How “Ghosting” Can Hurt your Professional Career
Ghosting is the professional equivalent to not texting someone back, and it’s one of the worst fears of many recruiters today! Unfortunately, the trend of employees ghosting their employers is on the rise according to a recent Washington Post poll.
Ghosting can look like a couple scenarios!
The first looks something like this… A candidate applies for a job, interviews, and is offered the position. But instead of responding to decline or accept the position, the candidate “disappears out of thin air” or so to speak and we never hear from the candidate again.
The second looks something like this… A candidate accepts a position, completes the entire on-boarding process and then simple, does not show up for the first day or work or even walks out on their employer with zero warning or explanation.
So, the question is, why are candidates “ghosting” employers and recruiters now more than ever?
With unemployment at its lowest rate in decades, and for many industries there are more open jobs than available candidates. In a competitive labor market like today, the candidate is in driver’s seat and therefore feels empowered to call the shots and simply, not taking job offers as seriously as they have in the past.
In a recent study, it showed us that candidates, especially desirable, talented ones are often getting multiple job offers at once and often feel that it is okay to ghost a potential employer I they are offering a lower salary than the other offers.
And although it may seem like an easy out for a candidate to simply stop communicating, there are some repercussions that need to be discussed.
The first response of anyone when they are being “ghosted” is that you, the candidate have an emergency or that something is wrong. The natural human response is to worry about you; have you been into an accident? Is a family member in the hospital? Because it is too far-fetched of an idea that any candidate or professional would simple stop communication for no reason. Once they realize that you, the candidate are indeed alive and well, the next natural response in to become upset or angry. And that feels is not likely one to be forgotten anytime soon.
“Ghosting” an employer or a recruiter is an extremely good way to “burn bridges” in your professional life. Most recruiters and employers remember who has “ghosted” them in the past and you do risk the harm of having a serious dent in your professional reputation. You simply never know who you will end up working with in the future, who may be on a panel, or who is sitting across from you in an interview.
Instead of “ghosting” an employer, do this instead!
In today’s market, candidates face a task of having to say “no” to a job offer. Although this may bring a candidate fear due to conflict or not understanding the exact correct way to decline an offer, it is best to face the problem head on. A great way to decline an offer is to simple pick up the phone or email your employer and let them know that you have appreciated their time and the offer, but at this time, you have been offered a position that will fit your needs better and that you will regretfully have to decline their offer.
Similarly, if you are not happy in your current position, have the right conversations with your supervisor or Human Resources team to let them know what is making you unhappy with your current role. Instead of walking out and potentially creating a scene or causing damage, use the time and an opportunity for your employer to learn what they can do better.
And last but not least, if you have been “ghosted” in the past by an employee or employer, don’t hold that grudge against you. Just remember, it’s not you, it’s them.