After all, employers have been ghosting job candidates for years.
This was a hot topic today on LinkedIn. For those who don’t know what “ghosting” is (I had to look it up myself to make sure I understood the definition), “Ghosting is breaking off a relationship by ceasing all communication and contact with the former partner without any apparent warning or justification, as well as ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out or communicate. Wikipedia”
In the case of employers, it’s starting the process and never following up. There’s another article out by the Washington Post that talks about how employees are starting to do this more and more, and not applying the standard “two weeks’ notice” to their employers if they move on.
As I read these articles, it occurred to me that this is why I get so frustrated and angry and depressed about job searching, especially as someone who has been a consultant/contractor longer than I ever intended. Companies have resorted to being rude. It’s as simple as that. It’s one thing to send an automated email to say that the company has received your application/resume/CV. But until you get that automated email saying that you are out of the running, you have your hopes up that maybe you might have a chance, especially if you are desperate for employment. When employers drag out the interview process with numerous hurdles without being forthcoming that it will take a while, that drags the applicant’s soul down. When you’ve jumped through several “rings of fire” through the entire interview process, only to never hear from a recruiter or employer again–not even the automated rejection letter? It’s brutal. It sucks your soul of any joy. One of the article describes how a person’s daughter applied to dozens of entry-level retail jobs just to never hear from people again. That happens at higher levels of employment as well, as I’ve experienced too many times. How can an employee or potential employee not get bitter and angry and frustrated with this process?
That said, “ghosting” a job is not cool. It’s one thing to quit on the spot, and not give notice. That’s fine. But to not say anything? That’s just unprofessional, and in the end, downright rude. Just because an employer ghosts people doesn’t mean that employees should either. Two wrongs don’t make it right.
It comes down to ethics, and people are starting to lose them. While this is unsolicited advice, as a tech comm geek mom, I’m going to give it to you anyway: DON’T BE LIKE THAT. Always take the high ground. In the long term, it will help your reputation. I mean, imagine leaving a job you hated, but you gave notice that you found something else, and politely told your soon-to-be boss that you were leaving at the end of the day, or in two weeks. Then, the occasion comes that you need a referral. While you might not need that boss for a referral, wouldn’t it be better to know that you left on civil terms instead of ghosting? If you ghosted the employer, they could tell your next potential employer, “Yeah, they just left without telling me.” What does that say about your character? To me, I interpret that as unreliable, untrustworthy, and unprofessional. And as I said before, just because employers and recruiters do it doesn’t make it right. They are a big reason this new trend is going on, and it’s not cool.
What do you think? Include your comments below.