open to hearing about an opportunity if you contact them. Job postings completely miss this sizeable segment of the talent pool.

Any company that relies on job postings will miss a high percentage of its relevant talent pool. That’s true even if that company is Facebook or Google or another one of the world’s most desirable employers. What if a company is not as well-respected or as well-known? Then, even fewer candidates will search for and apply to its job postings. In that case, the company will likely miss at least 80-90% of its relevant talent pool.

Job Postings Do Not Build a Diverse Talent Pipeline

If your company takes a passive, inbound approach to recruiting and relies on job postings to fill open roles, it will also be much less likely to attract a diverse pipeline of candidates. For example, one executive recently told me that men made up over 90% of the candidates who applied for one of their company’s job postings.

If your company wants to attract greater diversity (across gender, race, ethnicity, and so on) and ultimately hire the best people, then an active, outbound approach to recruiting is required. You cannot just post a job opening online and expect top performers to come to you. Hire full-time recruiters and/or use third-party recruiters to pursue the best people and to ensure that you are considering a diverse pipeline of candidates.

P.S. Looking for more help with your company’s executive recruiting efforts?

Download my free report below, or contact me directly to schedule a call.

About the author: As the Founder of Stronger Talent, Pete Leibman recruits exceptional leaders for innovative sports, fitness, and wellness companies. Throughout his career, Pete has helped clients recruit exceptional leaders at the Board, C-Suite, Senior Vice President, Vice President, General Manager, Managing Director, and Director levels. Pete’s work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and, and he is the author of two books and over 250 articles on career management, peak performance, and executive recruiting.

Download Our Latest Report