Ghost Jobs

Many software start-ups…and I’m using this term very broadly, because some maintain “start-up” status for decades, aren’t ever ready for prime time.

What I mean to convey here both from a recruiter and candidate perspective is,  these companies claim to have hiring needs, yet really have no impetus to…you know…actually hire anyone. Some may go so far as to post on job boards and retaining recruiters to search for alleged roles.

I call these “Ghost Jobs”, because these roles are perpetually listed on job boards and company sites, though never filled. This isn’t about “right fit”, rather this is about hiring managers not pulling the trigger even when they locate a “perfect fit” candidate. All the while retained recruiters work hard to pass along extremely qualified candidates, candidates go through oftentimes laborious interview processes (some reaching into multiple months), yet these roles still go unfilled.

Hiring never occurs and all parties on the outside are left wondering, “What just happened here?”


This is a window into how the company operates from a more global perspective.

  1. This clearly reflects a management gap; no sense of urgency and/or broken internal hiring processes.
  2. Within a highly competitive labor market for elite Enterprise Sales Executive talent, the reputation of the company is severely damaged.
  3. The opportunity/revenue loss not filling this role is exponential as the months drag on.

In summary, hiring managers and all parties involved on the hiring side should treat every candidate as a prospective customer, whether the candidate is ultimately hired or not. The process should be smooth and transparent. Each candidate deserves respect, and dragging a hiring process out over months doesn’t reflect respect nor a professional organization.

Melanie Wise, CEO