It sucks to be ghosted. Last year, I was dating a guy for a few months and it was going well (or so I thought). But, after I got back from Burning Man, he had vanished. He was no longer answering my texts. Poof! He just suddenly ended contact without explanation.
It hurt at first but then I felt a sense of, "Good riddance." I mean, ultimately, who wants to be with someone who does that? (Not me!)
Now, USA Today is reporting that ghosting is happening at the workplace too. People are not only ghosting scheduled job interviews but are also not showing up to positions they've already accepted offers on:
In the hottest job market in decades, workers are holding all the cards. And they're starting to play dirty…
"You're seeing job candidates with more options," says Dawn Fay, district president of staffing firm Robert Half for the New York City area. "It's definitely influencing their behavior."
…Ghosting is happening across industries and occupations, Fay says. It was always somewhat of an issue for lower-paying jobs in construction, manufacturing and truck driving, says Alex Riley, president of Merit Hall, a Detroit staffing agency. Now, he says, up to 20 percent of white-collar workers in those industries are taking part in the disappearing acts.
To some extent, employees are giving employers a taste of their own medicine. During and after the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, when unemployment reached 10 percent, many firms ignored job applicants and never followed up after interviews.
Employee Benefit News also reported on this:
Thanks to a tight job market and a U.S. unemployment rate at the lowest in nearly two decades, Janelle Bieler, vice president of sales for the U.S. at staffing agency Adecco, says the ghosting phenomenon has become more widespread within the past year. With the unemployment rate at 3.8%, the market for talent has become very competitive…
Bieler believes that another reason why ghosting has become much more common is that while social media made reaching out to people easier, it also made it easier for candidates to just not reply back.
Downs thinks there is also the uncomfortable situation of delivering the rejection personally that plays into this.
"Many times, candidates just do not know what to say when they are not accepting a job," she says, adding that she does not recommend this course of action because one might be interviewing with the same recruiter for another position in the future.
There is no excuse for ghosting, whether in dating or the workplace. The internet has solutions:
The Muse: How to Gracefully Turn Down a Job Offer
Lifehacker: How to Decline a Job Offer Respectfully
Thought Catalog: 15 Texts You Can Send Someone Instead Of Ghosting Them