Is there a legal requirement for employers to advertise every job vacancy that arises?
There is no specific legal requirement for employers to advertise every job vacancy that arises. However, an employer that considers only internal candidates, or people already known to the employer, is limiting its pool of candidates and may not recruit the strongest person for the role.
Where the employer recruits friends, family or other contacts of current employees without advertising a vacancy externally, this may give rise to allegations of unlawful discrimination. Where the workforce is predominantly male or female, or comprised of, for example, a particular racial group, informal recruitment methods such as word-of-mouth or personal recommendation perpetuate the existing imbalance and restrict the choice of applicants. This can constitute indirect discrimination against the sex or race that is under-represented in the workplace. As a result, applicants who do not hear about a vacancy until it is too late to apply for it because candidates have been sought through an informal recruitment exercise may be able to claim discrimination on the basis that the recruitment method was a discriminatory arrangement.