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Workplace Ghosting: Is it Acceptable?

With the current economy booming and job candidate mobility on the rise as a result, there has become an increasing trend within the job market that only recently acquired a name: workplace ghosting. Today, more and more job candidates are ghosting employers during the hiring process. But it’s not just a candidate problem. Employers are doing it too. In a study produced last year by Clutch, nearly 40% of all job seekers reported being ghosted by employers, and this may be the reason why now 41% of Job candidates believe it’s reasonable to ghost an employer.

Ghosting on the Part of Candidates

Workplace ghosting on the part of candidates has long been a practice frowned upon by job seekers and employers alike. However, the rise in acceptance of this practice shows job seeker attitudes are changing. Some experts say that this is the result of an increasingly good economy. Job seekers, now more than ever, have a plenitude of opportunities that were not previous seen in decades. As such, the imperative that every job seeker provide employers with notice of their career choices naturally declines. But this is only a small factor at play.

While it is true that an improving economy can influence a candidate’s decision making, a greater concern is the corporate cultural shift that views employees more as a liability than an asset. With companies less inclined to invest in their employees over the last few decades, more and more employees are returning the favor. This backlash, therefore is manifesting itself in the form of employees leaving without notice for a new career opportunity, or unprofessionally disappearing during an interview process. Employee loyalty is dead, and it is a direct reflection of how companies view their workers.

Ghosting on the Part of Employers

Workplace ghosting on the part of employers is not as new a phenomenon as it is with candidates. For years, companies have been leaving job candidates in the lurch. Candidates have long expressed the dread of sending out resumes into the blackhole of applicant tracking software and job applications. They have lamented that companies have abandoned the practice of responding to their applications, and they have expressed frustration of going through an entire interview process without ever hearing a word back.

Granted, employers can’t respond to every application that comes their way. Job seekers should expect some level on non-response at the early stage of application process. But once the employer has engaged a candidate in the interview process, the employer should not shirk its responsibility. Candidates deserve feedback as to why they weren’t selected for a position. Thus, communication is a two way street, and when it’s the employer who holds the leverage in the hiring process, they should be responsive to the candidates who don’t make the cut.

Is Ghosting Ever Appropriate?

Is workplace ghosting ever appropriate? No. No matter the party involved, workplace ghosting is a considerably unprofessional move on the part of both the candidate and the employer. To change this practice, attitudes need to change. Companies should invest in their employees, and employees should reciprocate.

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