Workplace Ghosting and How to Avoid It

Workplace Ghosting and How to Avoid It

If you thought only Tinder dates could ghost you… I have news for you!

If you have ever sent a job application to a company only to never hear back from them, you are not alone—75% of jobseekers have experienced being ghosted by a company after a job interview. Not just in interviews, ghosting has crept up into every part of corporate life. You can be ghosted by potential recruits, by new hires and even by your colleagues. 

The term ghosting, as most of you would already know, comes from the dating world. It means an abrupt stop in communication with someone without any sort of prior notice. If you are struggling with workplace ghosting, you have come to the right place! Here are some tips to implement in different kinds of corporate ghosting situations: 

When a candidate is ghosting you…

According to a survey conducted by Indeed in 2019, 83% of employers have been ghosted by prospective candidates. The reasons are pretty simple—some received a counteroffer from other companies, and some were just not satisfied with the salary and benefits that the recruiter was offering. 

To avoid being ghosted, companies need to make sure that there is an open and clear pathway of communication between them and the recruits. Clearly state your expectations and what you are willing to offer the candidate. You must follow up with them throughout the recruitment process to make sure they understand everything. You can also make it clear that if they do end up getting an offer from another company, you would like an opportunity to match it.

However, if you still end up being ghosted, you should make efforts to prevent the same from happening in the future. For instance, companies can create a database of job applicants so that they can flag the candidates who have previously ghosted them. This will help save your company’s precious time and resources for those who are eager to be part of the team. 

When a company is ghosting you…

One of the reasons why companies are ghosting candidates in the post-Covid world is the great resignation triggered by the pandemic. Companies have to fill up too many job openings, and it can be a headache to deal with a massive influx of applications. Many might use digital recruitment software and tools to reach out to the larger talent pool, but they might not have enough bandwidth to get back to every candidate that have applied. 

Most ghosting from the company’s end happens in the first stage of the recruitment process. Recruiters say that they tend to reach out to a wide pool of candidates thinking that only some of them would actually respond. Thus, they end up taking the process forward only with those who responded early. 

If you are a candidate who hasn’t heard from the company, you should try to follow up on the application. Send an email to thank the company for taking the time to interview you and show that you are eager to hear back from them. For instance, tell them that you have interviews lined up with other companies and wouldn’t want to choose where to work before you hear back from them. 

If you eagerly want to work with this company, consider reaching out to other employees who work here through LinkedIn or other social media platforms. While this might not improve your chances, you can find out what might have led to the ghosting so that you can avoid the same situation in the future.

When a co-worker is ghosting you…

Imagine sending a text to a colleague asking for an update on the project you two are working on together only for them to have missed it. Well, this falls under the purview of workplace ghosting too. Besides a delayed response to texts, ghosting from a co-worker can also look like unanswered emails or meeting invites. 

Before jumping the gun and thinking they have ghosted you, consider that they actually might be busy. If it is actually taking much longer than expected (even for a busy schedule) for them to respond, they might have different reasons for doing so. If you are working on something together, chances are that they’re not finished with it yet. Alternatively, they could also be waiting to hear back from someone else before they get back to you. If you had asked someone to take on additional work, they could be avoiding you so that they don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable task of saying no

Whatever the situation may be, to avoid getting ghosted by a colleague, you should set a clear timeline of when you are expecting a response from them. If they don’t reply by then, you can also send follow-up messages or emails to check in with them. 

Our final piece of advice for you is, don’t take ghosting personally. Try to think about situations from the other party’s perspective and take actionable steps to make sure you aren’t ghosted in the future. Ultimately, avoiding ghosting boils down to following up with people on a reasonable basis. While it might seem awkward to send texts and emails to someone who is ignoring you, your goal is to get the work done. Put in the time to practice will make handling such tricky situations easier and easier, we promise.

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Header image courtesy of Freepik


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