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Can Ghosting happen in recruitment?

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24 July 2019 by Rachel Whalley
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Recruitment Interview

​The term Ghosting originally came about in the age of internet dating, it is used after someone has stopped replying to your messages without a word - effectively becoming a ghost. In the working work this is no different, and Ghosting is starting to become more and more common from both candidates and employers. It can be more heartbreaking not hear back from a job than an actual heart break itself - 76% of people describe not hearing back from a job more frustrating than being ignored by a date.

On the recruitment side, employers are increasingly seeing candidates go silent after being offered an interview, or even the role itself! With the influx of jobs on the market at the moment, and the ease of applying through sites like LinkedIn, candidates are less worried about the impact of not responding. It's a shift in attitude that could have serious impacts later down the line, and in some cases candidates are not showing up to scheduled interviews or even to their first day of work, with absolutely no notice. With unemployment falling again this year, it appears there are more jobs than there are candidates and it seems to have led to people feeling no obligation to schedule interviews or even verbal contracts.

From the applicants perspective, they are applying and interviewing without hearing anything back - not even a "thank you but no." With the majority of job processes happening online now, a lot of automation is injected in and a lot of the humanity is taken out. If a programme is scanning through your resume or CV, it doesn't take into account the goals and aspirations of an applicant - it most likely just cares about keywords. Allow yourself to be annoyed or frustrated about it, that is normal. However it is important to keep your head high in these situations - don't burn any bridges! If you change your mind and are no longer interested in a role, send a quick email thanking them for their time. Most importantly do not let it affect your offer applications or interviews, yes company Y may have Ghosted you but that is not company X's fault. Use it as an opportunity to learn, bounce back and move on.

So although Job Ghosting is definitely very real and rife in the world of recruitment, there are some things we can do. Always remember to be respectful - don't send that email that you'll regret later about not hearing anything!

Sources & further reading

Forbes - The causes and consequences of 'Ghosting' in today's job market

Cosmopolitan - Yes, Job Ghosting is a thing

The Muse - How to handle getting ghosted during your job search