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Payback: Prospective Employees Are Ghosting Recruiters

In a schadenfreude-inducing role reversal, thanks to current low unemployment, hiring managers in industries from “food service to finance” are finding themselves being ghosted by job candidates; one minute the candidate seems enthusiastic about the job, the next… they won’t pick up the phone, or even vanish entirely. How do you like it, recruiters?
Ghosting
Image Credit: Pexels / bruce mars

Almost everyone has experienced the frustration of being “ghosted” by a recruiter or hiring manager at an organization where you’re hoping to interview and eventually land a job. All signs are pointing to you being hired, and then…radio silence, only to hear two weeks – and five unanswered voicemails – later, “Thank you for your time, but the job has been filled.”

But thanks to the lowest unemployment rate in two decades, the tables have been turned in favor of job hunters. And, oh, how sweet it is.

According to Chip Cutter at LinkedIn, “recruiters and hiring managers say a tightening job market and a sustained labor shortage have contributed to a surge in professionals abruptly cutting off contact and turning silent.”

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Ghosting is unprofessional. It’s impolite. It’s maddening. But you know what? Job hunters learned it all from the bad behavior of some recruiters and hiring managers, who did the same exact thing to candidates when jobs were scarce. The chickens have come home to roost.

Ghosting is unprofessional and impolite. But you know what? Job hunters learned it from the bad behavior of some recruiters and hiring managers, who did the same exact thing when jobs were scarce. The chickens have come home to roost.Click To Tweet

What Goes Around Comes Around

If you’re a job seeker who has been ghosted by a recruiter or hiring manager in the past, it might feel pretty darn good to give them a taste of their own medicine.

But nothing lasts forever, this economy and talent market included. In fact, an increasing number of signs indicate that a recession is imminent. And if that happens, jobs will almost certainly be harder to find again. In the words of the famed poet Justin Timberlake, “What goes around, comes around.” Both job hunters and recruiters would be wise to heed his words.

Justin Timberlake
If only recruiters – and Britney Spears – had listened…
Nothing lasts forever, this economy and talent market included. In the words of the famed poet Justin Timberlake, “What goes around, comes around.” Both job hunters and recruiters would be wise to heed his words.Click To Tweet

Let’s all remember how you feel when you’re ghosted: frustrated, angry, disappointed, sad… basically, not great. So job seekers, stop ghosting recruiters; you have the upper hand now, but it’s still not professional or polite. And they won’t forget this sort of thing; when the economy turns and you’re competing against a larger talent pool for a new job, that recruiter you spurned might remember how unprofessional and rude you were when you stopped answering his calls.

And recruiters, now that you’ve experienced firsthand what it’s like to reach out for news and get crickets instead, how about you show prospective employees a little more respect, too? Don’t leave candidates hanging; it’s unfair, rude and equally unprofessional.

In fact, how about we all treat each other with respect, and how about we’re honest and open with each other regarding the hiring process?

How about we all treat each other with respect, and how about we’re honest and open during the hiring process? Be polite. Be nice to each other. Our professional lives aside, we could all use a little more of that right now, anyway.Click To Tweet

At PayScale, we believe open and honest conversations about work and pay benefit both employees and employers, and that starts with the first conversation between a prospective employee and an organization looking to hire. (That’s why we encourage job seekers to take our free salary survey and employers to use our compensation tools, which help both to have informed, data-driven conversations about pay.)

So be professional. Be polite. Be nice to each other. Our working lives aside, I think we could all use a little more of that right now, anyway.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

Ever been ghosted by a recruiter or hiring manager? What was your experience? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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