Survey: This is the most common reason job seekers abandon applications

Ghosting employers is nothing new, but a new survey shows that the most popular reason why job seekers abandon applications is to accept another job.

Ghosting employers is nothing new, but recent data from Clutch shows that the most popular reason why job seekers “abandon” applications is to “accept another job,” at 30%. It’s important to note that this was only among the 389 people surveyed who admitted to doing so in the first place.

The research also shows that 71% of people looking for jobs said they “have abandoned the application process.”

The company polled 507 adult, full-time, American workers “who started a new job within the past 6 months.” In terms of gender, it’s important to note that 69% of respondents were women and 31% were men.

Here’s why people have given up on job applications

While all the responses weren’t listed, these were the most popular ones:

  • “Accept another job:” 30%
  • “Ghosted by company:” 23%
  • “Realized not a match for the job:” 19%
  • “Had doubts about company:” 8%
  • “Experienced technical problems with application:” 7%
  • “Had a bad interview experience:” 7%

This data shows that potential employees aren’t the only ones doing the ghosting.

How job seekers feel about professional “ghosting”

This Clutch infographic shows that people have a variety of opinions on this topic:

But in terms of who interviews job seekers, 54% said the “manager,” while 32% said an “HR representative” and 22% said “recruiter.” Furthermore, 21% said “future colleagues” and a slim 16% said a “C-suite leader.”

This infographic takes things further by breaking down the professional ghosting time frame among job seekers and employers alike:

“Companies that experience high rates of ghosting should examine their recruiting processes and consider changing steps that trigger ghosting. Additionally, companies that routinely ghost candidates should take steps to give candidates closure – or risk earning a bad reputation among job seekers,” Michelle Delgado, researcher and marketer at Clutch, told Ladders.

Here’s how people found out they didn’t get the job

Among people who haven’t gotten a position they applied for before, not hearing back at all was the top way they found out. Here’s the breakdown:

  • “No response:” 36%
  • “Impersonal rejection note:” 30%
  • “Phone call:” 21%
  • “Personal rejection note:” 13%

It’s clear that ghosting also happens well outside the dating world, where someone you’ve been getting to know romantically immediately stops responding to calls and messages. Just keep in mind that no matter which party is doing this under professional circumstances, there are productive ways to work through it.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.