Getting Ghosted at Work?

Getting Ghosted in the Workplace

“Ghosting” is a term first coined by Millennials that originally referred to dating behavior. Ghosting is when a person cuts off all forms of communication without any reasoning. In the digital age of communication that we live in, ghosting someone is an intentional act of doing nothing instead of informing the other person that they are no longer interested.

Not Caring

Some people say the trend comes from an increase in the number of people who choose to avoid having difficult conversations by choosing to opt out and disappear in their own way. With nearly every form of communication being digital, it’s very easy to just block a number or person online and simply ignore them. Although this is mainly seen at the beginning of a relationship, it can sometimes happen later on in a relationship as well.

The Hiring Process

Recruiters and hiring managers have started seeing this trend at all stages of employment. An applicant may not respond to any emails, calls, or texts, making it very difficult to even schedule an interview. Some pull a no show to interviews and never say why they didn’t show up or what made them change their mind. The same behavior can happen later in the job application process as well. Once an offer is on the table, some applicants don’t bother to decline offers – they just won’t respond to the employer. This wastes the time of the company and extends the time invested in finding another applicant to fill the needed position.

Two-Way Street

The potential employee is not the only one guilty of ghosting. Employers have been doing it for a long time. Some applicants choose not to get back to the employer because of experience with past companies that haven’t made the effort to call back about positions, interview status, and other steps of the hiring process. The job seeker’s mindset may be, “If they can’t make time for me, why should I give them my time?”

Prevention of Ghosting

Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to prevent someone from cutting all communication. It happens without warning and sometimes without reason. It’s not you, it’s them. Establishing frequent communication with an applicant may help prevent future ghosting. If the person shows good communication skills, they may be less likely to ghost a company. However, nothing is guaranteed.

What experiences have you had with ghosting in the workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments and include any advice you think could help prevent ghosting.


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