Job seekers are frustrated by companies posting phantom job listings, leading to wasted time and disappointment.
Ghost jobs, or phantom jobs, refer to positions that are created but still need to be filled, or are eliminated without proper communication by the company. These vacancies or nonexistent roles can cause confusion, frustration and inefficiency within organizations. TikTok user Allie (@arizona_allie) started her job search four months ago and began to observe an unusual pattern. Employers would post job listings that attracted thousands of applicants, including Allie. However, she wouldn't receive any response, while the job listings remained active for extended periods, sometimes months. Occasionally, a removed listing would reappear shortly afterward, with identical details regarding salary, location, and responsibilities, giving the impression of a newly opened position.
In an email to the Daily Dot, she says, "It feels like there is some larger, hidden agenda—like they're personally benefiting in some way from continuously acting as if they're actively recruiting/hiring for these roles but never filling them." Growing increasingly frustrated, Allie decided to post a video on TikTok. Little did she know that the occurrence of "ghost jobs" were becoming increasingly familiar with many other users posting about it on the platform.
@d011bones is another frustrated job-seeker who shared her unsuccessful search for employment. She reveals having applied to over 80 positions in the past two weeks, only to receive generic responses stating that her application was accepted but not yet reviewed. She raises an essential question about companies that seemingly have an urgent need to hire yet fail to reach out to candidates promptly. She sarcastically remarks, "If you're so urgently hiring—clearly you're f****** not! But ''nobody wants to work anymore,'" ending the video by hitting the camera.
In a study conducted by Clarify Capital on August 31 and September 1, 2022, involving over 1000 employers, a few shocking details were uncovered. 61% of employers admitted to intentionally delaying filling a role for two months or more after posting it, while a staggering one in five employers stated that they had no plans to fill their open positions until the following year. Additionally, eight percent of employers indicated they would not fill the role for at least six months after posting it. As identified in the study, these delayed or nonexistent job opportunities are essentially "ghost jobs," leaving job seekers uncertain with extended waiting periods.
Scott Dobroski, the Vice President of Global Corporate Communications at Indeed, responded to the issue of "ghost jobs" in an email statement to the Daily Dot. Dobroski denied that listings for such positions are common on the Indeed job site. He emphasized that inactive or "ghost" job postings are not a prevalent problem, stating that while employers may keep postings active while searching for the right candidate, it is not in their best interest to post jobs they have no intention of filling due to the potential damage to their reputation with job seekers.
Job seekers like Allie want a proper solution. She says, "I feel as if there should be some sort of legislation that tells companies they are required to fill a role within X amount of days once posted, and they should definitely be required to give individualized feedback to each applicant who went through their interview process." According to her, that's the least they could do.