It has happened to all of us. We connect with someone online and have great rapport; we meet them in person and hit it off. We walk away thinking this could be great, full of excitement about what the future might look like, and then... nothing... crickets. We never hear from them again. And I'm not talking about the dating world. I'm talking about applying for a job.
Ghosting is an unfortunate reality in the dating world and is creeping into the corporate world more and more. Both employers and candidates are engaging in this bad practice. In years when the job market has been tight, and candidates struggled to find work, employers were notorious for ghosting candidates simply because they had so many applicants for one available job. The post-Covid job market has strongly favored employees, and employers have been getting a taste of their own medicine. This year has seen large and small companies complain about candidates not returning their calls, not showing up for an interview, or worse still, not responding to a job offer. As we round the corner into 2024, the pendulum will swing back towards employers, but there are still more open job postings than unemployed in the workforce.
So the question is, who will be ghosting who? In recruiting and in the job search, just like in life, manners matter. The job market changes in favor of employers one year and candidates the next. None of us can afford the reputation that comes with ghosting a candidate or a potential employer.
An employer who ghosts candidates is seen as disorganized, in the best case, and the worst case, is seen as a company that does not care about their employees or company culture. Neither instance encourages top players in the field to come to work for you. Candidates who ghost employers today should know that their lack of response is recorded in a database and referred to the next time they apply with that company. If you apply for another position down the road and the company sees you blew them off, they might not call on your resume.
To uphold your reputation as an employer or employee of choice, use your manners and don't ghost. It is easy to send someone an email politely declining an interview or letting them know you are no longer interested. It makes you look good now and just may help you in the future.
For more on this topic, listen to my interview with KURV Radio: