Posting Jobs Internally

Q: I worked at a large company and recently left. I am now
working for a small company. We have little HR support here so
occasionally I will call my former HR Director with a question or two.
She seems willing to respond as long as I don’t take up too much time.
One recent response has me dumbfounded though. I asked her about
posting jobs internally because we used to post open jobs all the time
at my last company. She said she highly recommends posting all jobs
internally first because it is against the law not to post them for all
employees first. We are a small consulting firm and we have posted some
jobs but not all jobs. Are we breaking the law?

A: Your employer is probably not breaking the law. Generally,
posting all jobs is not required by law. Federal contractors are
required to post open positions. Additionally, employers with
collective bargaining agreements may also have specific posting
procedures designed to encourage internal applicants to apply before
considering external applicants.

However, most employers are able to determine their own recruiting and
posting policies, as long as they are non-discriminatory. Some
companies may post positions at certain levels, while another company
may post all positions. It is a practice worth considering for most
positions. Posting jobs internally encourages upward mobility for
existing employees while also sending a message that the company is
hiring. Sometimes a posting system may also encourage external
referrals from employees after a certain period of time, usually 7-10

Maybe your former employer was a government contractor or had a union
in place. Perhaps that is why your former HR Director shared that

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.