Meanwhile, if you actually talk to candidates who are out on the job market, you'll have more than a few who say, "I applied all over town, and I only got one callback," or "I went in a restaurant with a help wanted sign in the window, and the manager told me, 'Well, actually, we can't afford to hire anybody right now, but we can't take the sign down for optics.'" It seems like there's a lot more to the story than what we're being told." -"Bonus Episode: Housing Market ➡ Job Market" published on July 4, 2022
"Job Listings Abound, but Many Are Fake
In an uncertain economy, companies post ads for jobs they might not really be trying to fill" -https://www.wsj.com/articles/that-plum-job-listing-may-just-be-a-ghost-3aafc794?mod=mhp
I TOLD YOU SO!
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Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today's episode, I want to talk about fake job openings and bogus optics. And drumroll, please. I told you so I'm not going to be shy in saying so because it's true. I did. I warned you about this. I warned you on this podcast. And I warned you repeatedly in my blog, that some of these help wanted signs, some of these jobs getting posted. We're not even going to hire anybody. You would be amazed at some of the mansplain errs, the bots, the trolls probably paid shills that came after me when I started whistleblowing on that but I don't care. In fact, whenever I would see on social media or on YouTube, if somebody seemed to be honestly inquiring in earnest, why is this happening? What is going on, I would write a response. And on one channel, there was a man Splinter that really got butthurt and mad at me. I don't know why. But he seemed to take it for it. Assuming it was an actual person. It could have been a bot pretending to be a human man who knows. But he seemed to be very offended by my assertion that some of these people put a help wanted sign up in order to get their Triple P loans. And then the signs just never really came down. Yet. They weren't actually hiring anyone either. As I say repeatedly, in my opinion, if you wait to be officially told something, you're waiting too late. If you're waiting to hear a proclamation from some politician, or some talking head out in the news media, in my opinion, you are waiting too late. You're getting your news and your information too late to make a good informed decision about what's best for yourself and your family. You may disagree with that. And that's cool. I'm just giving you my opinion as I see it. So on March 20, there was an article put out on the Wall Street Journal titled job listings abound, comma, but many are fake. The byline reads in an uncertain economy companies post ads for jobs they might not really be trying to fill. Well, you don't say? You know, somebody that's involved in the job market every single day, talking to both clients and candidates in real time. Yeah, no, duh. I warned you about things like evergreen job orders, talent pipelining. Hiring Managers looking for Tony Stark, genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. Now, we want him full RTO he needs to live within a 25 mile radius of middle of nowhere, we're only going to pay him 50k. But we need to have that genius who graduated from MIT at the age of 15? And who could start a multibillion dollar company overnight? Can you find that for us? Okay, thanks. And if not, that's cool, we'll just leave the job posting up forever and ever. Amen. Some people put up those signs to get their Triple P loans. And they never took the sign down. Some of them are hoping through magic, I guess that Tony Stark is gonna walk in the door and beg them for a job. They might have somebody that's teetering on the edge. Maybe they're thinking about firing that person, but they're not totally sure. But if they found Captain amazing in the meantime, they would. This is reality. I'm not telling you that it's right. And I'm not telling you that I agree with it. I'm telling you, this is reality. I go back again to jet Hill speech and malice. This is the here and the now. So in this Wall Street Journal article, we find a mystery permeates the job market. You apply for a job and hear nothing but the ad stays online for months. If you inquire the company tells you it isn't really hiring all but in and say most of the time, they don't tell you that. I would say a lion's share amount of the time. You're either going to get something vague and nebulous, which is sort of a non answer really. Oh, we're still weighing resumes. We're still decisioning we don't know yet. Or you just flat out get ghosted and you hear nothing. Most of the time, they're not going to come right out and say Oh, oops, yeah, we posted that ad and just like never took it down. Sorry. Most of the time, they're not going to be that honest. But okay, we'll roll with their assumption that if you inquire the company will flat out tell you they're not really hiring. Not all job ads are attached to actual job. It turns out, the labor market remains robust. God still there out. The labor market remains robust, with 10 point 8 million job openings in January According to the Labor Department. At the same time, companies are feeling budgetary strains and some are pulling back on hiring. Though businesses are keeping job postings up, many