Forget online dating apps. The concept of ghosting has become a part of our everyday lexicon so much so, it has even infiltrated the world of recruitment.

Thanks to the Great Resignation, the U.S. job market continues to remain buoyant and the advent of job ghosting — where prospective candidates don’t show up to scheduled interviews or new hires simply don’t show up for their first day of work, despite having signed on the dotted line — is now commonplace.

And the newest paranormal paranoia-inducing iteration in the hiring space? Ghost job listings.

While ghost job listings look identical to regular job listings, they differ significantly in that they never lead to a new hire, and have been deliberately placed by a company or hiring manager to serve a different purpose.

The good news? While there’s no way to predict or prevent ghost job interviews, savvy job seekers can learn to identify ghost job listings and side-step wasting their time and effort applying to dead-end job postings if they know what to look out for. Here’s how.

Look at recent layoffs

From Stripe to Twitter, during the latter part of 2022, several established names in big tech started laying off thousands of employees for a myriad of reasons. Layoffs are typically part of a restructuring plan that also include hiring freezes, so if a company has recently reduced its workforce by a significant percentage, it’s unlikely they’ll be on the lookout for new talent. This is a strategic move: companies don’t want to appear to be on a downward turn, especially to their competitors, so they leave job listings in place.

Plus job listings are a great way for internal HR departments to keep a record of potential candidates as and when they are in a position to target future talent.

Is the role evergreen?

Certain sectors are always on the look out for prospective employees — currently, 43% of organizations globally are struggling to find top talent in the fields of cloud and cybersecurity — and this can equate to job listings remaining live for months on end without anything being done about them.

With this in mind, be wary of job titles that are vague, for example “software developer” or job descriptions that don’t refer to specific duties or tasks, as they may be a ghost job listing.

Follow the 60-day rule

When hiring managers are serious about filling a position, they tend to move fast and the stage of sifting through resumes typically won’t last longer than a couple of weeks. With this in mind, be wary of applying for any job listing that has been live for longer than 60 days, as it’s most likely a ghost job listing.

So, now that you know what a ghost job listing is and are armed with the tools to weed them out, head over to the VentureBeat Job Board where there are hundreds of openings with companies that are currently hiring, like the three jobs we’re spotlighting below.

Integration Engineer 1, PayPal, Remote

PayPal is currently seeking an Integration Engineer to join its Global Professional Services team in North America. This role is a remote position, and the successful candidate will be expected to play a pivotal role in enabling growth and innovation, partnering with merchants, partners and technology providers and working alongside the sales and business development teams to provide technical consultancy. As the “voice of the customer”, the Integration Engineer also provides feedback to product managers, technology and other stakeholders to solve any problems that may arise. See the full job description here.

Senior SoC and IP Verification Engineer, Microsoft, Hillsboro

This Senior SoC and IP Verification Engineer role is a high impact position and is part of the pre-silicon hardware verification team. In this role you’ll have the opportunity to own the verification of complex flows at the SOC, subsystem, or IP levels and learn about the design while interacting with partner teams to define verification strategies and test plans. Candidates must have at least a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in electrical, computer engineering, or computer science along with seven years’ experience of pre-silicon SOC, chip level, subsystem or IP verification experience. Experience of creating, maintaining, or integrating test benches, checkers and stimuli using System Verilog Test Bench (SVTB), UVM and/or C, and aptitude for writing scripts with industry-standard languages like Python is a bonus. Apply for the job now.

Staff Data Scientist Finance, Shopify, Dallas

Data is a crucial part of Shopify’s mission to make commerce better for everyone and the Staff Data Scientist Finance will be responsible for supporting financial forecasting and reporting data to corporate finance teams. You’ll also assist in a major automation and data rebuild project that will enable self-service by finance analysts, and reduce their dependence on data scientists, as well as proactively identify and champion projects that solve complex problems across multiple domains. If this fully remote role sounds like the challenge you’ve been looking for, view more details here.

For hundreds of opportunities across tech, visit the VentureBeat Job Board today

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