Article 43

 

Preying On The Job Seeker

Monday, September 19, 2022

Preying On The Job Seeker 20 - Ghost Jobs

:image

Applicants say they’re being ghosted by recruiters, having their resumes eliminated by applicant tracking systems (ATS), and struggling to find remote work opportunities. At the same time, unemployment benefits have been cut off.

By the end of September, Holz had sent out 60 applications, received 16 email responses, four follow-up phone calls, and [one] solitary interview.
- Job Hunting 2021

---

That’s not a real job opening
Some companies are posting ‘ghost jobs’ but don’t actually plan to hire you - or anyone

By Rebecca Knight and Juliana Kaplan
Business Insider
September 18, 2022

· The number of job openings has been sky high over the past year in the red-hot labor market.

· But some job seekers are still striking out, especially as the economy faces headwinds.

· That could be because some firms are posting “ghost jobs” that they’re not actually hiring for.

After applying to more than 300 jobs in the last six months without a single bite, Will no longer bothers to read job descriptions or research companies.

It’s just a waste of time at this point, said Will, whose real name is withheld but known to Insider.

He spends six to 10 hours a day on LinkedIn churning out applications, but says that he and his peers with similar credentials master’s degrees and MBAs from top schools - are having no luck getting interviews.

“I’m seeing all of these articles about how COMPANIES CANNOT RECRUIT PEOPLE fast enough and how there’s all these job openings,” said Will, who aims to land a consulting role. “But I’m also seeing my own personal experience and seeing other highly qualified candidates who can’t get interviews or can’t get jobs and I’m like, ‘Something is wrong with the system.’”

It is a puzzle in this remarkably tight labor market. While many EMPLOYERS CAN’T FIND ENOUGH WORKERS, some qualified candidates are applying to open jobs and AREN’T HEARING ANYTHING BACK.

That applicants are, on occasion, GHOSTED BY EMPLOYERS is nothing new, of course. But lately questions have been raised about whether a company’s job postings are reflective of actual open positions, or instead “ghost jobs” listings that employers are no longer actively hiring or recruiting for.

According to a RECENT SURVEY of roughly 1,000 hiring managers conducted by Clarify Capital, a boutique lending firm, 40% of managers have had a job posting open for over two to three months; one in five managers said they don’t plan to fill their current open job positions until 2023; and half of managers said they keep job postings up because they’re “always open to new people,” even if they’re not actively recruiting.

“We have over 150 million people working in the US economy,” Kathryn Edwards, an economist at the RAND Corporation, told Insider about the GREAT RESIGNATION. “Whatever can be true is true for at least one person. Having that many workers means that you can have two true stories that are in absolute conflict, and it totally makes sense that they’re both in our labor market.”

SOME RESEARCHERS SAY that “job openings” might mean something different today than it used to, and that companies routinely ADJUST TO FORCES in the economy and their industries by ramping up and down the intensity with which they recruit. OTHERS, MEANWHILE, HAVE SPECULATED that companies today are posting jobs but not trying hard to fill them, perhaps due to uncertainties about the economy. But at a time when many workers are still QUITTING THEIR JOBS AT ELEVATED RATES emboldened by the apparent strength of the labor market, the ghost job phenomenon underscores the idea that EMPLOYERS STILL HAVE THE UPPER HAND.

“Evergreen" postings in an uncertain environment

There are many reasons why companies might post vacancies with seemingly little urgency to fill them, recruiters say. Sometimes they want to give the impression that the company is growing ח but in an inflationary economy, growth is expensive, so they’re hedging their bets.

Sometimes they leave listings open with dreams that the perfect, unicorn candidate might apply. Other times they might post jobs to pacify their exhausted employees and demonstrate that they are indeed at least trying to hire more help.

There are also some jobs that are so in-demand think: mobile developers and software engineers ח that employers might leave up openings in hopes that someone, anyone will apply.

Allyn Bailey, a former recruiting strategy executive at Intel and now a director at Smart Recruiters, a talent sourcing and hiring platform, said that companies are more often posting “evergreen requisitions” listings for jobs that, in theory, they always need even if they don’t have the budget to hire. “That way they have a pipeline to leverage when they’re ready,” she said.

Of course, candidates don’t know that. They apply in good faith, ignorant of this strategy, and when the company eventually calls them, she said, “the talent is either not interested, has moved on, or is annoyed.”

Some recruiters say that ghost jobs are on the rise due to the heightened level of uncertainty that’s persisted for the past two and a half years. With the ENDURING LABOR SHORTAGE and high turnover, they can no longer accurately predict candidate behavior and flow. That, combined with a slowing economy, has created an air of tentativeness.