roles aren't being filled recruiters say hiring managers acknowledged as much in a survey of more than 1000 Hiring Managers last summer 27% reported having job postings up for more than four months. The absurdity in that among those who said they advertised job postings that they weren't actively trying to fill close to half said they kept the ads up to give the impression. The company was growing. According to clarify capital, a small business loan provider behind the study, I'm going to button again and say I told you about that too. I told you that some of these companies, the day they go out of business, you'll see 58 Different open wrecks on their website. I freaking told you that. I warned you about all of this. So I hope that like me, you're sitting back feeling vindicated, because you got the message months upon months ago, and none of this is brand new information to you. 1/3 of the managers who said they advertised jobs they weren't trying to fill said they kept the listings up to placate overworked employees. Great. Oh, that's nice. Yeah, Bob, you know what, we're really trying to get you some help back here. And we know that you're overwhelmed. Hill, Bob, we're advertising just not getting applicants. And you know how it is the young millennials and the Gen Z years. They just don't want to work anymore. All of these full grown men are living in grandma's basement and they're smoking dope on the couch because we heard that on a podcast somewhere and Dave Ramsey was talking about it. Give me a break. That is so insulting. They're not actually trying to help out the beleaguered employee. They're just giving the impression that today's the we're trying just not getting those applicants who Oh well. Other reasons for keeping jobs up, the hiring manager said stocking a pool of ready applicants if an employee quits, or just in case an irresistible candidate applied, warns you about every bit of that talent pipelining. Let's go ahead and build up a pool of people in the ATS system so we can go through them first if something happens, and then the irresistible candidate well, just in case we find Tony Stark willing to work for 50k in the middle of nowhere. Great, we'd hire him on the spot. Oh, I'm sure you would, but that's never going to happen for you. postings for Ghost jobs as recruiters and candidates sometimes referred to them can be frustrating for job seekers. It's a waste of time says we'll Kelly who lives in the Washington DC area and has been applying for marketing and writing roles. Mr. Kelly, who has decades of experience as a technical and marketing writer estimates that when he was job hunting in late 2021, about 20% of listings that interested him were posted and reposted without anyone evidently being hired. Since his layoff from a startup in August, he says he has noticed that most jobs that catches I have been up for months. I first thought of it as an anomaly. And now I see it as a trend. He says, Well, I wish that he had been tuning in here. That's all I can say. If that sounds arrogant, I'm sorry. I am really trying to get the word out and have been for months. You don't have to be caught off guard by any of this. It all comes down to who you're listening to, and what they're telling you. Hot air and hopium nonsense. They have no expertise in the job market, but they're trying to play pretend that they do wake up. Given the uncertain economic outlook, some job ads, maybe more wishful thinking than anything else, says Vincent Babcock, a Nashville, Tennessee based recruiter such as strategy, he says risks turning off applicants who may view the ads as misleading. They're posting jobs with the intention of hiring, but not anytime soon. He says adding that some companies posting jobs right now might not be aiming to hire until the third or fourth quarter. Who the hell is he working with? Why are you posting in q1 for something that you're not going to be hiring for until q3 or q4. That's a really good opportunity for you to have a come to Jesus meeting with your clients. If they're having you go out and run traps for people, like you're actively contacting them and sourcing them and establishing that relationship with them and q1. But they're not going to be hired until maybe q3 or q4. That's a teachable moment with your client. I would want to really if it were me, I would want to really sit down and evaluate who I'm working with and for what reason. Not all money is good money and not all business is good business. For employers constantly looking for talent can make sense says Kelsey Liberte, co founder of fractal a digital marketing agency. She says her company keeps adds up for associate positions even when they aren't hiring because turnover for those jobs is often higher than other roles. So it's I'd have asking themselves why they're having that kind of turnover. I guess they feel it's better to just keep the ads up ad infinitum. Okay, that sounds smart. Otherwise, you're suddenly in a position where you need to spend a lot of money on LinkedIn ads to quickly drum up interest. She says. An employer that hasn't been collecting resumes along the way might have fewer people to choose from when jobs open and need to be filled quickly Miss Liberte ads, many college seniors look for jobs from April to June. She says noting