The Truth About Professional Ghosting and What You Can Do About It

Although ghosting in the dating realm is discussed more widely than professional ghosting, both cause the same feelings of confusion, disappointment, rejection, and anxiety.

What is Professional Ghosting?

Professional Ghosting occurs when employees or job seekers avoid having conversations with their employers or recruiters by going radio silent. In the workplace, it comes in different forms, such as:

  • No-Showing for An Interview: This happens when a job seeker does not show up to a scheduled interview. It often occurs during the hiring process.  
  • No-Showing on the First Day: It occurs when a candidate accepts a job offer but does not appear in the office on his/her joining date
  • Quitting Job without Notice: This usually occurs when an employee leaves their office without any notice. Also, there is no response to calls or emails.

Why Are Employees Ghosting in the Workplace?

There are several reasons for professional ghosting. Some experts say it is because of candidates’ changing attitude while others say it is due to the unprecedented job industry and unemployment rates. Regardless of the cause, ghosting or no-shows in the workplace is becoming a significant issue among talent acquisition experts in the current talent market. That means businesses should take some appropriate steps to avoid ghosting and run their business smoothly.

What Can Employers or Recruiters Do about Ghosting?

Though no-shows can make you feel vulnerable, there are several tips that employers may follow to respond to professional ghosting. Some crucial strategies that can help employers or recruiters combat ghosting are as follows:

  1. Build a Talent Community With professional ghosting becoming the new normal in the business world, it is critical to be more strategic and establish long-lasting relations with job seekers. One popular way to create long-term relations is by developing talent communities. With talent communities, you can build strong professional bonds with the right talent for the present as well as future opportunities. Having a talent community will give you instant access to the talent landscape whenever any vacancy occurs and reduce ghosting likelihood. Moreover, building a talent community needs businesses to shift the reactive recruiting process to a proactive approach.
  2. Customize Your Cover Letters Another essential tip to consider is – always be specific with your cover letters. Never make the mistake of sending one cover letter to all candidates. Instead, invest some time to customize before sending it. This effort will make your candidates realize that you really want them to be a part of your organization, lowering the rate of ghosting.
  3. Analyze Your Onboarding Procedure While candidates who don’t appear in interviews are creating a challenge for recruiters, employees who ghost on their first day or leave the company without prior notice can disturb the business’s overall foundation. Companies must begin the onboarding process early to establish an emotional bond with new hires to deter this behavior. Here are some tips for a successful onboarding process:
  • Before the first day of a candidate in your organization, reach out to him/her with friendly texts. Tell them about your business and the perks you are offering to your employees.
  • Upon the arrival of new hires on the first day, introduce them to your existing team properly and designate a person who can help candidates with their queries.
  • After around a year of new hires in your organization, you should start talking to candidates about their career development and future within the company.

Employers and Recruiters Can Ghost Too

WPA’s San Diego office Business Development Manager, Mindy Cummings, had her own experience with professional ghosting while job searching in the wake of COVID-19, but from companies and recruiters. Mindy explains  “while scrolling through endless jobs, I would come across something that I felt connected to and apply. No response, generic email, ghosted. I know I’m not the only one because I have seen others post the same. I have also spoken to people whom I can see have passion for a job and then they never hear back.” Mindy’s discouragement after the experience of being ghosted inspires her role at WPA, as she knows how frustrating it can be. Mindy is excited about connecting companies to talented, passionate individuals who have the talent to dominate positions.

One of our talented recruiters, Jayde Savage, says that she makes it a point to have regular touchpoints for all candidates to keep them in the loop, even if the company is going in a different direction. That might be when it is the most important time for companies and recruiters to contact the candidate and not leave them in the dark. If a company – but especially a recruiter – takes the time to let the candidate know they did not get the position and even more so give them feedback on possible reasoning that shows they at least care and will provide positive feedback for that company/recruiter. 

What Can Employers Do to Help Candidates?

Although sometimes open positions can have hundreds of candidates, it is important to let those candidates know as soon as possible if a role is filled. At minimum a notice to those not interviewed should go out. For those who have been interviewed, a more personalized note should be sent. Something as simple as a few notes from those doing the interviewing can be helpful to candidates who were so close to locking in a position they were hopeful for. If that is not done and someone reaches out, the least the person receiving the communication can do is let the candidate know why they were not selected and give them some feedback. We at WPA realize sometimes this may be difficult but something as simple as making suggestions for how to improve answering interview questions or presenting oneself can help candidates improve for future positions and will have a positive impact on the candidate.

As recruiters, we at World Premier Agency strategize wisely to ensure that every job seeker or employee has an exclusive experience with us at every step, combatting the professional ghosting trend.