How “How Money Works” butchered the Ghost Jobs explanation.
Influencers just say stuff. Shocker.
Back in the day, if you wanted to learn a new topic, options were limited. Take a class. Read a book. Ask a friend.
Now? It’s all on YouTube. You can learn a semester’s worth of college-level material in an evening binge.
This weekend a friend sent me a recent video by How Money Works (with nearly a million subscribers) titled “If Companies Are Desperate For Workers… Why Can Nobody Find A Job?”
She asked “Any truth to this?”
Answer: Some. But they butchered it.
It started strong, highlighting how the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) is used by economists and the Fed to understand hiring demand. I’ve written why it’s flawed but not completely useless, here.
Tldr: Job ads are literally advertisements. It’s like using Coke’s ad spend to determine the soda supply. Dubious at best.
But going from 1 million to 2 million job ads *is* significant. It doesn’t mean there’s actually 2 million open jobs.
Unfortunately How Money Works then leaned into the common misconceptions when it discussed “Ghost Jobs.” Why companies post ads “to build a database of talent.”
Flaw 1: “You can just go to your database of people that have previously applied for a job and start calling the most promising applicants.”
Implying this leads to easier hires. Lol.
Candidate databases are glorified Excel sheets. The idea that having someone’s contact information makes them easy to hire is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard. Especially when you can get anyone’s contact info with a few clicks nowadays.
They believe previous interest indicates higher intent. But that goes out the window when they:
(a) Applied to you and never heard back (ghosting)
(b) Found a job (you have to headhunt them)
(c) Applied to 100 other places (they don’t remember you)
Compared to a real intent sign, like applying to a job ad TODAY.
Flaw 2: It “can still be cheaper than starting a search from scratch”
Nope. The cheapest ways to hire are via employee referral and with a *current* job ad. Anything else requires the time and effort of a recruiter (internal or external.)
Flaw 3: They can “get insights on how many staff their competitors have, how much they are paying them, how many of them are leaving, and what skills they have and do not have”
You can find all of this in a minute with a simple LinkedIn Recruiter search. (Except salary, which is illegal to ask in most states.) Posting jobs to “mine” this data is silly.
Flaw 4: They can “keep their existing overworked employees happy with the promise that new team members will be starting as soon.”
This is so dumb it doesn’t deserve further commentary.
I actually like How Money Works. I’ve learned a few things from their channel.
I just wonder how much of it was bullsh*t.