why do employers re-advertise jobs after interviews?

A reader writes:

Is it normal for employers advertise again a position after the second round of interviews?

I’ve encountered this situation a few times and the first thing I imagine is that none of the candidates met their expectations, but they still want to keep these people as second or third options.

What is your opinion about this behavior? Do you think employers should be clearer about the process and tell job-seekers what is going on?

I wouldn’t read too much into this, although it’s tempting to. It could be a few different things:

* Sometimes the employer may have one or two strong candidates but be nervous about not having a wider pool. After all, if I only have one person I’m excited to hire, I’m screwed if that person turns down my offer or we can’t come to terms for some other reason. So I’d always rather have a handful of strong candidates, which could mean that I continue advertising even as I’m moving through the process with that one star.

* Some companies keep fresh ads up until the position is officially filled.

* Sometimes an ad is self-renewing, because the employer purchased a certain number to run. So the ad “reappears” but not through any action of the employer.

* Or yes, sometimes new ads may indicate that the employer isn’t thrilled with any of the candidates it currently has and wants to explore alternatives.

Because there’s such a wide variety of possible explanations, you’ll only drive yourself crazy trying to interpret those new ads. Instead, I’d recommend just asking the employer straighforwardly for their timeline — what are their next steps, and when should you expect to hear back. After all, those are the answers that really matter.

{ 3 comments… read them below }

  1. Rachel - former HR blogger*

    They may not be re-advertisements. 70 or so of my positions fall under the same job title. What looks like a re-advertisement is usually just a new opening for my company.

    That said, if I wanted someone for the new opening after interviewing them in the past then I would contact them. Some people just don't get it and apply every two weeks.

  2. Anonymous*

    First of all, thanks for answering my question!
    That makes sense, trying to interpret these ads is pointless…

    Unfortunately, in my specific situation, it was a bad sign. After sending you this question, the recruiter posted it again (3rd time).

    When the deadline they gave me in the interview expired, I asked the recruiter and she told me to not expect a decision before the holidays. I asked about the re-post but no answer.

    Then I received an offer from another company and I contacted this recruiter again, but she didn't give any attention to me. I decided to give up this big company and accept the offer with the smaller company that offered me the job.

    By the way, I remembered your advice "Stick with the employer who really wants you".

    And I'm very happy with my decision! =)

  3. Letwin*

    I am very confused with this Employer. On their website they claim to be a company which is diversy and people comes first. I was invited for any interview, then got a phone call that it had been postponed, Then got booked for another date, I wrote to them thanking them for inviting me for an interview. I attended the interview 3 weeks ago. I just noticed they readvertising the job again and I haven’t received an reply from them. I just want to know whether i got the job or not, that way I can ask for feedback, apply for other openings within the same company, but located in different areas. What should I do?

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