94% Of Employers Have Been Ghosted: Why Job Seekers Do It, And How To Avoid Being Haunted
Most every job seeker has, at some point, either applied to or interviewed for a position only to be met by radio silence. Follow-up emails go unanswered, and the once-promising opportunity vanishes into the void. A few years ago, this might simply have been called part of the job hunt. Today, this disappearing act is referred to as “ghosting,” and it’s a practice that’s becoming more prevalent among applicants. Now the tables have turned. It’s employees who more and more often are ghosting employers.
“It’s a candidate-driven marketplace,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director at recruiting firm Robert Half. “They have many choices.”
With the unemployment rate at a low 3.5%, job seekers are optimistic about the job market, so much so that 28% of job seekers have backed out of an offer after accepting it, with 44% of those doing so for another, more attractive proposition, according to a study by Robert Half. If multiple companies are pursuing one candidate, he or she may accept the first offer, set a start date and then receive and accept a second offer without letting the first company know, says McDonald. Research from Indeed found that of the 83% of employers who report having been ghosted, 65% say the candidate accepted their offer but failed to show up on day one.
Some 27% ceased communication after getting a counteroffer from their current employer and 19% after hearing negative feedback about the company, found Robert Half.
And job seekers aren’t only ghosting employers after accepting offers, says McDonald, who has first-hand experience with this phenomenon. Some are bailing on interviews, while others are completing several rounds of interviews before shutting down the lines of communication. How can employers avoid this fate? McDonald advises that companies stay in constant communication with candidates to minimize the likelihood of them being a no-show. Once they accept, hiring managers should continue correspondence, whether through emails, texts, phone calls or even in-person meetings.
At the end of the day, though, it’s really up to the candidates. While Indeed found that 94% of job seekers who have ghosted say they’ve not experienced many, if any, negative repercussions, McDonald says it’s only a matter of time before their actions catch up to them. Once job seekers ghost, they burn bridges, ones that can be challenging to repair, and with every future job search will come the chance of running into someone from their past. He advises that candidates who are no longer interested in pursuing opportunities communicate that to hiring managers, whether in the form of an email or a phone call. When the average cost-per-hire is $4,425, the sooner, the better. “If you’ve changed your mind, honesty is the best policy, no matter what part of the process you’re in,” McDonald says. “If you ghost, it will come back to haunt you at some point in your career.”
Originally published on Forbes