The candidate experience—the total of all interactions a job seeker has with a company during the hiring process—is vital to a firm’s employment brand and ability to attract top talent. And while one of the first touchpoints of the candidate experience is the initial job posting and application process, I increasingly hear of cases where candidates learn that they have applied on a “ghost job”— a position listed as available for hire but where the job has already been filled, or the company has no intention of hiring anyone for that position. This article references a survey of over 1,000 hiring managers (admittedly a small sample size) that found: 1) 27% reported having job postings up for over four months, 2) Among those who said they advertised job postings they weren’t actively trying to fill, close to half said they kept the ads up to give the impression the company was growing, 3) One-third of the managers who said they advertised jobs they weren’t trying to fill said they kept the listings up to placate overworked employees. Despite the small sample size of this survey, the findings underscore how the candidate experience can be tarnished when candidates feel they have wasted time completing applications, recording answers to automated job interview questions, etc., for a job that doesn’t exist or has been filled. How many of your “open jobs” are truly open? The answer might reveal opportunities for improving your candidate experience.