“The companies I talk to are struggling with how they think about HOW TO GET STRATEGIC WORK DONE because the contours of their business are changing rapidly,” said Pat Pettiti, CEO of Catalant, the online platform that connects independent consultants for projects at large corporations.

“They don’t understand who or what they need - and so they’re hesitating when it comes to hiring.”

Moreover, fears of a looming recession have made them hesitant to commit. “That’s why you have some managers thinking, ‘My boss told me to hire someone, but am I going to have to lay them off in three months?’”

William Stonehouse, the president of Crawford Thomas Recruiting, the Orlando staffing firm that matches jobseekers with Fortune 1000 companies, said that he often coaches employers on the perils of posting ghost jobs.

“A lot of businesses don’t understand the impact that a negative hiring process can have on future applicants,” he said. “If your listings are a graveyard of old positions and candidates are uploading applications into a resume black hole, it doesn’t set a good tone. People want to be treated with dignity and respect.”

“There are too many jobs posted”

Andrew Flowers, a labor economist at Appcast, the recruitment advertising technology company, expressed skepticism that “ghost jobs” are a widespread problem. “Some employers no doubt are fishing they have a job opening, but aren’t planning to hire - but I think this is a small minority of employers,” he said in an email interview with Insider.

Flowers pointed out thatings in each month, rem the overall job fill rate, the ratio of hires to openains very low, which reflects the tight labor market. Meanwhile, other economic research shows that recruiting intensity matters less for the job search-and-matching process than factors like candidate skills and quality and the macroeconomic environment.

“It seems plausible that the job openings figures overstate the amount of active recruitment going on, and perhaps by more than in the past,” he said. “But it’s also very clear that there are lots of openings right now.”

“When employers first started grumbling about a labor shortage,” Erica Groshen, a senior economics advisor at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was a little suspicious of the high number of job openings. But as she watched wages rise and job switching soar, she was sold on the phenomenon of real hiring.

Even so, “the advent of the internet means that applying for jobs is much easier,” Groshen told Insider.

“You can apply to so many more jobs, which then means that companies have to SORT THROUGH SO MANY APPLICATIONS many more than they ever used to before - which means that they employ algorithms to do this sorting,” Groshen said. “Those algorithms are going to be fairly crude.”

The number of openings and ease of applying are cold comfort for Will, who’s still fruitlessly job hunting day after day. For jobseekers like him, who come in with degrees and specific qualifications, the reality might have to be abandoning those ghost jobs altogether and seeking out poorer matches. After all, about a third of college graduates are underemployed, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, meaning that they’re in roles that don’t typically require a degree.

That’s because, even as workers are in a red hot labor market, they still don’t have the upper hand when it comes to work. Because workers in the US ultimately need a job to eat, pay for housing, and have health insurance, employers have what’s called monopsony power, which allows them to dictate wages, working conditions, and scheduling and it lets them post jobs they might never fill or accidentally filter the right candidates out of.

“There are too many jobs posted, he said. And the “websites - some of them are just broken and some just don’t work. It’s almost comical.”

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Posted by Elvis on 09/19/22 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker
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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Preying On The Job Seeker 19

Twice the past month on jobs I applied for - one at a good-old American telecommunications company, and the other a city government job - the self-identification page for ethnicity and race threw me for a double-take:

latino2.jpg alt:image job app ethnicity latino or other

The first drop-down box for ethnicity is either “Hispanic/Latino” or “Not Hispanic/Latino.”

latino1.jpg alt:image job app eeo drop-down

Being a red-blooded Caucasian/White American male, born, living and looking for work in the United States, I selected “Not Hispanic or Latino,” then “White,” and finished filling out the forms, which wound up being an utter waste of time.

I got “thanks but no thanks” denial emails minutes after applying, surprised at how fast that was. 

Maybe some MACHINE scanned the forms and found a field or two that automatically disqualified me.

Kinda makes one think that Latinos and Hispanics are the majority workforce, and/or preferred job candidates.

God help the WHITE WORKING MAN.

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Posted by Elvis on 08/20/20 •
Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker • Section Dying America • Section Workplace • Section Personal
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Monday, April 13, 2020

Preying On The Job Seeker 18

image: job application

While shopping for a new car a few years ago, the salesman asked for my name, address and phone number for his records.

No problem, I gave it to him.  All dealers do that, so they can call and hound you to death.
.

While signing up for credit monitoring on the internet after the OPM THING, I had to pick the right answer from some pop up that queried the credit bereaus - one of them being “Which of the four addresses below did you not live at the past ten years?”

