The rise of “Ghost Jobs”

What to know about postings companies don’t intend to fill
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:55 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 12:03 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Unemployment is now at a 50-year low, and the labor shortage continues. This has companies widening their net with jobs they aren’t actively trying to fill - otherwise known as “ghost Jobs.” These phantom openings can also make your time disappear.

It does sound a little spooky: You apply for a job that seems like a perfect fit, and maybe even get an interview, only to be “ghosted” by a company. It’s a growing practice of hiring managers posting jobs they do not intend to fill. But why?

”For many companies, there’s always an opportunity to cast a wide net. and some of that is due to the fact that perhaps a particular company has turnover. and they know that they need a constant source of candidates,” said David Cathey, partner with Unity Search recruiting firm.

Cathey says there are different reasons for ghost postings. Most managers surveyed by Clarify Capital said they had active postings older than 30 days. Half said it’s because they’re always open to new people. Others believe it keeps current employees motivated, or gives the impression the company is growing. But one-third of companies said they post ghost jobs “for no particular reason” or they just forgot to delete the post!

Regardless of the “why,” industry experts will tell you, the longer a job’s been open, the higher the chance it’s a ghost posting.

”Use sources for your job search engine that show you the date that a job was posted - and you can cross reference that with Linkedin and the hiring company’s website. If you start seeing that job on all three locations, you can begin to tell if that’s an evergreen job with that company,” Cathey said.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply - if you’re able to verify the job through another source, like the company’s website - not just an employment search engine.

The plus side: you get on the company’s radar. They may feel you’re a fit for their culture, but in a different job.

”Keep your Linkedin profile updated because recruiters are scrolling on linked in at all times looking for that diamond in the rough,” said Cathey.

What really “haunts” many applicants is when they never hear back.

“As big as our world is, it begins to get very small, and companies get tagged with certain names, like, ‘I never hear back,’” Cathey said.

Before you invest your time, check a site like Linkedin to see if you have connections at the company. Read the comments and look up the hiring manager, before a job - and your application - disappear.