Ghosting is a form of rejection and involves cutting ties with someone and stopping communication with little or no notice.
You may have experienced this at some point in your life, whether that be in dating or in your job search, and it’s most likely that it left you with a negative opinion of the person, or company, who did it. This is why you shouldn’t ghost a recruiter or prospective employer - the action of ghosting leaves a substantially negative impression on someone.
What does ghosting mean in a job search?
In regards to job hunting, ghosting means not replying to a recruiter’s email, or any form of communication, at any stage of the process. It can mean not replying to requests for references or a portfolio from potential employers, and even not turning up to interviews without any form of communication explaining why.
Some candidates go even so far as not turning up on their first day of a new role! A report suggests that a figure between 20 to 50% of applicants or new staff ghost in some form.
When candiadtes are applying for many roles, there seems to be less emotion applied and therefore applicants feel there’s no harm done by failing to continue contact with an employer or recruiter.
But think! Everything you do through the hiring/application process gives the employer or recruiter an idea of who you are as a person, for better or worse. In years to come when you are further along with your career - chances are the business and the recruiter won't forget how you behaved.
Why shouldn’t you ghost an employer or recruiter?
The act of ghosting leaves a negative impression on the person affected and it will also do so on the recruiter or hiring manager. If the recruiters you are engaging with are speciaists within their sector, their niche is relatively small and recruiters are well-networked, so the word of your actions with one may spread through the area and industry you’re looking within.
No matter what stage you’re at in the hiring process, you need to respond to all forms of communication from the contact within the company or recruiters and make sure to keep them updated on your current situation. If you decide you don’t want to continue through the process with that specific recruiter or company, make sure you call them, explain why. This way no one's time is being wasted. Being open and honest from the onset is the key to getting the role you want.
A little politeness goes a long way while job hunting. Many companies and recruiters are connected and your impression on one could impact others through the industry. They will remember how you treated them in the future, so be professional. If you don't want the job just say so! Treat employers how you would want to be treated by them, and a little honesty and open communication will make the world of difference during your search.
Remember your career path will be long and people will have an opinion on how you behaved and your professionalism. The businesses and recruiters you meet now, may become vital pieces in your career in the future, you never know when or if your paths will cross again - chances are they may!