Sounds like a great question to help prove you’re you.

.

Back to the car dealer.  I looked over the guy’s shoulder and seen he had a list of every address I ever lived at - for the past 30 years !

Then a bell in my head went off - whenever I shop for a new car, I give my name, phone and address to whoever the salesperson is, at whatever dealer I’m shopping at, in whatever city I’m living in - and just now realizing dealers likely share this information that can easily be used for fraud. 

.

Fast forward to today.

Ever fill out an internet job app for FEDEX ?

I just did, then abandoned it on the last page, because it wanted the addresses I lived at the past ten years, to maybe get hired.

There’s nothing on the form that says what they need that info for, and will or won’t do with it:

Residency History
Please enter all of your addresses for the last 10 years with a date range for each address.
You MUST begin with your CURRENT residence and work backwards.
Click “Add Another” to enter additional addresses.
Click “Next” when you are finished entering the addresses for the 10 year period.

Physical addresses only. No P.O. Boxes.
If you were homeless, please enter “homeless” into the address field and list the city and state you were homeless in.

Fedex Express requires the full 10 year period to be completed, BEGINNING with your CURRENT address.
Failure to provide the full 10 year period will result in your application not being considered.

So much for an exciting new career stacking boxes.

No way am I filling that thing out.

Especially with no conditions.

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Posted by Elvis on 04/13/20 •
Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Preying On The Job Seeker 17

Image:

You’re desperate for work.  A recruiter from a big staffing agency calls with an attractive job offer.

But first you have to SIGN A CONTRACT that lets the recruiter’s company share any info they have on you, with whomever they please, while giving up your right to sue them if whatever that is comes back and hurts you.

The recruiter emailed me this:

Authorization & Release: As a registered candidate of Big Staffing Company Inc., I may elect to participate in certain programs, including, but not limited to, training, assessment, and certification programs and courses ("Programs"). As a condition of my participation in the Programs, I authorize Big Staffing Company Inc. to release certain data, including, but not limited to, exam scores, testing data, and personal data related to my participation in the Programs ("Data"). I hereby release Big Staffing Company Inc., its divisions, and their respective employees, agents, and affiliates from any and all liability relating to my participation in the Programs and Big Staffing Company Inc.’s release of Data.

Big Staffing Company Inc. and I mutually agree to resolve by individual arbitration, and only by individual arbitration, all claims, whether or not arising out of my employment (or its termination), that the Company may have against me or that I may have against the Company

All required fields and tags must be completed before you can finish the process.

I figure this is more for things like LABOR LAWS, but still - it could bite you in the ass real bad - eg: testing positive for pot, or failing some techie test - and stay with you forever.

The part about their agents and affiliates could be anybody. 

Perhaps a crook standing on the corner down the street.

Or my x-wife.

Would you sign?

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Posted by Elvis on 02/14/18 •
Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Preying On The Job Seeker 16

Watch out for stuff like this.  It never stops.

What I (should have) LEARNED FROM LETTING MY GUARD DOWN and CONTACTING one of these people, is my resume was pushed all over town by someone claiming to be my agent.

It may seem good at first - more exposure means more possibilities of landing a job - but it’s not.

One guy called and begged to stop bothering him - there’s no job openings.

In cases like this I don’t think the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

If if were, I wouldn’t still be looking for work.


Dear Elvis

My name is Shreya and i represent Genesys Infotech ( https://goo.gl/deleted1 ).

I saw your profile online and felt that you might be interested in a few jobs that I am helping my Direct Client fill. All the positions full time, in Gaithersburg, MD.

You can learn more about the company and the job by clicking the job title above or visiting our website ( https://goo.gl/deleted2 ).

- Systems Administrator
- Java Developer
- IT Sales Manager
- Implementation Lead

Please apply online at ( https://goo.gl/deleted3 ). The client needs all submissions with specific information. I will call you as soon as I get your online application form. I will share the client name with you, and will only submit your resume to the client, after we have spoken and I have your approval to submit your profile. This will expedite the application process and save us all time.

I realize that you might not be looking for a change at this time, and I apologize if this message was intrusive. However, if you do know anyone who might be looking, please feel free to forward this message to them. ( https://goo.gl/deleted4 ), We offer a $1000 bonus for anybody you refer who is selected for the job.

I Also hope you will accept this connection request so that I can continue to stay in touch with you on a professional level.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I hope to speak to you soon.

I will also send you a LinkedIn connection invite shortly so that we can continue to stay in touch professionally.

Regards

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Posted by Elvis on 01/25/18 •
Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker
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