I read an article in Business Insider which talked about ghosting.
Ghosting is a term typically associated with dating, especially online dating. It’s loosely defined as ceasing all communication with someone you’ve been seeing, or actively dating. Basically it’s a disappearing act performed by one person toward another.
Seems the business world is also experiencing this phenomenon.
The article talks about the challenge organizations experience when looking for a good match for a certain job. Millions are looking for work but companies are struggling with a “mismatch of skills, geographies and expectations” by prospective employees.
They want someone who ticks all of their boxes (much like the online dating world). This proves time-consuming and frustrating, leading the hiring manager to switch gears and pick someone who matches most, or many, of the desired skills.
The result is an implied labour shortage even though everyone and their grandmother seem to be looking for work right now.
They send out the invitation to interview, subsequently extend an offer of employment, only to discover they are being ghosted by the applicant who initially appeared interested in the advertised position.
Traditionally, the complaint about ghosting, or silence after a successful interview, was experienced mostly by the job applicants. I’ve been through it many times myself, the endless waiting game to get an answer, an acknowledgement, or even an outright rejection. (Let’s not even bring writing submissions into this conversation…)
Turns out, these days employers are finding that their desired, successfully matched applicant is capable of ghosting them the way they might have done to the applicant in previous years (decades).
The tables have turned.
Fascinating. Especially during this endless pandemic…
Ghosting has some real consequences for people on both sides of the bargaining table, in business and in online dating. I sometimes wonder what goes through a ghoster’s mind when he disappears without a word after a period of amicable and promising connections. I have a good friend who experienced this on a personal level and she still struggles with the “why” he disappeared from her life without a word. It triggered abandonment issues from family and a religious community she belonged to and caused her a lot of pain and anguish.
In business, where time is always money, hiring managers may not have the luxury of waiting indefinitely for an answer. Customers are relying on jobs being done, and without the position filled the employer may cut their losses and possibly lower their expectations as they embark on a new search.
For the applicant who is ghosting a prospective offer of employment, other consequences may affect their lives in the immediate future. If they were juggling multiple offers without a timely decision, they might lose out on a missed opportunity. Sometimes, they end up suffering longer-lasting psychological effects which might impact self-esteem and confidence.
Job search in your chosen career field, especially if a long-term opportunity is desired, is brutal. I’ve been through it and know all about it. But I can’t say I’ve ever ghosted a potential employer… Who does that?
Not me. But apparently, it’s a phenomen nowadays.