This article contains the following claim:

Often employers advertise jobs that don’t exist, hoping to find people who might be useful later on or in a different context.

The article is decrying certain hiring practices, so I suspect there's at least some exaggeration here, since it bolsters their point.

Is there any truth to the claim?

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    It is possible. Some companies simply want to attract investors so they pretend like they were a fast growing company and they post too many jobs. While some of their jobs may be for hiring for real, the majority of their job posts are either not for real and or not for immediate hiring. They may even go so far as to interview applicants for their fake positions, but will not hire anyone. FYI: These companies may get lots of funding through investors while these companies are not making any real money or profit yet. Commented May 6, 2022 at 19:34
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    Would any downvoters like to explain their reasons for doing so?
    – Ryan1729
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 6:50
  • 1
    I didn’t downvote, but good SE questions are about a real, actionable problem you face, which this doesn’t seem to be.
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 22:31
  • Depends what you mean by "often". The vast majority of job adverts you see are going to be for real jobs. Commented Jul 16, 2022 at 22:56
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    Just saying: Doing this is incredibly rude. Interviewing for a job that doesn't exist is about the rudest thing you can do.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


Yeah it happens. It makes them look like a growing vibrant company if nothing else.

Our local Newspaper has advertised the same 3 jobs every month for the last decade plus. There is no actual openings. Others with high turnover advertise jobs all the time in the expectation that at some point they'll actually need to hire someone.

Sometimes it's something as simple as filling up paid advertising space. I can think of at least one example where a job was filled quickly but the advertisement was prepaid for 6 months so they just left it.

Also of course it's quite common to advertise jobs just to tick a box, when the successful applicant is known before they advertise but they have a requirement to meet, mostly govt jobs I would think, but in some locales it's common in the private sector as well.

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    I'd also like to add to this that recruiters often do this as well as a way to get fresh CV's in to them. I've had it happen far too many times to count, and inevitably you get a call saying that the job was "filled" or "removed", but they have another opportunity for me - which invariably isn't at all suited to my skill set at all. Commented Jul 18, 2022 at 15:18
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    Some companies also use this as a way to check for replacements in their current staff. If they find a significantly better staff member (skill/salary wise), they have the option of hiring them and firing another staff member.
    – Flater
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 9:44

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