What is ‘Ghosting’ in the Recruitment World?

In the digital age, unfortunately ‘ghosting’ isn’t limited to the dating world. Very much akin to the seemingly successful third date who never texted you back, there is an unfortunate amount of ghosting in the recruitment industry – which can occur on both sides. 


In today’s blog, we’ll be exploring the dos and don’ts of the job-hunting process, with a focus on candidates who are inclined to drop everything once they’ve secured a new role. We’ll also be turning the tables, and giving heat to both recruiters and employers who ghost new candidates. 


The Realities of Ghosting: A Recruiter’s Perspective 


First things first, let’s start with the realities of ghosting from a recruiter’s point of view. As a recruitment company, Mason and Dale have experienced our fair share of ghosting… and whilst it may not be spooky as the name suggests, it certainly isn’t pretty! 


The term ‘ghosting’, in all areas of life, refers to the controversial act of leaving another party ‘on read’, and seemingly vanishing from the face of the Earth – never to show sign of life again. Now, in any context, this is ill-mannered at best, and the recruitment world is no different. 


Everyone has busy lives – particularly those who are panic-applying for multiple jobs – and, of course, sometimes emergencies come up which shift people’s priorities. However, professionalism is key. As recruiters, oftentimes we have to deal with a lack of response to emails, last minute interview cancellations (and even worse – candidates simply not showing up!), and sometimes, complete radio silence in the midst of our job hunt. And worst of all, there have been ever-increasing incidents of new employees falling off the face of the Earth on their first day of their new job! Yikes! 


How and Why You Should Avoid Ghosting Your Recruiter


Now, we all know why this happens. More often than not, candidates ‘ghost’ because they’ve received a more lucrative job offer elsewhere. There’s nothing wrong with ‘playing the field’, and working with multiple recruiters. However, it is both professional and mutually beneficial to keep everyone in the loop! All it takes is a simple email – ft. however many BCs necessary! – updating your recruiter(s) that you’re officially off the market. 


So, beyond basic etiquette, why is this so important? As previously mentioned, you need to maintain professionalism in order to preserve your reputation within your industry. For one, you certainly don’t want to burn any bridges – who knows, that employer who you cancelled on could hold future opportunities for you, or perhaps, know others who do! Despite the rumours, big bosses are, in fact, people – and people talk. What’s more, recruitment companies like us champion past candidates; it is, therefore, important that you uphold such relationships, as you never know when you’ll next be in need of a recruiter’s support. And trust us, recruiters are far more likely to work with you again if you’re a reliable replier! 


Finally, it is important to equally consider both your short-term and long-term career goals. Whilst a particular job may not be right for you at the moment, you never know where the recruitment rollercoaster will take you! Don’t squander opportunities to get yourself out there, meet potential employers and grow your network, despite perhaps getting cold feet prior to interview day. 


How and Why You Should Avoid Ghosting Candidates 


Next up, we’re going to pass the mic to all the ghosted candidates out there (we see you!). Unfortunately, we are still living in a culture where rejection emails aren’t always perceived as a must. Often, the excuse of a “high volume of applications” is made – but ultimately, this is down to poor communication and insufficient internal processes. 


Arguably, employers (and recruiters!) who ghost candidates are more culpable than vice versa. This is because employers are in a position of power, and many candidates are in a vulnerable situation; whether they’ve lost their job, are looking to escape their job, or simply fancied a change, they still have bills to pay – with varying levels of urgency. We’re not saying that employers owe every candidate a role within their company, however, the very least they can do is dignify them with a job update. This allows the candidate to stop holding out hope, and move on with their job search. 


It’s vital for employers and recruiters alike to acknowledge the time and energy which goes into a job application, not to mention the stressful and anxiety-inducing nature of the job-hunting process. Companies should do their utmost to ensure that candidates don’t feel frustrated and undervalued – and a simple email, which shows appreciation of their time, will soften the blow of rejection. Furthermore, you’ve got your company’s reputation to think about. Earlier, we mentioned the risk of employers talking… and candidates do the exact same thing. Also, in a world where everything is accessible online, candidates have the ability to share their thoughts on social media, Google reviews and Glassdoor! The last thing you want is for word to get around that your company is unreliable and uncaring! The simple fact is, if future candidates hear that your company has a reputation for ghosting, they are far less likely to apply. 


Are you a candidate looking for a recruitment company who will certainly not ghost you? There are green flags galore at Mason and Dale Recruitment! We are renowned for going the extra mile for all our candidates, and will ensure that you receive the personalised service that you deserve. 


For more recruitment tips from the experts, keep an eye on our blog!  

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