Here’s why Companies Post Jobs that are Already Filled

The Prepared Resume: Here’s why companies post jobs that are already filled

Why do companies post jobs that are already filled? That question popped into my head early on in my career and it seemed like the strangest thing to me. If I was asking that as a Human Resources Professional I'm sure it must be a question at least some job seekers are asking. Allow me to provide an answer.

Companies post jobs that are already filled enable organizations to brand themselves while meeting either company or legal requirements. Companies want to promote their organizational culture, offer unique benefits, and stay competitive in the market. Let's dive into this a bit more:

Ten reasons why companies post jobs that are already filled

I provided a high level answer above and the truth is that there are many reasons why companies post jobs that are already filled. Sometimes, a company hires a person for the job role and do not believe they can fulfill the duties adequately. But let's look at a few other reasons companies post jobs repeatedly:

  1. The job position has a high turnover rate, and the company wants fresh candidates to ensure they hire the right people.
  2. The company thought they hired the right person for the job. However, the employee fails to stay productive.
  3. The company has filled the job internally, but it has to source external job candidates for a particular reason.
  4. Although there is no job currently, a company post the position to have potential candidates available if there is a requirement to fill the role quickly.
  5. Hiring managers want the best candidate for the position and will consider a replacement if they find a better candidate.
  6. The company wants to use the advertising space for a specific period even if the job is already filled.
  7. The person hired has moved into another department, so the company wants another candidate for the position.
  8. The company wants to operate multiple shifts or the company needs to hire more of the same type of people to manage the increasing workload.
  9. Although the company has filled the position, the hiring managers want to tighten their hiring practices. That way, they can become more selective and choose the right person for the role.
  10. The company wants to retain potential candidates. The purpose is to call them for the interview when required.

Should you apply anyway?

If you notice a company has posted a job that has already been filled, should you apply anyway? I hate saying this but It depends on the situation. For instance, if the company has already filled the position, and you think you are the best candidate, you should apply for it. On the other hand, you may not know all the details around why it was re-posted so you should research the company and contact the HR department to determine whether they consider candidates for the position already filled.

If they respond positively, then go ahead and apply for the position. In addition, apply for a job already filled increases your chances of getting hired. For example, if the company has a high turnover rate for a software engineering position, the hiring managers will call other candidates for the interview.

If you really have the desire to move into a different role and don't to want to miss an opportunity, you should apply for them. However, always keep your options op and apply for vacant positions in other companies to maintain your job search. There is literally nothing wrong with applying for a job position already filled.

How to spot a fake interview?

A rare but actual reason a company post jobs that are already filled is because it is actually not a real role and it would end up being a fake interview. Suppose you have applied to a fake role and the company has called you for the interview. In that case, how do you actually spot a fake interview? Let's go through a few ways to recognize a fake interview:

During the interview, the interviewer asks detailed questions and takes notes. Although it is good to take some notes, the interviewer must listen to your answers. If the interviewer changes the subject frequently and is seemingly not interested in the answers to your questions, I would bet the interview is either fake or the company does not intend to hire for the role.

Another way to spot a potentially fake interview: When you ask the recruiters or interviewers about the hiring process, they give you unclear or vague answers, or answers that contradict the interview is fake. On the chance it's an actual interview it most likely means the company has no interest in hiring you.

Yet another example of a fake interview would be if the interviewer collects enough information from you, but they don't communicate with you or even let you inquire about the current hiring status. In that case, the interview was fake.

And we live in a crazy world so I must mention: , if the interviewer asks for confidential information and insists that type of information be provided without any evidence of it as a requirement, not only is the interview fake, they are trying to scam you.

Another example I have seen that is worth mentioning: If the interviewer requests you to work for free (where partly or in full) to improve your skills, learn the company culture, or for promises of a future role, DO NOT SAY “YES.”


Always remember that companies post jobs that are already filled because companies are in the money making business. That is literally the reason that for-profit businesses exist. The primary reason is to recruit the best talent for the position. So make sure you work diligently in your current role.

Unfortunately, everyone is replaceable. If you find yourself being replaced in a role make sure you have your resume ready to go. The best way to be ready for unpredictable career circumstances is to prepare for them. Grab my resume template bundle as well as my e-book on how to ace your resume to update your resume so you are not caught in a bind.

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