The practice of ghosting in the world of work equates to some recruiters leaving job candidates guessing whether they are going to be hired or not, because the recruiter, has decided its best to simply ignore the candidate’s emails or phone calls. In other words, the candidate will eventually get the message that the company is not interested in their services. Wow! Who would want to work for company like that?
Of course, this worked well for the companies that employed this practice, for several years, until, the workforce demographic started to change with millennials, turning the tables on some companies and started doing the ghosting themselves.
In Riia O’Donnell article, Are your applicants ghosting you? Written for HR Dive succinctly describes this phenomenon. It reads in part;
“Ghosting has come full-circle. Dozens of websites are devoted to the complaints of candidates who’ve been ghosted by employers — never receiving acknowledgement for their application, no callback after an interview, being left hanging for a hiring decision. And now employers are seeing the same actions (or non-actions) taken against them.
Recruiters who hire for almost every level of employee, from entry-level to management, are experiencing the phenomenon. It runs the gamut from applicants who never respond to initial calls; those who miss interview appointments; candidates who hem and haw over offers, promising to ‘get back to you soon’ with an answer; and those who simply vanish off the face of the earth, never reporting for their first day on the job.In relationship-speak, ghosting is clear: no response is the response. As the market tightens, with competition getting even more fierce, ghosting may be a new paradigm.
How common is ghosting? The phenomenon may be learned behavior from when employers would ghost candidates. It may be that some candidates and employees believe its acceptable business etiquette. In a recent piece, LinkedIn suggested ghosting may be partly due to inexperience. Younger workers who aren’t accustomed to multiple job offers may simply not know how to say no politely and professionally.
To save time, some recruiters are starting to act like doctors or airlines, LinkedIn said — double booking interview slots, particularly for entry-level openings, in anticipation that up to half the candidates will no show. Others recommend hiring managers remain in a continuous recruitment mode to adjust for those who will walk off the job without notice. This, of course, could lead to more candidates being held at bay, which of course could lead to them believing they’ve been ghosted: bad manners coming full circle.
At its core, ghosting is a lack of communication. To minimize the chances of it happening at your company, it’s important to communicate in a way that invites job seekers and employees to be forthright. If a candidate can’t make the interview or won’t accept the offer, a recruiter can let them know he or she understands, but that the company would appreciate the honesty and professionalism of an upfront word. Another tack may be to gently let candidates know they would be eliminated from consideration for any future openings if they failed to make the interview or accept an offer without notification.
Bottom line: Job hunting is hard work and recruiters and hiring professionals alike should do a better job of communicating with job seekers. And, job seekers are not innocent themselves, since some of also practice ghosting. In the end, no one wins when both sides engage in the practice of ghosting each other.
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