Apply the beige flag trend to your next job search

TikTok and dating app users may be well versed in how to recognise beige flags in a potential love match, but it turns out it’s a warning sign that can equally be applied when considering that potential new job opportunity.

In the search for that the perfect pairing, everyone wants to swerve those boring duds. Beige flags won’t set internal alarm bells ringing as a red flag might, but when it comes to choosing a prospective employer, most would want to avoid one that is a little dull, uninspiring and well, just a little beige.

Laura Saunders, Founder and Commercial Director of recruitment website HiJOBS explains:

“When it comes to dating apps and job hunting, there’s a few natural parallels. The beige flag trend leans into the sense of frustration and demotivation people can feel from fruitless dating app matches and uninspiring connections. The emotional reaction to ineffectual job searches and failed applications is very similar.

“Getting that twinge of a beige flag feeling from a prospective new employer, may on its own not be a deal breaker, but I would definitely say it’s a sign you should probe a little deeper to make sure that the company, its values and role, are absolutely the right fit for you.”

With over 176 million views on TikTok, the hashtag #BeigeFlag is clearly resonating. has identified seven relevant beige flags to help people undertake their next job hunt.

Beware the bland

Like deciphering a bland dating profile, job descriptions can be packed with well-worn phrases. Cliches of ‘excellent communication skills’, ‘goals-orientated’ or ‘the ability to multi-task, lack specificity and fail to convey the unique aspects of the role. Using ‘dynamic’ anywhere.

It works both ways. Check your CV and cover letter – potential employers want to build a connection and get a genuine sense of your personality. Avoid the cliches.

Beware the cringe

Sometimes companies try a little too hard to be trendy. Quirky job titles such as ‘SEO ninja’ is about as beige flag as it comes. No naming names, but trying to entice potential candidates with the promise that “our work is as varied as the beer in our fridge!” is likely to produce a small shudder. If you have to say your cool, you’re not cool.

A ‘competitive salary’

Today, people expect salary transparency in a job ad. A vague ‘competitive salary’ isn’t going to cut it, especially with Gen Z. It’s the main reason that HiJOBS crunches the real-time data average on salaries for regions and similar jobs and runs it alongside the relevant job ad.

Tell us about yourself. Twice.

When a cover letter and CV have been requested, followed up by an application form asking for exactly the same information. Beige flag.

Promoting the non-perks

Actually, companies are legally obliged to give statutory holidays, pensions and maternity pay. It’s not something to shout about. And flexible working is now generally seen as an expected and not a perk. Office dogs, posh coffee and beer Fridays are nice, but they’re not a hard benefit. A recent survey of 2000 Scots by HiJOBS found that when it comes to benefits generous holidays (85%), enhanced pensions (84%) and professional development (82%) are the big draws.

Attention to detail

A regular phrase in many job ads, but employers need to practice what they preach. Wonky formatting, spacing and the odd typo. Your CV may not make it past the inbox for the same crimes.

Just all a bit… vague

They seem nice, but are just a little… not present. Pay attention to delayed responses, rescheduling interviews or evasive answers to questions.

Clear and timely communication is essential for a healthy working relationship, so consider how the employer’s communication style aligns with your expectations.

More articles like this in Career advice, Interviews, Social Media by HIJOBS.