In today’s oversaturated market, it’s a challenge to find the right jobs which is why finally finding a position that seems like a perfect fit can be quite exciting. However, if you find that ideal job posting and it’s subsequently removed from the website, does that mean the position has already been filled?
If a job posting is no longer available, chances are it has been filled. However, a job posting may also be taken down because the position has been put on hold, there’s a surplus or deficit of applicants, the description is being edited, or the employer’s subscription to a job board has ended.
In the following sections, I’ll take you through each of the possible reasons why a job posting may no longer be available. I’ll talk about positions that might be put on hold, edits to a previous job posting, and how the number of applicants can cause a post to be removed.
9 Possible Reasons a Job Posting Was Taken Down
It’s easy to assume that the only reason a job posting has been removed is that the position has already been filled, but that’s not always the case. Hiring for an open position can be a complicated process, especially in large companies that need to balance many moving parts. Let’s walk through nine reasons a job posting might’ve been taken down that have nothing to do with the position being filled.
1. The Position Is On Hold
Sometimes a job posting is removed because the position itself has been put on hold. A common reason for this is that there has been a change in the available funding for that job title. This removal can mean either that the funding line has been removed entirely, or there has been some internal debate over whether or not funding should be allocated for this job.
Companies may also be making internal changes that could make the position in question irrelevant. These changes could occur due to changing responsibilities, new executive leadership, or updated technologies. Putting the posting on hold allows companies to pause their hiring process, not stop it entirely.
Positions that have been put on hold might be posted again if the internal situation is resolved or if funding becomes available. Both of these are common, so there’s always a reason to hope that a posting you loved will reappear sometime in the future.
Keep an eye out for jobs to be reposted when the new quarter rolls around, as that’s often when funding changes kick in. For positions at a school or university, this new funding usually arrives at the beginning of each quarter or semester.
2. There’s a Surplus of Applicants
If a job posting has received more applicants than expected, the company may remove it. When this happens, a firm’s recruiting or human resources team may be inundated with so many applications that they need to stop the influx of new applicants in order to evaluate the ones they have already received.
This surplus of applicants is more common in entry-level positions with few requirements in terms of education and previous work experience. It’s likely that many of the applicants don’t meet the criteria for the role, meaning they’ll be automatically eliminated when their application is actually reviewed.
With a large volume of applicants, it’s likely but not guaranteed that the company will find the right candidate within the pool of submitted CVs. If they don’t find the right person, they’ll likely edit the job description or requirements before reposting it in an attempt to get a better group of applicants to work with the second time around.
3. There Aren’t Enough Applicants
Although it may seem counterintuitive, a job posting can also be taken down when there haven’t been enough applicants. This removal usually indicates that there is something a bit off with the job posting that is keeping people from submitting their applications for the position.
One reason why people may not be applying is that the salary range is too low. This unrealistic salary indicates that the employer doesn’t fully understand the salary expectations of people with the experience and education that they are looking for.
This can be especially problematic if a company doesn’t value specific skills at the same level that the rest of the market does. An excellent example of this is a company who wants to hire someone with an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree, but only wants to pay minimum wage. The salary being offered isn’t commensurate with the required education.
Requiring too many years of experience can also drive applicants away. This can be especially problematic for companies trying to fill tech positions. New technologies and programming languages are constantly emerging, creating a quickly changing field.
Asking someone to prove they have five years of experience with a programming language that has only existed for two indicates that the company doesn’t know what they’re looking for and doesn’t understand the technologies they’re using. This lack of knowledge can deter applicants from applying, as they wonder what else the company doesn’t understand about what their employees actually do.
Vague or confusing job descriptions can also turn applicants away. A posting that doesn’t provide clear information about the role’s actual responsibilities and how the role fits in with the rest of the company may not be attractive to the type of candidate that the company is really looking for.
4. The Position Description Is Being Changed
Sometimes a company will post a job and start getting applications before realizing that the position description no longer matches the actual responsibilities of the job. This realization may have come as the HR department started reviewing the resumes they received and noticed that those applicants didn’t have the education or skill level they were looking for.
