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Don’t Ghost Employers. Seriously.

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Once high-and-mighty employers felt emboldened by not responding to job candidates they weren’t interested in but, now that it’s a job seekers’ market, the tables have turned. Employers have been complaining about job candidates ghosting THEM, simply disappearing without any explanation—sometimes even after accepting the job.

See if you fit into this demographic, based on research conducted by business services and solutions company Clutch:

  • Nearly half of job seekers believe it’s reasonable to ghost a company.
  • Nearly one in 10 job seekers believe it’s even acceptable for an applicant to ghost AFTER accepting a job offer. (The Wall Street Journal reports that one in four workers have done it.)
  • Only 59% of candidates find ghosting unreasonable when they ghost a company, compared to 68% who find it unreasonable when a company ghosts a candidate. 

What’s going on? In today’s job market, employers expect that their top candidates might receive several job offers and that they need to compete hard and fast to win out. Having their top pick decline their job offer or tell them they need more time to consider other offers is par for the course. But ghosting employers when the ball is in your court? That’s another story.

The Wall Street Journal throws out several theories on why this is happening. It concludes that, for the most part, many job seekers just can’t handle delivering bad news or negotiating terms. Some resort to sending a “breakup text,” if they do it at all.

But let’s be clear: Ghosting employers burns bridges. So does sharing bad news passively by text or email to an employer who thinks you’re all set to start on Monday.

Don’t do it.

Our recruiters have reported it happening to them, too, which is especially concerning. Your recruiter is your advocate. Be honest with them. If you’re unsure how to move forward with a job offer or you want to hold out for another offer you think is coming, your recruiter can help you weigh your options and also help communicate to the employer on your behalf.

Take this advice from CareerBuilder for other ideas on how to communicate uncomfortable news to potential employers and leave the ghosting for Halloween.


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