One of the latest hot topics in the business world is how candidates are “ghosting” employers. As you may already know, the practice of ghosting comes from the dating world. Instead of communicating that you’re losing interest, or you don’t like someone, you simply disappear and cease communication with no explanation. This method avoids having a difficult or awkward conversation.
Of course it’s ironic that employers are making a fuss over ghosting. After all, employers are notorious for ghosting their job applicants. You can spend hours cultivating your job application, even going to an interview, only to never receive a response. So employers, this article applies to you too. Don’t ghost your applicants! At the very least, develop a quick email template that you can easily send to your rejected candidates.
But for those of you that are seeking jobs, you shouldn’t ghost employers! It’s a bad practice all around.
It could burn bridges.
Networking is one of the most significant things you can do for your career. So ghosting a prospective employer could ruin a potential contact! If they already reached out to you once and never heard back, they won’t want to reach out in the future. You never know who you might connect with in your career, or what future job opportunities the organization might have. You don’t want to turn away what could turn out to be a great employer for later in your career.
It makes you look bad.
One of the most common perceptions of ghosting (in either dating or business) is that it’s lazy and immature. Even if you think your reasons for doing it are justified, it has a highly negative connotation. This is because ghosting signifies a greater problem: that you’re unable to have mature, responsible conversations about difficult topics. It might feel awkward telling an employer you’re no longer interested in a position or you already secured a job, but it’s a conversation you have to have! If you receive a phone call from an employer expressing interest in the application you submitted, it’s not that difficult to call them back. You respectfully tell them you’ve secured employment elsewhere, or that you would like to withdraw yourself from consideration.
Never ditch an interview without explanation.
This might be one of the most appalling practices in the workforce. While not replying to an employer’s call or email is a bit rude, ditching an interview is far worse. If you don’t show up to an interview you scheduled, and leave your interviewer guessing about what happened, it is massively unprofessional. If there’s some kind of dire situation like car trouble or a death in the family, call as soon as possible and notify your interviewer. But if you’re simply not interested anymore, let them know, as I previously stated, that you would like to withdraw yourself from consideration. Not showing up to an interview and not explaining why is disrespectful, and wastes your interviewer’s time, as they designated time out of their day to meeting with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re interviewing for a job in retail or a corporate office, you should be respectful enough to give them an explanation if you’re not going to show up.
So no matter how tempting it may be to ghost an employer, don’t do it. Treat them like you want to be treated! If you decline them in a professional way, you will earn far more respect in your career, and likely leave the door open for them to contact you about future opportunities.