Ghosting Isn’t Just for Tinder

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on May 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In Job Trends, client

Have you ever been “ghosted”? The term has become increasingly more popular, specifically in the dating community. For example, let’s say you went out on a date with someone and then they completely cut off all further communication afterward, without warning. If that has ever happened to you, then you have been ghosted.

Of course, the concept has spread to other personal relationships. Did you ever have an acquaintance, who you decided was not worth your time, so you just stopped responding to their texts or phone calls? If so, then you ghosted that person.

Being ignored is not the best feeling, especially in situations where you feel that you are owed a response. One such scenario lies between the relationship of the potential employer and prospective job candidate. Perhaps you interviewed for a job and never heard a single word back, or you were hired but decided not to accept the position by giving the company the cold shoulder.

The sudden withdrawal of communication between employer and candidate is becoming more common, but what is the reason for this?

Was It Something You Said?

Some think that it is simply an indication of bad manners; this is not the first time that millennials have been accused of selfish tendencies. Others think it is because the job market is saturated with open spots that candidates no longer need to sit by the phone waiting to hear back about a position. But what if something bigger is at play?

When the internet became available to the public, a complete culture shift occurred. Not only did it become easier for people to find random information, but it allowed the traditional job search to move much quicker than it had in the past. Instead of mailing out resumes one-by-one, applicants were now able to submit their information electronically.

With the onslaught of electronic submissions, employers were finding it difficult to keep up with responses. Recruiters began using software to help sort through applications, so human interaction fell by the wayside. Candidates didn't know if they did not get a job offer based on their lack of qualifications or if their resume got lost in the virtual world.

This type of “ghosting” has become so common that applicants do not even expect to hear back anymore. Even after meeting with hiring managers and going through multiple rounds of the interview process, it is not unheard of to not hear back from the employer after being removed from the running for the position.

According to recent surveys, the main reason for employer ghosting is that they already filled the position. They do not feel the need to continue conversations with previous applicants since it will no longer serve their purposes and would only cut down on productivity. 

In this modern world, where there are so many options at your fingertips, people are constantly shopping around. This not only applies to everyday items, such as clothes, toiletries, and kitchen supplies but also jobs. The employer/candidate relationship has become transactional; each side has an equal say in whether or not the match is a good investment.

In fact, many companies are using recruiting agencies to help find the perfect employee. In this type of situation, an employer has to really think about the value of the candidate.

Fear of Commitment Doesn't Help

One issue that employers face is the millennial tendency to job hop. We have been seeing that more and more new hires lasting no more than several months before finding a better paying gig at a competing company. Due to this fairly recent phenomenon, positions in the food-processing industry will offer about the same pay and level of work. They have also eliminated seniority-based benefits and pay since employees will go elsewhere if it means even the smallest pay raise.

Similarly, white-collar jobs will see the same job hopping issue, even though the level of experience and technical skill expected in each position is higher. Although recruiters are utilized more to find candidates for these types of roles, the nature of transactional hiring practices perpetuates the lack of company loyalty.

In general, a transaction is seen as emotionless, and the same applies to a transactional workplace. Without the personal touch, it is easy for both sides to forego the deeper connection necessary to develop a good match with the potential to last a long time. It will be easy to leave a position “in your cart,” if you are the candidate and just as easy to leave the candidate on the table if you are the employer. This ghosting dance has become an inevitable consequence of these transactions. It's time to add value and pay the employees what they are worth so you can compete in the market. Click below to see what the market is paying. 

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