Posting an anonymous job offer: good or bad idea?

Publier une offre d’emploi anonyme


Posting a job anonymously: a bad idea? Candidates may be reluctant to apply to your ad. While others will try their luck, at the risk of being disappointed or surprised when they discover the name of your company. It’s also extremely tricky for candidates since they can’t personalize their cover letter as much as they would if they knew who they were applying for.

What drives companies to post an anonymous job offer? 

If the anonymization of CVs is common, it is also frequent to find anonymous job offers on recruitment websites, on LinkedIn or even from recruitment agencies. Candidates do not have the name of the company and only get an overview of the company. Often, the ad only specifies the field of expertise. This is not enough information to apply for a job.

However, there may be several reasons that lead a recruiter to post a job without disclosing their name:

  • He chose to entrust his recruitment to a specialized firm because he did not want to be inundated with calls from candidates or to do the interviews himself.
  • He prefers to keep the recruitment “secret” because he wants to replace an employee who does not yet know that he is going to be fired or simply to avoid publicizing the departure of an employee.
  • His company is undergoing a redundancy plan, but there are still recruitment needs for specific positions. 
  • His company does not have a good image or is not attractive. 
  • Or, on the contrary, it is a reputable company that wishes to be discreet.
  • They don’t want their competitors to know about their search for new talent. 
  • The employer is recruiting for a strategic position or a position of great responsibility and prefers to rely on discretion.

👉 Of course, all these reasons are totally legitimate.

Anonymous job offers: a barrier for candidates? 

Unfortunately, a job offer without the name of the company can be a hindrance for candidates. And this, for several reasons. Here are some examples: 

  • He doesn’t know who he’s applying to.
  • He cannot personalize his cover letter and this can block him. 
  • They don’t want to waste time if the company doesn’t interest them. 
  • He may be afraid to apply for his current company without knowing it and that the company will learn that he is looking to leave.

Of course, the candidate has the possibility to call the consultant in charge of the recruitment since the name of the recruitment firm is obligatorily present on the ad. For confidentiality reasons, the consultant will not be able to provide the name of the company. However, there is a good chance that they will provide some details about the company, such as its activity, its objectives and its location. This allows the candidate to get a better idea of the type of company they are applying for.

3 things to do if you post a job in confidence

Provide details about the position and your company:

In what framework will it evolve? In what field? What skills are required? These are important questions talent asks before they apply. If you want to keep your company’s name confidential, write an ad that allows candidates to see themselves. Don’t hesitate to mention as much information as possible while remaining anonymous. For example, you can mention on the job description: 

  • The title of the position to be filled and/or the status ;
  • The sector of activity;
  • Key figures;
  • The location of the position;
  • Your position;
  • The skills required; 
  • The type of contract (permanent, fixed-term, work-study, internship, etc.) and its duration;
  • Your values;
  • Your objectives;
  • Your work environment;
  • The course of the recruitment process

👉 You will thus give essential information to applicants without revealing yourself. Too many companies are still evasive on these points.

2. Provide an opportunity for candidates to stand out: 

Give them the opportunity to showcase their skills and experience through their CV or cover letter. Why not offer them an online test or write an unusual letter?

Many tools are specialized in recruitment tests to help you in the recruitment process such as Central Test, AssessFirst or Goshaba.

👉 This might pique the curiosity of applicants. 

3. Write an ad that makes you dream:

No copying and pasting from old job offers (or worse, from your competitors). No preconceived phrases. Instead, opt for an upbeat tone that gives your company character. Be honest: just because you’re not a leader in your field doesn’t mean no one will apply for your company. Show that you believe in your product or services. And above all, don’t hesitate to explain the advantages of working for you and why not, to specify the remuneration (which is an important motivation lever). 

👉 In other words: if you are led to publish an anonymous job offer, include everything in your ad that is likely to attract candidates and encourage them to send their application. 

As HR specialist Roseline Laloupe says, “The job offer is a seduction tool. Just like on a dating site, your presentation sheet must be appealing. If you want to publish a job offer without making yourself known by going through a recruitment agency, it is possible. As an employer, you certainly have good reasons to do so. To put all the chances on your side and to find the rare pearl, do not forget, in this case, to put as much information as possible on the ad, in order to attract a maximum of candidates.

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