Why are workers and employers ghosting each other


Have you ever experienced ghosting in the world of work?

From candidates cutting off communication early in the interviewing process to completely skipping interviews, 28% of job seekers say they’ve ghosted an employer. 76% of employers say they’ve been ghosted in the past 12 months and 77% of job seekers have been ghosted by an employer. We need to start asking why this is happening and how it can be prevented.

While ghosting may seem like a minor inconvenience to some, it could signal a bigger issue within an employer’s organisation. Candidate ghosting may indicate that a job seeker did not feel connected to the team, organisation, or the role itself. Employer ghosting may hold up a candidate’s job search if they are waiting to hear back before applying for more roles.

Ghosting can negatively impact on efficiency at all stages of the recruiting and hiring process. This affects both parties and can in turn waste a lot of time.

What is ghosting?

Candidate ghosting refers to candidates who stop all communication with an employer during the hiring process. Instead of giving feedback as to why they are no longer interested in the role, they simply disappear without any explanation.

Employer ghosting refers to an organisation that does not get back to candidates. They give no feedback or reasoning as to why the candidate was not suitable for the role.

Why does ghosting happen?

Ghosting may seem easier when it comes to turning down a job or filling a position with the right candidate. However, this comes across as unprofessional and could contribute to giving a job seeker or an organisation a bad reputation.

We are also currently living in a candidate’s market. This means many job seekers are mass applying for roles in which they may not even remember applying for. Communicating with all candidates allows an organisation to weed out those that are truly interested in the role and wish to proceed further with the hiring process. Alternatively, if a candidate receives a better offer or no longer wishes to work for an organisation, it is better to notify the organisation so they can continue with their search.

Breaking the cycle

So, what can we do to prevent ghosting and make the hiring process a positive experience for all parties?

Communication is key during the recruiting process as it plays a huge part in an exceptional candidate experience. This is especially important when it comes to keeping in touch with those top candidates. It is important to keep the channel of communication open regardless of where applicants are in the hiring funnel.

It is not okay to re-arrange an interview last minute as both candidates and employers should respect each other’s time. Additionally, it is not okay to just not show up to an interview. This not only wastes time and energy but could also reflect negatively on a candidate’s reputation.

Candidates should treat recruiters and employers with the same respect they would wish for in return. There is no certainty as to what the future holds, and they may require an employer’s support further down the line.

For an employer, attracting the right job seekers is a sure way to avoid candidate ghosting. This could be done in various ways, including:

  • Crafting compelling job posts
  • Gathering employee testimonials
  • Giving job seekers clear next steps
  • Scheduling interviews promptly

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb for both parties is the further down the hiring process, the less acceptable it is to ghost.

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