Ghosting is a larger problem today than ever before. Indeed took a survey of job seekers and there are some alarming trends that have developed. Over the last year, ghosting by candidates increased, from about 18% saying they had ghosted in 2019 to nearly 30% participating in ghosting in 2020. Wow.
So recruiters and employers alike see this as a candidate issue. Job-seeking candidates see this as cutting both ways. Most have reported either a recruiter or an employer going dark on them when they least expected it. While candidates have increased their ghosting behaviors, they’ve also reported being on the receiving end of this behavior. 77% of job seekers say they have been ghosted by an employer. Employers have even confessed to ghosting prospective employees. The percentage participating in the bad behavior totaled 73% of employers doing it.
Ghosting is happening at all stages of the process. It happens at phone screening, interview, even after making or accepting an offer all the way through the first day or week of work. Twenty-five percent of employers reported employee no-shows on the first day of work and 10% of potential new hires report experiencing ghosting after a verbal job offer by an employer.
Some see the pandemic as the cause of these increases. It might be influenced by job seekers and many employers having to adjust to a remote hiring process. It is possible that the pandemic is the cause, but it could be that bad behaviors modeled by employers, recruiters and candidates alike, have just become so prevalent that it feels more acceptable to ghost if it comfortably suits your situation. The spike in ghosting incidents may also indicate deficiencies in communication, transparency, and commitment. Improvements in recruiter/candidate relationships could help put an end to the behavior. In the end, everyone needs to return to doing what is fair and honest, perhaps days we will not see again soon.
While historically ghosting by candidates was reported to have its root in competing offers, bad fit jobs and undesirable salaries, those reasons are on the decline. Reports are that ghosting is more frequently an outcome of poor communication and failure to build balanced relationships between recruiter/employer and candidate.
Employers are starting to take notes on the perpetrators of ghosting and are working to protect themselves while make sure candidates feel consequences of this bad behavior. Not so easy for a candidate to do the same, but sites like GlassDoor and LinkedIn do allow for more benchmarking and reporting on bad employers and recruiters. 93% of employers say they keep tabs on ghosters and job seekers that stop responding, don’t show up for calls or interviews and never make it to the first day of work.
Seems that holding one another accountable is not an easy task in the talent and job search arena. Everyone is suffering and good people are being overlooked for jobs that go to ghosts. Candidates are wasting important job search hours on unreliable recruiters and employers. Everyone is losing.
Times need to change…
What are you doing to reduce ghosting?