“Ghosting” often associated with dating, is now practiced in the workplace, and it’s driving recruiters and hiring managers crazy. This dreaded phenomenon where, for whatever reason, with no warning and no explanation a person cuts off all communication with another. There was once a time when companies were ignoring job applications or candidates after an interview. Now employers are the ones getting the cold shoulder.


In fields ranging from food service to marketing, recruiters say a labor shortage and more competitive job market are contributing to an increase in candidates suddenly cutting off all contact.


This behavior may stem from inexperience. Many professionals who entered the workforce during the height of the recession, have never encountered a job market this strong. Others who were scarred from years of applying for jobs, spending hours prepping for interviews, may have learned this behavior when an employer ghosted them. Regardless of why, this behavior is prolonging hiring, tormenting recruiters, and forcing companies to overhaul their hiring processes.


One way to eliminate the frustrations associated with ghosting is communication. If you’re not serious about taking a job or need to drop out of the hiring process, just say so. There are much more comfortable and ethical ways to do so than by blowing off a potential employer. Email is a low-risk way to pass up on an opportunity. It’s often much easier to write a rejection than it is to speak it out loud.


Try not to forget that although you might not be interested in a current role with an employer that doesn’t mean you’ll never be. Don’t risk burning a bridge to take the easy way out. You will earn the respect of recruiters and hiring managers by being transparent about your interests. They will be more likely to consider you for future opportunities if you don’t give them the cold shoulder.

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