Companies Confuse Job Seekers with Fake Listings

March 23, 2023

Although the collapse of SVB and the resulting economic fallout has rattled global markets, many companies are hoping to restore faith among investors by showing signs of growth. The clearest sign of a growing business is one that is hiring people, after all, leading some firms to place job listings with no intention of actually bringing anyone on board. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 hiring managers found that 27 percent of respondents reported leaving job listings up for more than four months. Close to half of these companies said they advertised job postings in order to give the impression of growth to investors, not to fill the listed positions. 

These “ghost jobs” are frustrating to job seekers and potentially misleading to investors. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the job market remains robust with 10.8 million openings in January. At the same time, rising interest rates combined with the evolving banking crisis have caused some companies to either pull back on hiring or else lay off employees. At Facebook’s parent company Meta, for instance, the tech giant recently let go of 10,000 workers on top of 11,000 layoffs the previous year. Other Silicon Valley firms like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Salesforce have also eliminated thousands of positions in the last few months, largely blaming wider economic conditions for the turnover.

Scenarios like these are far from ideal for job seekers, who can begin the interview process for a job only to be told within days that the company will not be filling the role. “It’s really disheartening,” said Brooke Wilemon, who estimates she has applied for more than 500 jobs since earning her master’s in business and public administration last year. Stories like Wilemon’s could become more common if companies continue to tighten their budgets in preparation for an economic downturn.


  1. Why do some companies leave job postings up even though they have no intention of filling the position?
  2. How has the collapse of SVB and other market forces affected the hiring policies of some companies?

Source: Te-Ping Chen, “Job Listings Abound, but Many Are Fake,” The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2023