Red flag alert: What to avoid in job ads

By Kirstie McDermott on Friday 8 July 2022

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Jobbio's Kirstie McDermott runs down the top warning signs when you're hunting for that next role in fintech.

Red flag alert: What to avoid in job ads
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So you’ve decided to look for a new job. Congratulations! That’s great (can we direct you straight to the AltFi Job Board?). After a few hours on your first day of job hunting, you might feel a bit of fatigue, or worse, like giving up completely and staying put with your awful boss and worse colleagues for all eternity.

That’s because you might have encountered some of the species of what we like to call Terrible Job Postings. This endangered species is on the way out, but you can still find some lurkers. Here are some red flags to watch out for in job listings – if you see all or any of these, close the page and move swiftly on.

Vague job descriptions

You know what you can do, and what you want to do, but is it immediately obvious what the company is asking? If you can’t get a clear sense of what the job description is from the listing, this is a sign of a company without clear focus, forward planning or goals.

A shopping list of tasks and responsibilities

We all expect to have roles and responsibilities as part of our day-to-day work – that’s a given. When you see a job posting that contains 10-15 (or more) responsibilities, some of which are out of the scope of what would normally be expected, consideration is needed. Too many requirements either means that the employer doesn’t really know what they are looking for, or they are expecting far too much from the role.

Foul phrases

Tech companies adore buzzwords – we’ve all smirked at the job ad that’s looking for a “rock star ninja”. There are other, more nefarious ones to keep an eye out for too. “No two days are the same” or “must be willing to switch lanes or directions quickly” are often seen in conjunction with ''fast-paced work environment'', and in a nutshell, it means that the work environment is chaotic.

Also look to avoid “Self-starter”, “Fast learner” or “Able to manage your own time”. What these mean is you won’t be given any direction, you'll have to figure it all out on your own – say goodbye to any training –- and your workload will be so intense you’ll be managing it into the night, every night. Yes, that’s what “your own time” means in this instance.

“We’re like a family”

Dysfunctional, cliquey and backstabbing. Run!


If you’re ready to start job hunting, these three companies are hiring, and there are plenty more opportunities available on the AltFi Job Board too.

Data Engineer, Allica Bank

Data is a key asset to Allica and is deeply embedded across teams and products. The Data Engineer will be an integral part of the data engineering team, building and developing the tooling and pipelines that form the bank’s data ingestion and modelling machine for its partnerships agreements. You’ll be expected to understand Allica’s data landscape and architecture, bring a strong skill set in data modelling and build and maintain data pipelines. You’ll need to have previous experience working as a data engineer in a start-up, a STEM background or similar, and have strong SQL skills. Apply now.

Solution Architect - Data Science, eClerx

The Solution Architect role is a unique opportunity to work across diverse problem statements, mentor a team of deeply passionate data experts, have direct access to C-level leaders and their priorities, and have a measurable impact on growth and value-creation. You will collaborate with members of delivery, sales, and account management teams to discover how clients can derive value from their data, and work to make data more useful. You’ll need a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience, as well as rich experience in customer-facing data science, analytics, and as a team leader. Relevant experience in pre-sales solutioning for analytics and experience with business-focused analytics, sales optimisation and maximisation analytics, digital media analysis, paid media analytics, multi-touch attribution analysis, or other related statistical modelling experience would be good. Apply now.

Operational Risk Analyst, SaltPay

The Operational Risk Analyst is responsible for operational risks; potential failures in the day-to-day business activities including the systems, equipment, people, and process that supports and enables SaltPay to execute on its vision. You’ll oversee the control and management of the SaltPay Operational Risk Universe, specifically as they relate to business service providers and third party providers. To succeed in this role you’ll need two to five years’ experience in finance or in the risk management of online ecommerce business in the European market, and a university degree in economics, finance, maths or engineering (or equivalent). Strong computer literacy skills as well as an entrepreneurial drive and interest in payments and small businesses are also required. Apply now.

To discover thousands of open roles, start your search on our Job Board today.

This article was provided by Jobbio and does not necessarily reflect the views of AltFi.

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