that companies don't want to miss out on that talent just because they didn't have immediate roles open. It's better to string them along. Oh, oops, oops. Pardon me. A frog in my throat there. Oops, oops. That's not what it says. Goodness me. It's better for you to hedge by leaving some of those job openings up. She says some job ads have little correlation to actual job availability because companies require that all jobs be posted even if a candidate has been predetermined. In other instances, especially at larger companies. Poor coordination is to blame says Elliot Garlock, founder of Stella talent partners, a Boston based recruiting firm. Yeah, that also happens. And I've warned you about that as well. We already know that we want to hire Sally's brother in law, or the boss's nephew is getting ready to graduate from college. And we already know that he's going to get the job. But our internal policies say we have to interview a minimum of three people. So we need to get a couple of folks from the outside and we'll put them through the dog and pony show. We won't tell them the truth, but in actuality, we're wasting their time. No wonder people are disgusted with the hiring process. And also no wonder so many people hate recruiters. I mean, I think we just have to own it. The system is broken. This is part of another system that feels like it's rigged and needs to be rebalanced. No wonder there was a great resignation. During a previous stint working on talent strategy at Wayfarer, Mr. Garlock says the online retailer frequently advertised jobs that it wasn't actually hiring for plans and budgets were constantly changing. And so many teams were involved in the hiring process that it was hard to ensure job posting stayed up to date. Well, for one thing, you need to get too many cooks out of the kitchen, if I'm running the project. And that's really how I boil it down to I'm gonna run the project. Because if we start to get Tim and Bob and Sally and Samantha and Susie and Robert all involved, and nobody knows what's going on the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. It becomes a giant mess. You really need somebody to make the executive decision to clean it up. It's not because we were ill intentioned and out to trick the candidate market. He says Wayfair says it intends to fill every job at posts and makes every effort to treat candidates with care. The company which announced layoffs in January says that it is transparent with applicants about changes in hiring decisions. And for companies of its size, removing job postings takes time. Yeah, you know, you have to go into the ATS system and click like two buttons and hit the button that says close this job here. Those like so time consuming. Companies might also be reluctant to take down ads Mr. Garlock adds because we don't want to signal we're slowing down. So we'll let these things right. Mm hmm. Thank you. They don't want to ruin bogus optics. They want to give the illusion. I go back again to Gordon Gekko capitalism at its finest the illusion has become real. And the more that that illusion becomes real to them, the more they want it. We don't want to let anybody know that we're not actually hiring. There's a company I know of that point blank told me we're going on a hiring freeze, but we're gonna leave three or four job postings up just because we feel like it would look bad if the job openings page was totally blank. That's the kind of stuff that goes on behind closed doors. trust and belief. Brooke Willman says applying for jobs lately has felt like chasing a series of mirages. But you know, hey, people are doing great to open jobs for everyone unemployed person 3.6% unemployment rate. People are doing great the system is sound wink wink. Miss Williamson, who lives in Nacogdoches, Texas estimates that she has applied for around 500 jobs since receiving her Master's in Business and Public Administration last year. Typically she doesn't hear back she says when she does locate someone to talk to she frequently hears the role isn't being filled at all. Well, one thing that I would say is that is an anomaly. At least they're telling her something. Ghosting is more the case du jour. Most of the time you just flat out don't hear jack squat. Ms. Willman 23 recently applied for a job at Nationwide Insurance as part of her application she put on makeup, a blazer and jewelry, and sat before her computer and recorded answers to a series of automated job interview questions doing multiple retakes for each question before she was satisfied. Soon after she received an email telling her that the company had decided not to fill the role. It's really disheartening, she says, I would butt in and say, it's that way too. If you get stood up, it's that way, if you drive somewhere for an in person interview, or you get gussied up to be on Zoom, and then the person no shows, I had someone who sent me an RFI RFQ they approached me they came into my funnel, and they wanted to have of course, a zoom call a 20 minute zoom call, let's look at each other on camera. So I just spend the extra time to curl my hair and put on makeup and put on a dress shirt because as you know, as you frequently hear, you know, cows moving and sheeps buying, I live on a working farm and ranch, I don't walk around up