The Behavior Called Ghosting Can Have Unintended Consequences
Ghosting, leaving no trace of communication behind, continues to rise within the workplace. Previously relegated to the world of social media, ghosting is becoming a common practice in interviews and job recruitment as well as in the workplace.
This behavior can take several forms. One, a candidate who accepts multiple interviews and/or job offers before breaking off all communication without reason. This can include not showing up for a phone or in-person interview. Or even walking off the job and ignoring all contact from a manager or the company regarding the status of the person’s role within the company.
Some attribute the rise in ghosting to a distaste for phone conversations and conflict from younger generations. The individuals within Generations Y and Z grew up using social media as a communication tool, which may make the use of email and phone communication not only less prevalent but more uncomfortable for younger generations.
Others hypothesize that it’s a growing response to companies, who in an employer’s market, did not follow up after interviews. Unless the candidates moved on to the next round of interviews, they rarely received any communication or feedback about the current status of hiring. One additional scenario is that during a candidates market like today, employees will look for a job that’s better suited and pays more. Jobs that pay the least are more likely to be cast aside with no follow-up communication.
For some job candidates, ghosting can be a way to avoid having to say no thanks or I’m not interested. Radio silence also implies a lack of desire to have a conversation through email or over the phone. Without a conversation there are no uncomfortable pauses or gaps to fill. It’s all good, until it’s not.
What those who ghost don’t realize is that avoiding the initial discomfort of having a conversation or asking for details just makes the next situation that much harder. The choice to have such a conversation builds skills and confidence. With practice it becomes easier to know what to ask and how to find a job that suits your skills and where you want to go in life.
Ghosting also has the very real potential to burn important bridges. There’s the possibility that the job market won’t always be a candidate-driven market. Candidates who ghost employers and recruiters have the potential to become known for this behavior. In a very interconnected world of social media, it’s only a matter of time before a candidate could become blacklisted for this action.
Take the High Road
As tempting as it might be, candidates should resist using ghosting to get out of an unwanted job or interview. Ghosting is one-sided, leaving the other party confused about why it happened and how it can be prevented. Our advice is to take the high road and always gracefully decline opportunities without burning any bridges you may need in the future.