Ghost Now, Pay Later
More than half of job seekers who have ghosted employers believe they have experienced consequences as a result and they’re probably right. Employers and recruiters keep receipts, so you won’t get a chance to ghost us twice. Why the disconnect? It’s a two-way street. Here are three reasons why ghosting occurs, how to avoid it, and what you should be doing instead.
Candidates report feeling ghosted by employers up to 77% of the time, but are they really? You should only expect to hear from an employer if the qualifications in your application match the job posting 75% or more. That means your resume document must match 75% of the keywords in the job posting and you must answer screening questions correctly. Why? Because most applications are read by an ATS, not a human. If you are not speaking the same language, your resume is flagged as ineligible, and a hiring authority will never see it. In fact, all major job boards now include the option to automatically archive ineligible applications.
Maybe after learning more about the job, interviewing with a company, or considering pay and benefits you’ve decided it’s just not right for you. We know this is not an exclusive relationship and we’re seeing other people, too, so we won’t react negatively when you bow out. When it comes to interviews, we’ll take a cancellation over a no-show any day. On the employer side, evolving business conditions often change the needs and qualifications for a position. This is not an intentional bait and switch or sign of dysfunction, but a naturally occurring business development, especially in the era of COVID when businesses must be especially agile to remain successful.
Good and bad news are tangible things we can readily process, but lack of information makes everyone anxious. Employers and recruiters know that you may not be able to respond to us immediately and we ask that you understand that there are a lot of moving pieces in the hiring process, including internal candidates. The candidate vetting process takes time and can put communication on pause. Use this period of limbo to express your continued interest via a weekly check-in email or to let a hiring authority know when your other options have deadlines.
We don’t expect a match every time and will never fault a candidate for providing candid feedback. In fact, we’ll flag you as a prospect for future opportunities that more closely align with your goals and needs. Minimize your ghosting risk by submitting targeted applications to positions for which you are highly qualified. Manage expectations by asking hiring authorities about the full interview process and timeline and express your timing requirements with respect to other opportunities. Offer to follow up via email or call in one week if you don’t hear back sooner. This created accountability and sets an action item for both parties. Finally, exercise patience and communicate honestly to ensure a positive impression now, and in future.