Contributed by Caroline Ceniza-Levine of SixFigureStart
Last week, my coaching firm hosted our monthly free coaching call, where we answered questions from jobseekers about the hiring process. Not one, but two questions were submitted about phantom job postings: Why do recruiters post listings for jobs that don’t exist? Why do companies consistently list job openings, bring in interviewees, extend offers, and go far in the hiring process, only to put positions on hold and sometimes close the positions?
Sometimes recruiters don’t know these jobs don’t exist. They may not have been told the job has been filled or has changed. So the posting stays up, jobseekers apply, and then the recruiter has to back-track and pull the posting. Recruiting doesn’t start with the recruiter (unless the department that is hiring is HR). Recruiting needs, process and timetable are determined by the hiring department, and sometimes the ultimate hiring department and HR do not communicate as well as they should.
Sometimes recruiters post jobs for general types of candidates that they need. For example, when I recruited for a major media company, they often hired for similar jobs – edit assistant, sales coordinator, etc. Jobs like these would open frequently but not on a regular basis, and when they did, we needed to fill them fast. So we would post the jobs on a regular basis to develop pipelines of candidates that we could draw from when a job would officially open.
Sometimes the job parameters change. When firms go so far as to screen resumes and interview people, they do so with a specific job in mind. But sometimes the firm decides to hire a finance person instead of operations. Sometimes the budget changes (or disappears) so the search has to change (or disappear). Sometimes the position gets filled internally. There are many reasons why a search may start but stop.
There are many reasons why a job that is posted is other than what it seems so don’t rely on job postings exclusively. Identify the decision makers for the areas that you want and target them directly. Network into your dream company so you can confirm what the open jobs are and keep abreast of changes. Have multiple leads to pursue so that you are not overly disappointed, frustrated, or reliant on any one job posting. This is an extraordinary market so you need extraordinary job search techniques.
Caroline Ceniza-Levine is co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised exclusively of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Prior to launching SixFigureStart, Caroline recruited for Accenture, Booz Allen, Citigroup, Time Inc, TV Guide and others. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask how you can attend a free SixFigureStart group coaching teleclass.