Ghosting is no longer just an issue of the dating world; it has also infiltrated professional spaces. Job ghosting occurs when one party abruptly ceases communication without any explanation, leaving the other party feeling ignored or rejected. This trend has become increasingly prevalent during the hiring process, confusing job seekers and employers.

In a 2023 ZipRecruiter survey, approximately 21.6% of respondents admitted to “ghosting” a potential employer during their most recent job search. And younger employees were reportedly “the biggest culprits” of ghosting, according to Business Insider.

What To Do If An Employer Ghosts You In The Hiring Process

Although the trend of ghosting has seen a spike for job recruiters, many job seekers have also experienced ghosting from potential employers within all stages of the hiring process. Discovering that your potential employer has ghosted you can be frustrating, but it’s important to take proactive steps to navigate this situation.

Start by politely reaching out to inquire about your application or interview status. While waiting for a response, consider exploring other job opportunities to keep your options open. Handling the situation gracefully is important to maintain a positive perspective on future job prospects despite the setback.

Potential Consequences Of Ghosting Your Employer

Ghosting your potential employer can have significant repercussions for your professional reputation. According to the ZipRecruiter survey, candidates cut off communications early in the hiring process — after an initial phone screen or interview. But others take it further, with one-quarter of employers reporting new hires “no-showing” on their first day of work.

Beyond the immediate impact on your relationship with the specific employer, it can also negatively reflect your professionalism. This behavior may tarnish your reputation within your industry or field, possibly hindering future opportunities for advancement or recommendations. Ghosting may also result in missed networking connections, which limits your career growth in the long run.

Ghosting is widely regarded as disrespectful in the workplace and in our personal lives, so it’s best to practice proactive communication in both areas. The behavior demonstrates a lack of courtesy and respect for the time and effort invested by both parties. The best way to handle an offer or company you are no longer interested in is through effective communication. This is fundamental to building positive relationships, especially early in your career.