Shocking Revelation: Report Finds 45% of Advertised Cybersecurity Positions Are Deceptive

Cybersecurity is generally considered to an excellent niche to start a lucrative career. In spite of the fact that this is the case, it appears that around 45.7% of jobs in this sector are actually ghost jobs. This term refers to jobs that aren’t actually going to result in an interview call if someone or the other were to apply to them. This has the potential to cause a tremendous amount of frustration among job applicants that are struggling to find gainful employment in the current economy.

Spectral Opportunities: Exploring the Top 10 Roles Lurking in Job Postings
Chart: Digital Information World

Another recent study conducted by Clarify Capital shows around 68% of managers responsible for hiring had job postings that had been up for over a month. What's more is that 10% had job openings that had been posted for as long as 6 months.

Recent Clarify Capital study finds 68% of hiring managers had job postings active for over a month.
Graphic courtesy of Clarify Capital

Data presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has suggested that there are 139,000 IT related jobs as of November 2023. While this is a decline from the 213,000 that were available in the previous year, there is evidence to suggest that many of these jobs aren’t real to begin with.

66,000 specialists were enlisted for these jobs, down from 112,000 in the year prior. This indicates that for every two jobs that are being posted, only one is resulting in someone or the other actually being hired with all things having been considered and taken into account. This is far higher than the 1.6 to 1 ratio seen in the total job market.

Apart from cybersecurity professionals, software engineers and web developers see a lot of ghost jobs as well, with 46.5% and 42.3% respectively. This seems to be a problem that is a lot worse in the US than it is in the rest of the world, with ghost jobs for web developers in the UK comprising 34.4% of the total.

A survey of 1,045 managers revealed that they actually think ghost jobs are beneficial because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up keeping employees motivated. 43% agreed with this sentiment, with 50% asserting that the company is always on the lookout for new hires, but not everyone is going to pass muster.

Interestingly enough, 43% said that they kept jobs posted in order to give the impression that the company was on a solid growth trajectory. 39% said that the job was actually filled, with 27% admitting that they’d simply forgotten to delete the post. However, 37% use these job postings as a bit of an insurance policy. This allows them to have a pool of applicants ready and waiting in the event that turnover begins to see a steep increase.

Ghost jobs can be harmful for job applicants, and as a result of the fact that this is the case, recruiters suggested that applicants take a close look at the date the job was posted. This will allow them to gain a better understanding of whether or not this is a legitimate opening or just another ghost job.

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