Ghosting – it’s not just for bad dates anymore. Unfortunately, job seekers being ghosted by potential employers (and vice versa) is trending, despite the current need for candidates to fill open positions. If you’d like to avoid being ghosted by a prospective employer, we recommend you continue reading. 

What is happening?

Charlie Smith, an Ohio man, reports to ABC news his horrific encounter with employer ghosting: “The day I was supposed to start (a job) I showed up and when I walked in they said we can’t use you,” Smith said. “We already hired somebody else.” Ouch, Charlie. That’s completely inappropriate behavior from the employer.

Unfortunately, this is not just an isolated event. A survey of 1,500 candidates by the hiring software company  Greenhouse indicates that 75% of job applicants say a prospective employer has ghosted them after an interview. 

Further, a February 2021 survey by Indeed shows that 77% of job seekers said an employer had ghosted them since the onset of the pandemic. And like Charlie Smith, nearly 10% report that an employer had ghosted them even after a verbal job offer had been extended.

When does ghosting happen?

Often, factors outside of your control can lead to ghosting in the hiring process. It’s not always as malicious as it might feel. 

Indeed offers some possible reasons for being ghosted in the application or interview process can include:

  • A decision was made to hire internally.
  • The position no longer exists.
  • The recruiter is no longer available to interview applicants.
  • An excess of interest was expressed for the position.
  • The hiring process is taking longer than anticipated.

Another space in which people are experiencing employer ghosting is on LinkedIn. Recruiters reach out to job seekers asking if they are interested in applying for a particular open position. The candidate applies, and then — radio silence. 

Ultimately, many employers counter the idea that only job seekers’ roles in interviews should be scrutinized.

It all comes down to communication.

Employers have various communication vehicles accessible to them, yet sometimes, they fail to keep in touch. This could be due to several reasons,  one of the major ones often being avoiding difficult conversations.

What can be done to avoid this?

1. Don’t wait around.

  •  Do your due diligence. Put in the leg-work. Check out the employer’s website and apply online if you’ve only applied through a third-party hiring source (ZipRecruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn). 
  • Don’t hesitate to try another form of contact. If email contact hasn’t been effective at getting ahold of the recruiter, perhaps consider another channel to reach members of the hiring team. 

2. Be intentional.

  • Ask yourself, realistically, “Is it really ghosting?” What counts as ghosting, you ask? Well, if you haven’t heard back from the recruiter before a phone interview, that’s not ghosting. 
  • Staying intentional is essential. If you have read the job description, assessed the organization, and honestly don’t feel like you’re a good fit for the job – don’t waste the recruiters’ (or your) time. Find another opportunity.

3. Take a hint.

  • If you’ve undergone the first round of interviews, usually a phone screen, and you’re still not hearing anything back, it’s probably time to accept this wasn’t the one for you. 
  • Acceptance can be challenging, but you will only save yourself the time and energy moving forward. Who knows what opportunities lie before you. 

4. Leverage social media.

  • “An interview is what gets you the job, having a strong network is what tends to get you the interview.” J.T. O’Donnell of WorkItDaily. 
  • You may want to consider building relationships with people at the company to find out what the culture and core values are really all about. What do they look for in new talent? It’s best to build an understanding of this before you apply. 
  • Similarly, it’s usually easiest to build these social networks before starting your job search, and you don’t need the connections. 
  • Remember that building personal relationship, even if it’s only ever online, could effectively lead to career opportunities.

5. Use a trusted staffing agency.

  • You can trust Elite Staffing to be your partner and guide you through the choppy waters that are job hunting. 
  • Are you worried about being ghosted? We’ve got your back.

Let’s find a job together.