Career Journey Ghosting.
We give it a ‘Boo’ and two thumbs down.
Is there a difference between rude and ghosting?
Is there a difference between spinelessness and ghosting?
Is the term “ghosting” too friendly?
Who is affected by ghosting
Ghosting is aggravating for anyone who must work to live. With *at least* two sides for every story, a lot of finger-pointing ensues in the process of ghosting in job search/candidate search.
Job seekers – who have supplied numerous pieces of personal information, a tailored resume, salary requirements, samples of work, contacts to references – are left wondering what they did wrong. Did they do anything wrong? Will anyone tell them what they could do to be more on point as they move forward? Usually not. Often their calls and emails routinely and unceremoniously go answered.
Then the cycle continues.
Hiring managers and bosses – who have written a job description, defined the role, crafted interview questions, assembled an interview team, reviewed past work history, conscientiously defined culture, shared benefits information, and hired a new team member – are left with a gaping hole when someone just drops off. Is anyone really shocked when the new hire doesn’t show up? Unfortunately, not really.
This modern hiring process is rife with radio silences. Or crickets. Then both sides of the process suffer new wounds to their confidence in humankind. Wounds that make quippy quotes like “Dogs, because people stink” seem astute. Finally, a new pang of disgust emerges that degenerates further an already difficult hiring process.
Here is a ghosting solution. (Or call it an urgent request.)
When you are on a decision-making team, and you’ve gotten this far in the process with a few individuals – invested hours of time, scheduling, documentation, forms, meetings, and interviews – please as a hiring manager or whatever your role in the job search process, please give an answer. A personal answer. Not an out of the box, impersonal template.
And job seekers – we see you too. And DITTO. We implore you to get back to the hiring manager, interviewer, or employer with an answer or a heads up.
Because here’s who those people really are:
- Job seekers. In this category there is a candidate – an actual human with some assortment of friends, family, neighbors, bills, coffee needs, pets, Netflix, etc. – is still on a journey.
- Hiring managers. This group of employees (who were mostly job seekers at some point) – are actual humans with an assortment of friends, family, neighbors, bills, coffee needs, pets, Netflix, etc. – are still dealing with a pain point.
Your responsibility to be human
So why not remedy ghosting by remembering your human role in process? Pay it forward. Make it the norm to respond even though it’s not fun to end a relationship, especially a new one. Because it is worse to perpetuate and strengthen acceptable systemic rudeness.
As the hiring manager when your pain point is resolved and you have decided, the unselected candidates’ pain points are not resolved. Let the unsuccessful candidates know what happened. Keep in mind that, “While we were very impressed with your qualifications, we were faced with a difficult decision,” is not enough after face-to-face meetings and lots of follow-up.
As a selected candidate or former employee your career continues its journey. As you move on, let the company know you have made a decision. Offer feedback if asked: Salary, commute, benefits package, etc. Let the hiring manager or your former boss what happened. Keep in mind that not responding if your answer is “not interested” or just not showing up for a job that wasn’t a fit for some reason does is not enough if you were in receipt of an offer letter or were employed even for a brief period.
So, pay it forward, consider giving constructive feedback. At the bare minimum a definitive answer. Things do not always work out in a new job. Not everyone can be the successful candidate. Let people know, and then let them know why.
It is known as common courtesy, civility, closure, peace of mind, professionalism, and personal brand. Please provide some. Casper -the friendly ghost- would approve.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”