Are your applicants, new hires disappearing without a trace?

Friday, April 12, 2019, Vol. 43, No. 15

There has been much in the news lately about ghosting. Job seekers aren’t showing up to interviews. And, they’re not coming to work on their first day – all with no notice.

At first look, it can be explained simply: companies have been treating job seekers badly for years. Now, it’s their turn. But I think there might be more to it.

The job search has turned into a one-way street. Ask anyone you know if they’ve ever turned down a job offer. You’ll be surprised to know many have not. If they’re offered a job, they take it. Job offers were hard to come by.

Because of this, the process has been tilted toward employers. After all, they’re the one who’ll sign your paycheck.

Job seekers are expected to take IQ tests, personality assessments and disclose their full salary history. Employers make candidates open their phone book of references. The job seeker is expected to cancel meetings and sneak out of work at the last minute to accommodate the hiring manager’s schedule.

Now, think of it from the other side. The employer shares only what it wants to share with candidates. The hiring manager goes as fast or slow as they please. Candidates are rarely given a tour of the office where they’ll be working and are not given a chance to meet the team members they’ll work with.

The candidate is expected to make a decision with far less information than the company has to make its decision.

In addition, the job seeker is expected to accept a job offer in just a few days – and sometimes with incomplete information. I have seen a company pressure a candidate to accept a job offer before the person was told what the salary would be.

This is, in part, why job seekers ghost companies.

The job seeker is forced to make a decision more quickly than they feel comfortable. Getting an interview at all is a huge effort, and the job seeker doesn’t want to walk away from a perfectly good offer, so they accept.

Then, they have a little time to learn more about the company. They visit the new city where they might move. They learn more about the people they might be working with. And they realize that they shouldn’t have accepted the job offer.

The difference between now and a few years ago is there are other jobs available.

In the past, the job seeker may have found themselves in the same position, but they would have stuck with their decision because it was the only option.

Today, there are many options. So, the candidate ghosts the company that didn’t take the time to create a two-way street.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at