Are you confident your company’s job postings are legally compliant? 

As a small business, the right HR practices can make or break your company. Beyond ensuring legal compliance, your HR team helps you find highly qualified, productive workers. Your job postings might be the first impression applicants have of your company. Additionally, there are legal rules about what you can and can’t include in your posting.

Are You Certain Your Job Postings Are Compliant With Federal, State, and Local Laws? 

How certain are you about your job postings’ legal compliance? There are many different state, federal, and local laws to worry about, which can make compliance challenging for small businesses. 

Recently, Asure surveyed over 1,000 small businesses. During that survey, we asked questions about hiring and recruiting, onboarding, post-employment, retention, performance, benefits, development, and compliance. Then, we compared the responses we received from fast-growth and zero-growth companies. 

When we asked respondents about job posting compliance, we received the following responses. 

  • 80% of zero-growth businesses said they were confident about their job posting compliance.
  • 93% of fast-growth companies believed they had compliant job postings. 

This is a significant spread, and it shows that fast-growth companies are far more likely to be confident about their legal compliance in their job postings. 

How to Make Your Job Postings Legally Compliant

As a small business, it’s important to make sure your job postings are legally compliant. You don’t want to unintentionally include verbiage that could have a disparate impact on certain classes. To prevent compliance issues, there are a few simple ways you can review and update your job postings.

Review and Update Your Job Descriptions 

Before you create the job posting, you should start by reviewing and updating your written job description. Job descriptions and postings are different documents for different purposes. However, the roles, responsibilities, qualifications, and other information from your job description should form the basis of your job posting.

For a more effective job listing, you may want to use search engine optimization. Job seekers will normally find jobs by entering keywords into Indeed, LinkedIn, or a similar site. You need to make sure your job posting includes the keywords applicants are likely to search for. 

Make Your Qualifications Match the Job’s Roles and Responsibilities

After considering the roles and responsibilities in the job description, review the job posting’s desired and required qualifications. Sometimes, job postings include qualification requirements that are unrealistic for the job. For example, you may not need someone to have a degree or multiple years of experience. 

Take some time to carefully clean up your lists of required and desired qualifications. By updating this section, you can increase the odds that applicants will apply for your posting. 

Avoid Discriminatory Verbiage

Most people don’t deliberately include discriminatory verbiage in their job posts. However, this can still happen unintentionally from time to time. 

In a recent Mission to Grow podcast on “Recruiting and Hiring,” Asure’s VP of HR compliance, learning, and development, Mary Simmons, discussed an exceptional case she worked on. A home health aide organization had written that no Haitians needed to apply to the job postings. Many clients had asked to have non-Haitian aides, and the home health aide organization didn’t see anything wrong with including this requirement. 

Even though the organization didn’t see a problem with this type of posting, the job posting still violated anti-discrimination statutes. If someone filed a lawsuit against the health aide company, they would lose because ignorance of the law isn’t a defense. 

Companies have to be extremely careful about what they post because anyone can view the posting. As Simmons brings up, “There are attorneys who are out there and all they’re doing is looking at ads, and then having somebody apply and triggering a lawsuit.” Even when someone has good intentions, discriminatory language can lead to costly lawsuits and fines.

Follow State-by-State Pay Transparency Laws

Around a dozen states have pay transparency laws, but these laws can vary significantly from state to state. In addition, cities like Toledo have their own laws about providing salary ranges. Even in states requiring pay transparency, the law can vary. 

Typically, you’ll see pay transparency requirements in one of three forms. 

  • Some areas have a requirement to post the pay range on a job posting.
  • In other locations, companies must disclose the salary range at a specific point in the hiring process. 
  • Finally, some areas only require employers to provide salary ranges if the employee requests it. 

States can also vary in how wide this salary range can be. Because of this, it is a good idea to talk to an HR expert or employment law attorney who is familiar with the rules in your area. 

Watch Out for Requirements That Can Cause a Disparate Impact 

Next, you need to consider ways that your job posting may cause a disparate impact on protected groups. For instance, requiring applicants to have a car could lead to a disparate impact.

Alternatively, requiring bakers to lift 50 pounds may have a disparate impact on women and lead to fewer women being hired. However, it is not a case of disparate treatment if you can prove that the required qualification is genuinely needed to do the job.

Many cases of disparate treatment occur unintentionally. As you read through your job posting, make sure that you don’t unintentionally exclude certain groups from the job. 

Incorporate Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

An ATS is more than just a way to reduce the amount you spend on your hiring process. It can also help you ensure compliance. The ATS can scan through resumes to find the appropriate qualifications and keywords. This removes the human component and prevents potential discrimination issues.

Find Out What It Takes to Create Excellent Job Posts 

While Asure’s survey showed that many businesses are confident about their job post compliance, this is likely an overrepresentation of compliant posts. Fortunately, there are easy ways to improve your job postings so that they are legally compliant. From incorporating an ATS to rereading the verbiage, you can take simple steps to prevent compliance issues. 

If you need support with legal compliance and job postings, our certified HR experts can help. To learn more, reach out to our small business HR and payroll team today. 

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