I have read quite a few articles that reference the new trend of candidates “ghosting” companies. Even the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR professional society, had an article about this. What does “ghosting” mean? The term comes from the practice of ending a relationship by not responding to email, text, etc. from another person. Candidates have frequently complained that they are subject to “ghosting” from companies when they either put in an employment application or go on an interview, only to hear nothing back. This, by the way, is a terrible practice by any company, and reflects poorly on the company brand.
Now, candidates are turning the tables on HR and hiring managers and “ghosting” them. Companies are seeing candidates not show up for interviews and even not showing up for the first day of work when an offer has been accepted. As someone who has been in hiring for a long time, I have seen this before. It seems whenever the job market is to the benefit of those looking for work, as it is now, this happens. Here is a secret all job seekers who are tempted to do this should know. HR and hiring managers keep track of that no-show for an interview or first day of work. With many companies using Applicant Tracking Systems, a quick note by the recruiter as to what happened will likely seal your fate on being able to work with the company in the future. As a recruiter during the tech bubble, I saw many of the same people that ghosted my company show up a few years later looking for work. The economy has always been cyclical with booms and busts. You never know when you may be out of work through a layoff or a family situation that needs your attention, only to have found that you have burnt bridges by “ghosting” a company.
My word of advice is to do the professional thing and call the company if you have changed your mind about coming in for an interview or have taken another job. It is the right thing to do, it will only take five minutes and will save you possible heartache in the future. And for those of you who say that this is tit-for-tat for what companies do to job seekers, I would say two wrongs do not make a right. Make sure you treat others as you want to be treated.