in this piece in a dress shirt all day with my hair and my makeup totally done. Let's be real. Most of the time I have had hair, and I'm either in a T shirt and jeans or sweats depending on what the weather is doing. So I do all of the of the judging up and making myself look good and presentable and professional because that matters to me. Here's a little free tip for me to you. Take this as you will, as I always say don't give you advice. I will slide a little free tip across the table though to you. These people that say just come as you are. If you're in a sweatshirt, that's fine, we're casual. We don't care. Take a class on unconscious bias and then get back to me. Because people will make decisions about how you look. If you show up in a rumpled sweatshirt looking like you just rolled out of bed. They're going to judge you for that. I'm not telling you it's right. And I'm not telling you it's fair but they will see the interviewer is in a different position than the interviewee. So if the interviewer wants to show up looking like they just rolled out of bed, which I once had to mansplain or do this may explain or try to tell me about the Nixon Kennedy debate, even though he looked like he's probably 10 years younger than I am, and I'm going to bust you down. No, you weren't. And why are you mansplaining This to me it has no context to anything. It was super weird. But the guy was rumpled and disheveled. He looked like he had either just finished a workout at the gym or just rolled out of the bed. And he had like a really tacky backdrop up like of a casino or something. Everything about this process was ghastly with that guy. But from his perspective, he was the interviewer and I was the interviewee. So I had to comb my hair and put on makeup and put on a dress shirt to sit there while he looked like he just played basketball or just rolled out of the bed, put on a really tacky zoom background and sat there and act like an arrogant turd the whole time. So my point is, yeah, it's disheartening and yes, it's frustrating to sit there to get prepared and to be ghosted or to go through the dog and pony show of the interview only to be told Oopsy daisy, we're not going to feel that or Oh, we already had somebody in mind. We just needed to do some compare and contrast but we sure do. Thank you anyway. I'll continue to read nationwide said that its business needs occasionally change after rolls are posted. Oh right. And that the company tries to communicate and manage applicants expectations. It says it doesn't post ghost jobs, and has hired more than 600 external candidates since the start of the year. To avoid ghost ads. Scott dobrowski Vice President of Communications that job site indeed recommends looking for detailed job descriptions. more specifics, such as schedules or a clear list of responsibilities might indicate that an employer is serious he says. He also advises checking the timestamp on ads to ensure they were posted recently, every month indeed removes millions of job postings that don't mean it standards from the website including inactive job postings, he says indeed says it has recently seen more employers dial back their recruiting efforts job postings on the site have fallen by 11%. Since the start of 23. Many companies are proceeding with caution he says into quote. Yeah, I would say obviously you need to check the timestamp but just because they have specifics about a Monday through Friday schedule, or clear list of responsibilities that doesn't mean it's a bonafide ad. It doesn't I'll say it again. I hope that none of this is hitting your ear by surprise. I hope that you've been with me for a while now. But if not, if you are a brand new listener or if someone has cared enough about you to share this episode, or to just recently share my podcast or my blog with you welcome. I'm glad that you're here. The thing of it is if you're only just now cluing in that oh, crap storm be a Bruin you're behind the eight ball and I would highly if it were me Okay, I don't give you advice, I don't tell you what to do. If it were me, I would highly recommend to myself that I get my behind in gear. I wouldn't want to get caught up, I would want to have some preps, I would want to get that RTO survival plan, if that's relevant, get the job loss survival plan, determine what I would do if my freelancing opportunities dried up on a dime, I wouldn't want to wargame those things out ahead of time. And I definitely would not want to listen to the hot air and hopium crowd. Because I feel like some of those people are like the Pied Piper of Hamelin. They're gonna play their flute and lead you right off of a cliff. By the time that you're officially told, by the time something like that appears in mainstream media, who Oh, some of these job ads are fake, you guys. It's too late. It's too late. By the time they tell you that we don't actually have a 3.6% unemployment rate. And there's not actually two legit open jobs for everyone unemployed person and people that are getting laid off or languishing on the market in some cases for months. By the time they tell you that you've waited too late in my opinion. Stay safe, stay sane, and I will see you in the next episode. Thanks for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. We'll see you next time.