There’s a troubling trend spreading through workplaces across America, and it’s spelling doom for good old-fashioned professional etiquette. “Ghosting,” a concept once confined to the online dating world—and the Urban Dictionary—is an increasingly common practice in the employment process, on the part of both corporate recruiters and job seekers.

Whether or not feelings are being hurt, ghosting does real damage in terms of lost time and productivity. 

At The Protocall Group, we match qualified candidates with industrial and healthcare jobs in Philadelphia and the surrounding region. We know the value of professionalism and solid communication in building a successful career, as well as building a successful business. The whole idea of ghosting runs counter to that value system.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the ghosting problem and explore some possible solutions. Let’s start by defining ghosting and what it means in the context of the modern workplace.

What is Ghosting?

If you’ve ever searched for a job, the concept of ghosting probably sounds familiar to you. A recruiter tells you, “we’ll be in touch.” They say they’ll let you know when they make a decision about the position. Instead, you never hear from them again. You waste hours, days, and maybe weeks playing the waiting game, and you’re finally forced to give up hope. You have no idea why the company didn’t choose you, but you just have to accept it and move on with your life.

Nowadays, it appears job seekers have turned the tables, going so far as to blow off job interviews or even accepting positions and failing to show up on their scheduled first day—with nary a word of warning. Seems difficult to believe, but it happens a lot. Obviously, if an employer is counting on an applicant for an interview or expecting a new hire to begin work, they’ve invested time and energy in that person. To then be “ghosted” means a significant waste of manpower, and leaves the company with the same hole to fill in their staff.

Now that we know a little bit more about what ghosting is and why it’s a problem, let’s examine how prevalent it has become and some possible reasons for the trend.

Haunting Statistics

A recent Indeed survey asked more than 4,000 job seekers and 900 employers about their ghosting experiences. It found:

  • 83 percent of the employers surveyed reported having been ghosted;
  • 18 percent of the job seekers reported ghosting employers, and of those respondents, 50 percent said they blew off a job interview;
  • Employers said they had applicants fail to show for interviews, stop responding to messages and/or accept a verbal job offer, then cease communications altogether; 
  • 65 percent of the employers who said they’d been ghosted had a new hire go AWOL on their first day, and they were forced to begin the hiring process all over again.

It’s not difficult to see how this wild goose chase scenario, repeated over and over, can damage a business. Time is money, as they say, and spending time chasing your tail trying to fill out your staff is a great way to fall behind in a competitive industry.

A company might not be able to avoid getting ghosted altogether, but understanding the reasons it happens could help them adjust their hiring policies and practices to suit modern workers and their habits better.

Explaining the Vanishing Act

From the viewpoint of job seekers, Indeed’s survey found that ghosting in the hiring process stems mostly from simple supply and demand. In other words, applicants had enough other job prospects that they were able to blow off some opportunities—and even some offers—without fearing any negative consequences.

The job seekers also told Indeed that they:

  • Didn’t feel comfortable telling recruiters they’d changed their mind about the job and were going in another direction;
  • Felt communication with the recruiter was lacking to begin with;
  • Didn’t know what they should do after they’d decided not to pursue or accept a position.

It’s clear that there’s been a breakdown somewhere, whether it’s a lack of training for workers entering the hiring process, a failure by recruiters to understand the current marketplace and connect with today’s workforce, or an overall de-emphasis on etiquette in a disconnected society so dependent on technology.

There must be a way for everyone to communicate more effectively and stop wasting each other’s time. 

How Do We “Give Up The Ghost”?

While ghosting is rude and unprofessional, communication goes both ways, and job seekers aren’t the only ones responsible for reversing this time-wasting trend. In this infographic, we’ve outlined just a few simple ways in which both sides can work together to cut down on ghosting.

Basically, this entire issue comes down to respect. At The Protocall Group, we believe everyone deserves respect, whether you’re a worker seeking a seasonal warehouse job in Vineland, NJ, or a human resources executive tasked with sorting through a stack of resumes to find the perfect fit for a full-time position. 

We want to be part of the solution to the ghosting problem plaguing workplaces in our area! 

Who You Gonna Call?

If you’re looking for a job or looking to fill a job, save yourself time and aggravation by contacting our recruitment agency. We take the time to get to know each applicant and client, assessing their unique needs, and developing a customized plan to meet them. Personal attention is the foundation of our business.

Once you start the process with us, we stay with you every step of the way. Our live staffing coordinators are available to take your call, 24/7. No matter what’s going on in the marketplace today, you can be sure you’ll never get ghosted when you come to us.

Ready to get started? Call The Protocall Group or fill out a contact form on our website today!