‘Job Ghosting’ on the Rise


common dating trend has made its way to the workplace. Known as “ghosting,” it involves ending a relationship without communication. There are no texts, emails, or phone calls; people simply disappear.

For employers, this means staff members stop showing up for shifts without notice. For recruiters, new applicants go silent during the hiring process. Some will even schedule interviews but never attend. This new workplace issue is continuing to intensify in frequency, leaving many employers and recruiters furious.

Cutting Off Communication

Computers and smartphones have changed the way we communicate. Digital conversations limit the bond two people form when interacting. This makes it easier to cut off communication (or employment) without notice, especially among younger generations who typically rely more heavily on their smartphones. Ghosting also prevents the need to initiate “difficult” conversations about wanting to quit or leave an employer.

Welcoming a Conversation

In larger companies, employees may often feel disconnected from their team or even their boss. Communication, if any, may take the form of group emails or notices without any real discussion. In minimum-wage or entry-level jobs, employees may often feel that their employment is solely a means to a paycheque rather than a career-building position.

For employees considering a departure from these types of work environments, there are no real ties compelling them to talk about their decision. Instead, team leaders who have regular discussions with their employees and build a relationship could help to bridge the gap. In addition, encouraging younger employees to communicate outside of their smartphone or computer will help to build much-needed soft skills for later in their career.

Speeding Up Recruitment

As the unemployment rate continues to drop, job opportunities are more numerous than just a few years ago. With more postings and more choices, it’s become easier for qualified candidates to find a job. Businesses who are cognizant about their competition need to act quickly when recruiting workers. Otherwise, while navigating and waiting through a lengthy hiring process, they may accept another offer.

While many would argue that it’s common courtesy to notify a recruiter about accepting a position elsewhere, candidates who “ghost” claim that no notice is required. Without having formed any ties or relationship with a hiring company, they simply disappear or don’t show up to the next round of competition. The situation is not totally unheard of, as the reverse trend involves recruiters who don’t follow up with each candidate to update them on their status of application.

Responding to the Trend

While ghosting might sound like an easy way to cut ties, human resources professionals discourage the behaviour among employees, job candidates and recruiters, alike. They encourage all individuals to abide by a “do unto others” mantra of common courtesy.

Careers will often take unexpected twists and turns, and some employees will cross paths again. It’s difficult to say with absolute certainty that you will never encounter the same hiring manager or employee again after ghosting them. And especially in the case of prospective applicants, first impressions do last.

If you’re an employee who has been offered a competitive job offer that you’ve chosen to pursue, or even a recruiter selecting one candidate over another, remember that honesty is the best policy. Difficult conversations can be nerve-wracking, but they only take a few minutes. Communication in any stage of your career, regardless of your role, will set you up for success.


Michelle Novielli | Contributing Writer



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