'No work-life balance' | Football club under fire for 'embarrassing' job advert

Football club under fire for 'embarrassing' job advert

A football club has been met with backlash for telling job candidates not to apply if they are looking for “a work-life balance” or "have to pick the kids up from school".

As reported by the Lancashire Post and its sister title Blackpool Gazette, AFC Fylde posted a job ad for its General Manager vacancy.

But among the unsurprising requirements for candidates to be skilled in aspects of running a football club and having a “proactive approach”, there was also a warning that candidates should not apply “if you are looking for ‘a work-life balance’ or have to pick the kids up from school twice a week at 3.30”.

The non-league team’s post, which has since been taken down, continued: "This is a hands on role’ and requires hands on leadership from the front so ‘delegators’ and ‘office dwellers’ please don't apply”.

But the ad’s apparent intention of appealing to no-nonsense hard workers fell flat, instead receiving a backlash on social media, with some of the club’s own supporters expressing their disappointment and anger.

One comment from a working parent said: "YEESH. It's like, hello, the 90s called. They want their job advert back. FFS” while another responded: "Totally disgusting job advert from AFC Fylde. What an awful place to work."

This was followed by a Fylde supporter who labelled their club’s advert as “embarrassing.”

Another football fan felt the ad expressed “indirect sex discrimination from the outset”.

The ad has even prompted the chief executive of Citizens Advice Blackpool (CAB) to speak out against it, branding it “discriminatory”.

A Spokesperson for AFC Fylde said: "The Club does not wish to make any comment on this matter."

How to avoid bias in job ads

The news of this job advert shines a light on the wording of job adverts and best practices when seeking to recruit new talent.

Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of job search engine Adzuna, previously told HR Grapevine that a lot of the time, a job advert is the first impression that prospective talent will have of a company.

Looking for more

“This is where jobseekers are trying to understand if they will be a good ‘fit’ for the role,” he explained. As such, it is important that employers and recruiters get job adverts right the first time around.

Tips for writing a job advert

With writing and circulating a well-articulated job advert being a crucial factor in attracting top talent, how can HR and recruitment leaders do this well?

To help, HR Grapevine has collated a list of five top tips below:

  1. Shout about any perks and benefits of working for the firm as soon as possible, as this will be key to attracting new talent and boosting the number of applications received.

  2. Get rid of any corporate jargon and make the job advert as easy and as digestible as possible.

  3. Refer to people as ‘you’ as this can help prospective candidates to envision themselves in the role.

  4. Don’t assume that candidates know everything about the company so include information about the organisation, the products or services it offers, why staff work for the company and what makes them stand out from competitors.

  5. Before publishing, make sure you double check the content of the advert to make sure it accurately reflects the job and doesn’t have any typos. It may sound like a simple tip, but this can be a common and easily avoidable step that hinders the process.

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Comments (1)

  • Robert
    Thu, 9 Sep 2021 4:12pm BST
    Frankly, I don't see much wrong with this - and while I hate the term "snowflake" generation, this is a perfect example of that.

    Although written lightheartedly, the advert for once is in "plain English" - no flowery HR babble - and doesn't attempt to disguise the requirements from potential applicants. There are certain jobs that require certain types of people willing to put the hours and effort in - companies shouldn't be victimised for being honest when it comes to requiring certain types of applicants and prevent wasting everyone's time.

    I'd hazard a guess that the people most offended by the job description would have also been the ones least likely to fill it!

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