What is Ghosting?
In HR, ghosting refers to the abrupt termination of communication between an employer and a potential employee initiated by either party.
Ghosting is also a term used in the dating world to describe when one member of a relationship abruptly goes silent with no explanation. That is exactly what happens in the workplace. An employee who has advanced through the interview process, even to the final stages, abruptly ceases to hear from the employer. Alternatively, an employer who has been actively pursuing a top candidate who appeared to be interested in the position suddenly ceases to hear from that candidate.
Why does Ghosting take place?
There are numerous reasons why an employer or employee might disappear during the hiring process. However, they can all be boiled down to one main factor: losing interest in the relationship.
Employers ghost candidates in a similar way to the phenomenon of ghosting in the dating world when they are no longer interested in them because a better candidate has emerged or an offer has been made. Potential employees may leave for the same reason: a better offer. A strong fit with the culture or a positive vibe from those they've interacted with may not exist, or they may have simply lost interest in the company due to its negative reputation or because they don't feel strongly connected to it.
How common is Ghosting in the workplace?
Employer and employee ghosting is surprisingly common. Visier recently surveyed 1000 UK and 1000 US employees to determine the prevalence of ghosting as well as the reasons for it. According to survey results, an astounding 84 percent of respondents said they had ghosted an employer or potential employer in the previous 18 months, with 62 saying they had been ghosted by a potential employer.
How can Ghosting be minimised?
The most important thing that both employers and employees can do to reduce ghosting is to prioritise frequent, open, and transparent communication. Employers must keep candidates updated on the status of the process, as well as the next steps. Prospective employees must notify employers if they are no longer interested in a position or if they are considering other opportunities.