Up to 99% of job candidates in the U.S. say they have ghosted an employer. Why not, since 70% of candidates apply for a job and never hear back from the employer. Why not pay employers back by ghosting them? The answer is simple: Ghosting can hurt your career. Here’s how.
Reasons to Avoid Ghosting Potential Employers
To start out on the same page, ghosting happens when one party in the recruiting process stops responding after a relationship has been established. For example, if you’ve been working with a recruiter and they go silent, you’ve been ghosted. Candidates ghost employers all the time and the effect is the same. You’re going along during the recruiting process and suddenly disappear. You may have another job. You may decide to stay in your existing role. Either way, one day—you’re just gone.
Why Ghosting is a Bad Idea
There are basically three big reasons why ghosting is a risky move on your part:
- Whether you’re working with a staffing agency or an in-house corporate recruiter, ghosting burns a bridge so you’ll never work with them again. But what if the staffing agency works with an employer you really admire? What if you find another job at the company you want to apply for? Forget about it. If you ghost, that behavior is documented in the applicant tracking system (ATS) so your reputation will follow you around. Do you think these recruiters would ever work with you again?
- Recruiters change jobs, too. We run in small circles; networks overlap. What if you apply for a job and run into the recruiter from the last company you ghosted? Awkward. What recruiter would take a chance that you’d ghost them again?
- You have the same problem with hiring managers. As you move through the recruiting process, the hiring manager will be excited to meet you. Maybe you do meet that person and still wind up ghosting the recruiter. Bad news travels fast, so the hiring manager will certainly know what you did—and will remember it.