6 Green Flags to Look for in Job Listings

6 Green Flags to Look for in Job Listings
Courtesy of NYFA.

During the job searching phase, it can be easy to become overly focused on the goal of “getting a job” as opposed to “getting the job” that is the best fit for you. An important primary step is learning to pick out job listings that are indicative of a bright and positive potential future for you at the organization. 

We understand that skimming through countless job postings can be a taxing process, so we’ve narrowed it down to 6 green flags to look for in job listings:

1. Organizational Mission, Vision, and Values are Clear

An organization that clearly states its mission, vision, and values demonstrates a strategic focus that is crucial to guiding decision-making at all levels. It indicates that this organization has put in the work to establish this roadmap and at least in theory provides clarity on the direction of the company. Having a shared purpose provides inspiration and engagement to employees, which is an indicator for potentially higher work satisfaction for prospective employees.

It also conveys an acknowledgement of the importance of value-focused employees. It gives applicants the opportunity to evaluate if their own values are aligned with the organization’s and if the vision and mission is inspiring to them.

2. Workplace Culture and Environment is Evident and Consistent

When it comes to company culture, it can be explicitly or implicitly expressed in the job posting, as long as it’s evident and consistent. A summary of the organization’s culture may be provided within the overview of the company.

If a straightforward summary is not provided, a company can still portray their culture throughout the listing with their tone and language. The overall tone could be formal or informal and may very well be a reflection of the work environment. The soft skills and personality traits highlighted in the qualifications are also a strong indicator of the qualities they look for in employees. They can also clue you into how team members interact with each other. For example, is the emphasis on collaboration and teamwork or working independently? 

Understanding whether an organization is a good cultural fit is a fundamental component of choosing a job. Therefore, if the employer provides that information up front, they give you the opportunity to make a preliminary assessment—even at this stage of the application process.

3. A Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) is Demonstrated

Look for indications that validate an organization’s commitment to DEIA and eliminate barriers to entry to the application process. 

There are many elements to consider. Language throughout the posting should be inclusive. For instance, gender neutrality should be maintained by using words like “salesperson” instead of “salesman” or “saleswoman.” Furthermore, they could state that if someone needs reasonable accommodations, they are willing to offer them. Lastly, employers can highlight inclusive benefits, like parental leave. These are just a few examples of how commitment to DEIA is shown in actions, not just words.

4. Responsibilities and Qualifications are Realistic and Well Thought-Out

A detailed list of responsibilities and requirements, without going overboard, can be a good sign. Nevertheless, the true green flag is when the employer has spent time classifying what is essential and what is secondary.

When it comes to responsibilities, generally grouping them into primary/essential and secondary/additional categories indicates that the employer can manage the employees’ workload and their expectations to avoid burnout. 

For qualifications, separating them into required/essential and preferred/desired is evidence of an employer that is realistic and reasonable in what they are asking of the prospective employee.

5. Goals and Expectations for the Position are Set

A step further from a list of responsibilities and duties are the goals and expectations for the position. It’s great to know not just what you have to do on a daily basis, but what you’d aim to accomplish in a specified period of time.

An organization that has mapped out these short-term and long-term goals indicates that there is thoughtfulness behind the role and the candidate’s potential impact in the organization. Overall, it’s a sign of a potentially well-organized workplace that plans measurable goals and can provide direction to its employees.

6. Compensation Transparency

Salary ranges in job postings are required in several locations (including: California; Colorado; Hawaii; New York; Washington; and Jersey City, NJ). For job listings in these states, it’s important to consider if the salary is reflective of the years of experience required, the role’s level and duties, as well as the cost of living in that geographic area. For postings in states where salary is not required, an important indicator is whether they chose to include it. 

On NYFA’s Classifieds Jobs Board the data is promising: 96% of all job listings included salary ranges and 73% of job listings included salary ranges even though it was not required.

Transparency around the entire compensation package is an even stronger green flag to look out for; beyond salary, getting a full picture of salary, benefits, and perks. 

These are some general good signs to look out for in job postings. Nonetheless, what someone values in a job listing can vary from person to person, so we urge you to evaluate your priorities in picking out jobs to apply to.

– Katerina Nicolaou, Account Manager

Put these tips to use by finding your next job on NYFA Classifieds, the go-to listings site for artists, arts administrators, and museum professionals. Follow us @nyfa_classifieds on TikTok for more creative career tips.

Mary-Kate Grohoski
Posted on:
Post author