How To Tell If You’re Applying to a “Ghost Job”

It’s been a whirlwind for job seekers and employers over the last few years, with BC seeing some of the highest (and lowest) unemployment rates. Currently, there is a plethora of job postings out there- with 104,000 jobs being added to the Canadian economy last month (16,600 jobs for British Columbia), according to Statistics Canada. With all these positions available, job seekers seem to have different experiences when applying for postings. Some industries have been easy to apply and get a call back for an interview while other job seekers hear crickets after their application goes in.  

So, what is really going on for job seekers who don’t hear anything when they apply for a job? In some cases, job seekers may have just applied for a “ghost job”. Ghost jobs are positions that look open, but employers have no intention of hiring for the role at that time.  

Now begs the question, why do employers do this? Reasons can range from businesses researching and testing out which job posting site performs the best, while others could be listing jobs as a requirement to be posted publicly even if they have an internal candidate who will most likely get the job. Larger companies often collect applications to create a pool of inventory as they may need to hire multiple people for the role and will eventually contact applicants after accruing several resumes.  

How can you tell if a job is a ‘ghost job’? Typically, jobs that are active for more than 30 days and beyond are a red flag. In most cases, if employers cannot fill the position and are still actively looking for candidates, they would renew the job posting in order to be at the top of job search sites. If you are interested in a position that has been up for 30-plus days, look at the business’ website and see if it is still listed there. If it is, email the HR team or message the team on LinkedIn to inquire about the position. Another way to streamline your job search is using a date filter to look up jobs (a tool Linkedinhas). Finally, visiting an employment centre like WorkBC Centre Westshore and Sooke can be a great way to help your job search at no cost. Employment centres usually have direct contact with local employers and can assist in finding new and active jobs. Whatever route you choose for your job search journey, remember to keep organized, stay positive, and ask for help if you need it!