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Some job seekers who are looking for fully remote or hybrid jobs say they’re coming across opportunities that claim to be work-from-home-friendly, but will later hear from recruiters who end up revealing otherwise.
The alleged bait-and-switch tactic has become a topic of discussion on social media, including on TikTok, where jobseekers have been sharing their experiences with surprise job terms and misleading job postings.
On April 18, Jamie Jackson, 41, of Nashville, Tennessee, uploaded a video of an apparent mislabeled job posting to her TikTok account @humorousresources where she calls out job postings on popular career websites.
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The role that caught Jackson’s eye was an administrative assistant job in Lake Worth, Florida, which is labeled as a "remote" and "WFH" (short for work-from-home) opportunity, but the job posting goes on to say that it’s actually not a remote position.
Jamie Jackson, a TikTok content creator who runs the account “Humorous Resources,” says she suspects that recruiters and hiring managers could be intentionally labeling non-remote jobs as being remote- and hybrid-friendly. (Jamie Jackson/iStock / Fox News)
"Administrative assistant. Remote. Work-from-home." Jackson read aloud in her TikTok video as she goes over the role that’s been shared to LinkedIn by a third-party recruiting company called Get.It Recruit – Administrative.
"What’s that down there in the yellow?" Jackson continued as she called out the posting’s text, which she highlighted with a digital yellow marker.
"If you are looking for a remote position, please do not apply." The job posting reads, to which Jackson replied. "Why don’t you proofread? Proofread your postings."
FOX Business reached out to Get.It Recruit – Administrative for comment.
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In a TikTok direct message, Jackson wrote that she’s suspicious of job postings that have remote and work-from-home labels that are contradicted in job descriptions.
"I do not think it’s a proofreading mistake," she wrote. "I believe it’s more a way to trick candidates into applying. Thinking candidates won’t read the fine details of the job posting."
TikTok users who are actively looking for a remote or hybrid job claim they’ve seen and have applied to opportunities that end up requiring in-person work. (iStock / iStock)
Commenters under Jackson's TikTok post have shared that they’re also skeptical that human error is involved with mislabeled job postings.
"They do this on purpose to get attention. So frustrating," one TikTok user wrote.
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"I see this so much, and it tells me they’re not a company I’d want to work for if they’re being deceptive in their job postings," another TikTok user wrote.
"Done on purpose, just like one salary range in the header and then some nonsense about how that won’t be the salary in the meat of the listing," another TikTok user noted.
"Are recruiters trying to boost their ‘leads’ metrics? Tell their boss they have 30 phone calls with prospective candidates?" one TikTok user questioned.
Jobseekers who are searching for remote and hybrid work opportunities say they’ve been disappointed to learn that jobs they’ve applied for are actually looking for in-person workers, which has made them feel misled. (iStock / iStock)
A TikTok user who claims to be from Oregon replied to Jackson’s post with a story of how she’s reportedly received calls from two different recruiters after applying to remote and hybrid jobs online, and she was later informed during phone screenings that the roles she applied for were meant for full-time in-person applicants.
"One person said, ‘That was a mistake on our part. Really sorry to waste your time. I’m going to repost that and make sure it doesn't say work-from-home anymore,’" the TikTok user recalled. "She reposted the next day, and it still said work-from-home."
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The TikTok user who replied to Jackson theorized that companies are intentionally mislabeling job postings in order to get a larger pool of qualified candidates.
Having more candidates to choose from could improve a recruitment service’s or hiring manager’s chance of finding someone to cave and accept a full-time in-person job, she concluded.
Clarify Capital, a New York City-based financial consulting firm, released a survey in the fall of 2022 that consulted 1,045 hiring managers on "ghost jobs," also known as job postings that have been uploaded, but aren’t actively being filled.
Workplaces around the world use recruiting software is to sort through online job candidates. (iStock / iStock)
The survey found that 37% of hiring managers admitted to posting jobs they "aren’t actively trying to fill" because they want to "have an active pool of applicants in case of turnover."
Job seekers have been sharing questionable job postings on social media to vent their frustration and suspicions online.
On TikTok, the hashtag #jobscams has more than 6.7 million views while the hashtag #fakejobs has 3.8 million views.
Many of the reported job postings that have been called out as potential scams and fake leads appear to be labeled as remote or hybrid opportunities.
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In April 2021, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a press release that warned Americans about the rise of fake job listings and how cybercriminals are using this method to gather personal information from job hopefuls.