5 Job Listing Red Flags

“We’re like a family” – The job listing red flags candidates are sick of hearing

Have you encountered these hated job listing red flags?

A job listing is the gateway to your next opportunity. Most of the time it is the very first step in a journey that could lead you to a brand new experience, new people to meet even a whole new lifestyle. But seeing one of these red flag phrases on a job listing can be enough to stop talented candidates dead in their tracks.

Whether they seem clichéd, disingenuous or misleading these phrases will make many people say “no thank you, next”.

Recently LinkedIn users shared their most hated job listing red flags, here they are.

Job Listing Red Flag #1.”We’re more than a workplace we’re a family”


Of all the red flag raising phrases you can find on job listings, linkedin users were in agreement that an organisation calling their team a “family” was the worst faux pas you could make. There is something inherently disingenuous about equating a group of people brought together by transactional means with something that is often the emotional core of their lives.

People are often quick to point out that you can’t fire a fire family member with no remorse (unfortunately) and that a family environment is not necessarily a positive thing for all people. Otherwise why would the family court need to exist?


This was always a cringeworthy term in my view. I’ve worked in wonderful environments where real connections did grow between people/staff. But using “family” to describe what is a commercial transaction doesn’t strike me (and many it seems) as honest.

Claire Mason


The worst businesses I have ever worked for described themselves as a family. They used that word because they didn’t have a great culture.

Niraj KapuR

‘Absolute Red Flag’

“When an employer describes their workforce as “like a family”, many modern workers hear something akin to: “we expect unconditional loyalty and out-of-hours devotion from our staff.”

Why? Because workers have been calling out the euphemisms that some employers use to package over-working, across social media and in company review websites like Glassdoor.
You may think hiring managers would now avoid such language at all costs.

Think again. Not only are employers still using “red flag” phrases that signal a high stress or toxic work culture, but they’re also dropping them in their job ads, according to new research.”

Oriana Rosa Royle

Job Listing Red Flag #2. “Fast paced environment”


Hmm what’s a nice way to tell everyone that we have a stressful workplace, dysfunctional management and unreasonable overtime? Oh I know let’s just describe ourselves as fast paced.

The only fast thing about these environments is how fast employees will burnout and leave.

‘I completely lose interest’

“Any time I see the words “fast paced” I completley lose interest. I have worked for “fast paced” companies and they expect you to have no life and work crazy OT without being paid. “Team player” is another phrase that makes me cringe. Also, when I see “unlimited coffee” and “staff break room” under benefits instead of you know..ACTUAL benefits. It seems as though the toxic companies will never learn.”

Andrea Testa

“I read a job description recently and I cringed when I saw the term ‘works well under pressure’. The role is me but, if I’m having a reaction to this phrase, it must mean something.”

Huia Naera

Job Listing Red Flag #3. Underwhelming benefits


“When looking at job ads, I always find it bizarre when Australian companies detail their benefits / perks and it starts out with “10% superannuation!”. Errr… yes, you’re required to pay that – might as well list “we have toilet paper in the bathrooms” or “our office building has power”.

If that’s your greatest, eye-catching, most exciting benefit, then it might be time to review your EVP!!”

Rachel Ferris

Job Listing Red Flag #4. “Other duties as assigned”


It can be difficult to encapsulate all the nuances of a job into a single job listing but this one is as vague as it gets.

“There’s a phrase that I find unsettling. I feel it gives license to dump responsibilities on someone & not provide compensation to match.
Still, maybe one person’s ‘toxic’ phrase is another’s dose of reality. Some might prefer to know in advance just what it is they are signing up for. I’ve definitely had roles where I felt I had been sold something that was not truthfully advertised. I guess it is a matter of personal preference. Additionally, if we are going towards more transparency in job postings, how about including salaries?”

Suzy Hartman

Job Listing Red Flag #5. “Looking for a rockstar”


Sadly the role does not actually contain any rocking and rolling. Instead the company has a long list of problems and they’re looking for you to solve it.

I saw on LinkedIn a few weeks ago, a recruiter saying they needed a “rockstar” worker for minimum wage.

Pretty much every comment was saying if you want a rockstar worker to pay them a rockstar salary.

Want to give potential candidates green flags? Get in touch with us.

If you’re looking to attract talent rather than send them screaming in the other direction then a good place to start is by talking to a recruiter. Taking a highly personalised, high touch approach to recruitment is what we do at Frazer Tremble executive and our candidate experience is second to none.

Independent recruitment review platform, Sourcr recently recognised us as an officially recommended recruiter. So if you want to experience our award winning approach to talent identification and candidate experience then reach out to our candidate experience coordinator Gabrielle Baird or browse our listed job opportunities here. 

Frazer Tremble | Asset 1

Gabrielle Baird – Candidate Experience Coordinator

+61 499 180 852

[email protected]

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