Hiring staff is a great benchmark for how well your Startup is growing. Many of our clients have started their companies with just themselves and now they’re hiring employees and operating payroll for a whole team.

If you’re just starting out hiring staff, have a look at our checklist for hiring your first employee.

Dermot Diver is an Employment Law Consultant from HR firm Peninsula. He’s provided this helpful guide on how to advertise a job vacancy. The following list of do’s and dont’s looks at some common pitfalls your business needs to watch out for when advertising jobs vacancies.

Things you should do

Broaden your Search

Ireland’s workforce is more diverse than ever before. Immigration, longer working lives and greater equality of opportunity have combined to produce the most varied workforce in the history of the state. This means that your Startup may have to battle with competitors to recruit and retain talent. By casting your net far and wide, you’re more likely to yield better results. Recruiting from a diverse talent pool and developing an inclusive workplace is becoming vital for competing in the labour market.

Familiarise yourself with Equality Legislation

When it comes to advertising vacancies, the key piece of legislation remains the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 – 2015 (the EEA). This Act regulates the employment relationship. It also prohibits discriminatory recruitment practices before an employment relationship begins. The principal aim of the EEA is to outlaw discrimination. This is on the basis of the following nine grounds: Gender, Sexual Orientation, Disability, Civil Status, Religious Belief, Race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins), Family status,
Age, and Membership of the Traveller community.

Give a fair and accurate description of the role

When advertising a job you should give an accurate description of the role. If you don’t feel competent in advertising job vacancies, the assistance of a recruitment agency or the advertising publication should be sought. This will ensure that none of the content included in your job description is disciminatory. Using the reliable method of describing the ‘Company, Role, Candidate’ can help keep you on track.

Things you should avoid


This may seem obvious in the 21st-century business world. However, the following example proves that employers are still posting discriminatory job advertisements. The advertisement for a job vacancy, which appeared on the recruitment site Indeed.com, specified that ‘persons with young children need not apply’. It seems unusual for an employer to publish such a discriminatory job advertisement. However, this story just goes to show that mistakes do happen.

Implying discriminatory recruitment criteria

Job advertisements have to be carefully worded to avoid implying that employers are biased on any of the nine grounds. Advertisements that exclude potential applicants will be scutinised. This scrutiny can come from both disappointed applicants the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, which is Ireland's independent equity body. Ryanair was famously ordered to pay €8,000 in compensation. This was after the airline posted a job advertisement seeking a “young and dynamic professional”. Claiming that you did not intend to exclude any applicant or group of applicants is not an adequate defence.

Pretending to be something you’re not

Your advertisement should avoid corporate jargon. Try to remain faithful to the personality of your organisation when drafting job adverts. Use the traditional ‘Company, Role, Candidate’ format. Following the advice set out above will help you to avoid using discriminatory content in your job adverts. It will also allowing you to reflect the culture of your organisation.

How Can Peninsula Help?

  • 24/7 professional support for businesses, across employment law, HR, health and safety
  • Free events around Ireland to talk to experts
  • Free consultations

Get In Touch With Peninsula

Talk to a HR expert on 00353 1 850 6054 or send an email to Patrick Whelan, Employment Consultancy Manager at: Patrick.Whelan@peninsula-ie.com. Tp see what vacancies we have available, check out our Online Accounting Jobs page.


You may also be interested in the following articles