When this happens, the company will typically remove the job posting so they can reevaluate the required responsibilities and description before reposting it. When it goes back up, read the new posting carefully to understand precisely what has changed. You may find that the change is in your favor and that the position is even a better fit than it was before!
5. The Position Is No Longer Required
There are times when a position is removed because the company has determined that role is no longer required. This removal often occurs when a business posts a job to fill a recently vacated position. Sometimes this process is automatic, and when the position and its responsibilities are evaluated, it turns out the role is no longer needed.
When this happens, it’s unlikely that the position will be reposted. Instead, keep an eye on the company’s other job postings to see if they edit them to include some of the responsibilities of the removed position. They may be shifting responsibilities both internally and within open job offerings. You may still find a good match for your skills under a different posting.
6. The Company’s Subscription to a Job Board Has Ended
Most job boards operate on a subscription model where employers have to pay for the privilege of posting their open positions in this centralized location. If a company’s subscription to that job board expires, the job board will remove any existing postings, even if that position is still available.
While job boards can be convenient to quickly look for opportunities at multiple companies, you’re still relying on a third party for information about open positions. If the job board removes a posting, try checking the employment page on the company’s website directly. If it’s still available, the listing will likely still be there.
Each company will set up its website a bit differently, but you can usually find open positions under a page marked employment, jobs, opportunities, or careers. These pages are typically located in either the website’s menu or the footer. If the website has a search function, you can also try directly searching for the open position.
7. The Job Posting Period Has Ended
When a centralized job board posts a new listing, the posting typically has a start and end date. These are the dates the posting will go live on the website and when the job board will take it down. Some job boards allow companies to configure these dates themselves, while others will set standard posting times that apply to all posted jobs.
When this happens, the company must decide if they want to repost the job to look for more applicants. If they weren’t able to find the right fit during the first open period, they might consider making changes to the job posting in an attempt to find applicants that fit the position better.
The company may also decide to change tactics and post the open position on a different job board or only on their own website. They may also opt to work with a recruiter to try and find the right match without wasting more time. Working with a recruiter may yield better applicants, especially for advanced or management-level positions that take longer to fill.
8. The Job Was a Scam
Unfortunately, some job postings are scams. They don’t represent a real opportunity, and the applications are used as phishing expeditions to discover personal information about the candidates. This information is then used to try and trick the applicants, often asking for money or gift cards.
Another tactic that scammers use is asking candidates to cash a check or transfer money. They’ll then send a check to repay those expenses, but the check will bounce. This trickery leaves the job applicant out of money with few options to get it back.
9. They’ve Identified an Internal Candidate
Employment laws in the United States usually require a company to post a job opening to the public, even if they already have an internal candidate that they’re thinking of choosing to fill the position. These regulations mean that the job posting will go up and look like a real opportunity, but the company may not even be reviewing the external applications they receive.
These postings with known internal candidates can be pretty frustrating as job applicants will waste their time working on application materials that will never actually be considered. It’s also hard to tell if a company already has an internal candidate in mind, making it challenging to avoid pointlessly applying.
What Should You Do If a Job Posting Is Removed?
If a job posting is removed, don’t immediately assume the position has been filled; however, keep an eye out for other options. Since there are many reasons why the job may have been pulled down, you’ll want to be patient and wait a few days to see if it goes back up.
It can be hard to be patient, but you’ll likely have better luck waiting a few days to see if the position is reposted. Jobs that get updated with new requirements or responsibilities might reappear on the job board just a few days after the old posting disappears. If this happens, you’ll probably need to reapply to be considered, even if you previously applied to the now-removed position.
If you’ve only been looking on a job board or a social media site like LinkedIn, try going to the company’s employment page directly. The job may still be listed there, even when it’s no longer visible on other websites.
Take a look at the other jobs posted by the same employer. The company may have already reposted the job with a new title or description. If they deleted the posting, the responsibilities might be listed under a different position that they also edited.
If a job posting is removed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the position has been filled. Job postings are also removed when there is a surplus or deficit of applicants, the position description has changed, or the position has been put on hold. Job postings can also be removed from a centralized job board if the employer’s subscription to that service has ended.