Before, job seekers were the ones who had to worry if the employer would disappear in the middle of the job interview process. Job seekers had to deal with the frustration and heartache of employers never answering them back after making contact. Now, because of a strong labor market, it’s job seekers who are doing the “ghosting,” or disappearing without notice.
The trend was documented on LinkedIn, which cited interviews with more than a dozen hiring managers and recruiters across America. Human resources director Meredith Jones, for example, it expects 50% of candidates for entry-level roles to not show up for the interview.
“Instead of formally quitting, enduring a potentially awkward conversation with a manager, some employees leave and never return. Bosses realize they’ve quit only after a series of unsuccessful attempts to reach them,” LinkedIn Editor at Large Chip Cutter wrote about the trend. “The practice is prolonging hiring, forcing companies to overhaul their processes and tormenting recruiters, who find themselves under constant pressure.”
Job seekers more likely to ghost in buyer’s market
Ghosting on an employer makes you look unprofessional, so why do we do it? Perhaps because we know that we can get away with it. LinkedIn cited America’s current low unemployment trend as a reason why job seekers are ghosting. Workers are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate since 2001 with 3.3 million quitters reported in May. According to the Labor Department, it’s a job seeker’s market, because there are more vacancies than people needing to fill those vacancies. When you know that there is likely to be another better job, you may care less about burning a bridge.
Although it may be tempting to ghost and avoid an awkward conversation about a change of heart, it behooves you to be transparent about your enthusiasm for the offered role. You want to be proactive about raising your concerns about the role sooner rather than later if you are having second thoughts to avoid permanently ruining the relationship with the employer.
Take it from a scorned HR manager. They will not forget the headache your sudden disappearance caused them.
“Usually, you get their names memorized when they stand you up or ghost you,” Kristen Randolph, an HR manager at Metro Plastics Technologies, told LinkedIn about job seekers who ghost. “It’s definitely a red X on them.”