Why ghosting may be a growing recruitment issue – and why you really want to avoid being a part of it!
Mostly, ‘ghosting’ refers to dating. It describes the act of ending a personal relationship suddenly and without any explanation…or further communication whatsoever!
This cultural phenomenon actually entered the Urban Dictionary back in 2007 and is now regularly discussed online.
The act of ghosting is also increasingly being discussed in relation to both recruitment and employment.
How candidates are ghosting employers:
In this case, a growing number of job-seekers are failing to get in touch to explain that they will not be attending job interviews or their first day of work. Some are even using this practice to leave their jobs!
- Personnel Today reports that the issue may affect as many as 1 in 10 interview candidates.
- HR Review also describes a 21% increase in legal enquiries surrounding employees vanishing from their roles without going through formal notice procedures.
Why is this phenomenon growing?
Sources suggest that there are a few factors at play here. Firstly, the fact the ongoing skills shortage has created what’s known as a ‘candidate-driven market‘. As the name implies, this is when there are more jobs than there are appropriate applicants to fill them. In such periods, applicants can enjoy a greater sense of choice and may feel less pressure to impress each prospective employer. We’ll come back to this in a moment.
The digital nature of many recruitment processes could also be facilitating this problem. Candidates who have had little if any real-life contact with prospective employers might perceive ghosting to be a more ‘acceptable’ practice.
Applicants who have already experienced or used ghosting in other areas of their life may additionally feel that it is normal.
Why you really want to think twice about ghosting prospective employers…
The employment market will not always be candidate-driven. Throughout our many years in recruitment, we have also observed lengthy employer-driven periods. During such times, candidates compete against vast quantities of applicants and must stand out to succeed.
Your reputation really is your currency. Prospective employers and recruiters are looking for candidates that they can trust. It’s far better to get in touch and explain you’ve had an alternative offer, or that your plans have changed than to simply disappear. This shows that you respect everyone’s time and all efforts invested in you to date.
Employers, managers and recruitment consultants may also move around. The person you ghost at one company that you don’t care so much about may very well become the person recruiting for a role that you truly want.
Keep those doors open – those five minutes needed to pick up the phone or tap up an email could make all the difference to your future career!