Pattie Hunt Sinacole talked about “ghosting”

A reader asks a question about “ghosting”

Ask the Job Doc.

Q: I am a job seeker. I applied for several different jobs in my field. Just yesterday I received a job offer. I asked that the offer be put in writing. They emailed me a letter of offer. I asked to speak to the hiring manager about goals, expectations, etc. as our interview was cut short when I was there a few weeks ago. After a few days on the phone we were supposed to catch up on the phone but that never happened. In addition. the letter of offer was very brief and did not mention a start date, benefits or even the onsite/remote component. The hybrid schedule was discussed during our interview. We had discussed two days at a distance, because I drop my son off at daycare two days a week. Now silence. I can’t reach HR, the external recruiter or the hiring manager. I guess it’s called “ghosting” these days. What am I supposed to do?

A: I hate reading a question about a bad candidate experience. Employers can be myopic. Candidates and employees have a plethora of online forums where they can post negative comments. All it would take is a phone call, or even an e-mail, to communicate the employer’s decision. With the unemployment rate in Massachusetts hovering around 3%, employers need to provide a positive experience for all candidates, whether selected or not. When conducting candidate searches on behalf of a candidate, we attempt to contact each candidate by phone or email. Sometimes we hit a “this number is not in service” or an email bounce. In these rare cases, we have no way to update a candidate.

We will never know what happened to this employer. Sometimes there are a lot of stops and starts, some of which may not even be related to you. Maybe the role has been put on hold? Maybe they hired someone else? Maybe they promoted an employee internally? Maybe the company expects to be acquired? Either way, the employer or recruiter should have contacted you.

Ghosting has become more common. Ghosting occurs when one party (which may be an employer or an individual) backs out of the relationship with little warning or explanation. From what I understand, it first became a practice in romantic relationships. For example, one person texts another asking to meet on a Saturday night, and they both agree to meet. Then one person (it could be either) doesn’t come forward and share that information with the other person. Your situation is similar. You followed up, as any candidate is expected to do, and this employer did not respond. Now you are left with no information. It’s a confusing way to end a relationship, even if it’s a candidate/employer relationship. It looks unprofessional and mean.

My recommendation would be to move on. You were probably spared. It doesn’t seem like this employer cares about applicants, which may affect how they treat employees. I will continue your search. While that may not have prevented what you went through, I always recommend asking an employer or the recruiter what the next steps are. It is acceptable as a candidate to ask this question. It shows interest.

Keep looking and I hope you land a position with a company that values ​​both candidates and employees.


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