It was back in January 2019 that this blog wrote this post reporting on how candidates were failing to appear for scheduled interviews, new hires were blowing off their first day of work, or leaving their job without notice. Better opportunities abounded for candidates in that environment and workers were feeling emboldened. Fast forward to today’s abysmally high unemployment numbers and a complete reversal of fortunes putting hiring authorities in the driver’s seat. Today it is the recruiters/hiring authorities that are doing the ghosting and putting their employment brand at risk.

Before, the ghosting trend involved professionals abruptly cutting off contact with recruiters or employers. It was problematic for hiring organization because it laid waste to the time and effort spent recruiting, scheduling, recruiting, onboarding and training and those wasted costs and time added up to a noticeable drain on workforce management budgets. With the shoe firmly upon the other foot now, the ghosting problem represents an even more m, costly risk to recruiters – damage to their employment brand.

Yahoo Finance reports, “According to a recent LinkedIn poll, 93% of job applicants reported being “ghosted” by an employer after an initial in-person interview or after responding to a request for additional information. (The poll surveyed 2,564 LinkedIn voters from Aug. 14-17.) LinkedIn News Editor Andrew Seaman says he was surprised to see that ghosting is “so pervasive.” The poll results he posted hit a nerve, prompting close to a thousand comments from job seekers, recruiters, and workers.”

Those comments (which you can sample in the Yahoo Finance article) run the gamut from sympathetic candidates who were also left without response from recruiters to hiring professionals who a turns voiced concern about the practice among their colleagues and justifying the extended silence by suggesting that the hiring process had not yet been concluded in some cases.

Whatever the reason, there is a real risk for damage to your organization’s employment brand inherent in failing to take the few moments necessary to let candidates know if they haven’t been selected. Especially in today’s world where so many were put out of work at once and are currently seeking new employment to keep their families afloat, it can be viscerally painful for candidates who invest more than just time and energy into their current job hunt. Waiting to hear back after interviews is all the more excruciating when in the balance hangs the next month’s rent or one’s children’s back to school shopping. Being blown off completely will leave an indelibly poor taste in candidates’ mouths.

Unemployment numbers and trends go up and down and the fortunes of workers rise and fall in inverse proportion to the fortunes of employers. In the end, each group must make efforts to respect the other’s time and efforts. When the tables turn again and it is the employers desperate to fill open positions, they don’t need candidates with bad memories of having been ghosted when it mattered most.