Have you ever come across a job posting that looks too good to be true and thought to yourself, “Is this real?” or “Why haven’t I heard back from them?” You’re not alone. The job market has been plagued with a phenomenon that’s being called ghost jobs, and it’s becoming increasingly prevalent. This article explains what are ghost jobs, why employers advertise them, and how they affect job seekers.
What are ghost jobs?
Ghost jobs are job postings that are advertised but don’t actually exist. This means that the employer has no intention of filling the position, even though it’s advertised as available. According to a recent article from The Wall Street Journal, many job postings are ghost job positions.
In a survey of over 1,000 hiring managers in summer 2022, 27% reported having job postings up for more than four months. Among those who said they advertised job postings that they weren’t actively trying to fill, close to half said they kept the ads up to give the impression the company was growing.
Why do employers advertise ghost jobs?
You might be wondering why on earth anyone would advertise a job that doesn’t exist or that they’re not intending on filling. Well, it’s all about manipulating the job market to favour employers.
By advertising fake jobs, employers can collect resumes and data on potential candidates without actually having any intention of hiring anyone. This way, they can keep tabs on the job market and adjust their hiring strategies accordingly.
According to Clarify Capital, a small business loan provider behind the study, one-third of the managers who said that they advertised jobs that they weren’t trying to fill said they kept the listings up to placate overworked employees.
Another third of managers admitted to lying to employees when they said they would hire someone to help them out with their job. Other reasons for keeping jobs up include stocking a pool of ready applicants if an employee quits or just in case an irresistible candidate applies.
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How do ghost jobs affect job seekers?
Ghost jobs can be a frustrating experience for job seekers. They spend a lot of time crafting the perfect cover letter and resume, only to hit the submit button and then hear crickets. They follow up with an email and a phone call, still nothing.
It turns out that they might be onto something. Companies are using ghost jobs to create the illusion of demand for certain types of jobs, which in turn allows them to offer lower wages.
For example, if there are one hundred applicants for a fake job that pays $50,000 a year, then the employer can argue that there’s plenty of supply for that type of job and offer a lower wage to candidates.
Ghost jobs are a phenomenon that’s becoming increasingly prevalent in the job market. Employers are using them to manipulate the job market and collect data on potential candidates without having any intention of hiring anyone. This can be frustrating for job seekers who invest their time and effort into applying for a job that doesn’t actually exist. However, being aware of this phenomenon can help job seekers make informed decisions about their job search and negotiate better wages.
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