Wikipedia defines Ghosting as breaking off a relationship by ceasing all communication and contact with that former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate. Wikipedia goes on to say that this is a fairly recent term, and that it seems to have gained popularity since about 2015. Well, right about now you may be asking yourself – Am I reading the right article? What does this new word have to do with the recruiting realm?

Did you know that the term ghosting has been gaining popularity in the professional recruiting sector as well? Its meaning here has to do with the “no response” we often see somewhere in the hiring process. I know that some may think this is one-sided; there are instances where a recruiter stops reaching out to a candidate.  Even so, a candidate seemingly falling off of the face of the earth has become somewhat common place.

Does this happen at any one particular stage in the process? Apparently not. It seems this can happen at any point. Examples:

  • Before applying – nice little conversation with a potential applicant who seems so interested in the opportunity and promises to take the next step. Great! …Nothing…
  • After applying – applicant looks impressive on paper. Manager wants to meet with them in person. Outstanding! …Crickets….
  • Interview confirmed – candidate acknowledges that they have received the needed information and will be there. Awesome! …No show…
  • Interview done – conversations on how the candidate is the right fit for the role and the role is the right fit for the candidate. Splendid! …Unresponsive…
  • Offer extended – and accepted! Now it’s the final step of the general background process. Homerun! …Bueller?…

Where do these people go? Are they okay? Was there a technology blackout where they live? I know I’ve been honestly worried at times because I think there is no way that this specific person – the one who has been so professional, so interested, so perfect for the role – wouldn’t send at least a quick little something saying at the very, very least “Never mind”.

Is this considered an acceptable trend? I hope not. I think common courtesy should always be in style. A classic if you will. Now, I get it. Maybe this has always been a thing and not necessarily something new. But really, with all of the forms of communication we have now – email, text, cell phone, and even the old-fashion home phone – there is probably no excuse to just not get back to someone.

Please know, there is no obligation to give a long explanation. No need for full disclosure, a long winded story, or anything of the sort. If that is the fear and the reason for the non-response, then fear no more. All that is really expected is a quick “Never mind” and everyone can continue on their way. Just send something. Stay classy in a world of come and go trends.

Happy job hunting!



By |2018-10-15T12:53:13+00:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Opinion|0 Comments

About the Author:

Polly joined the PeopleScout team in July of 2013 as a Senior Recruiter. Polly has over 10 years of experience recruiting for both hourly and salaried professionals in various industries such as retail, IT, restaurant, steel, and finance. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Master’s degree in Sociology. When she is not busy finding top talent for her clients, Polly enjoys spending time with her husband and kids in Central California.

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