The Cost, Consequences & Ways to Curb Job Ghosting

By Stefano Tromba
May 12, 2021

Ever apply for a job, land an interview, then never hear back from the employer? Sure, it’s happened to many of us. The practice of ‘ghosting’ has become common over the last year. However, it happens on both sides of the table. Often, the job candidate pulls a vanishing act – even when a job offer is made! While typically done to avoid confrontation or uncomfortable conversations, it can create bigger issues.

Ghosting on the Rise

A recent survey from jobs posting site Indeed, shows that 77% of job seekers say a prospective employer ghosted them since last year when COVID-19 hit the U.S. On the other side, approximately 10% said an employer ghosted them – even after a verbal job offer was given.

But let’s clearly define what ghosting is. Some job applicants believe they’ve been ghosted when submitting a resume and not receiving a response. But ghosting is really when an employer cuts off any contact with a candidate after some real interaction has taken place. An interaction may be as simple as an email asking to set up a call and then never hearing back.

The act of ghosting usually happens early within the interview process. The further along a candidate goes, the less likely ghosting is expected to occur.

The Culture of Ghosting

Job seekers also frequently ghost prospective employers. The Indeed survey discovered that since the start of the pandemic, 76% of employers had been ghosted by candidates, and 57% feel the trend will continue. As much as 28% of job seekers admitted to ghosting in one form or another – that’s a 10% spike from a similar survey conducted by Indeed in 2019. In less common scenarios, ghosting can occur with candidates making it to final round interviews. Even rarer instances occur even after an offer has been accepted.

Recruiting costs companies about $3 to $5K per hire

However, this ghosting trend may be reflective or a broader one that originated on dating apps. Many believe the dawn of such apps created this behavior which has now extended its way to the job search market.

While younger people might decide to ghost someone for a date as an easy way out of an uncomfortable situation, they should reconsider that approach to the job search. The Indeed survey found that 54% of job seekers regret ghosting. That’s up by 22% from two years ago. Another interesting fact from the survey shows that 54% of job seekers said they faced negative consequences as a result of ghosting— a massive jump from 6% in 2019.

The Price of Ghosting & Way to End the Cycle

On average, recruiting for most positions takes approximately 38 days. However, in some industries – such as IT, it can take longer. That said, across most industries recruiting costs companies about $3,000 to $5,000 per new hire. However, that can soar much higher depending on the industry. Having a candidate drop out or disappear from the process – especially unexpectedly, costs time and money.  After seeing all that time go to waste, you’re ultimately faced with additional time and effort to find a new applicant.

As ghosting continues on both sides of the job search, Human Resource departments can help stop or at least do what they can to lessen the chances of it happening. Experts say it comes down to actions and behaviors. If companies or HR departments ghost applicants, it perpetuates the idea to job seekers that such behavior is ok.

HR departments or anyone in charge of hiring, need to make an effort to address the issue and respond to applicants they’ve communicated with. It’s not just considerate, it’s also proper business etiquette. A simple note or well-placed message, regardless of whether you proceed with a candidate or not, will be appreciated. The more that’s done, the less likely either party will experience a ‘ghosting’ encounter.

Table of Contents

Work smarter, not harder

Automate your payroll and HR systems with Fingercheck today!

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our blog to stay updated on the latest Fingercheck updates, industry news, payroll, employee management tools, and HR tips.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top