Job ghosting: The sudden silence

08/09/2020 2020/09

Never heared of it? But certainly experienced it!

Whether professionally or privately, you have probably already dealt with ghosting. Do you know the situation when a long-standing friend suddenly doesn't get in touch with you any more, almost "disappears", and you don't know why? This is exactly what ghosting is!

What exactly is Job Ghosting?

If you, as an applicant, do not hear anything more from the company or the company is waiting for a response from you and you are no longer available, this is also called job ghosting. The parties become a "ghost ".

In most cases ghosting takes place after an initial interview. In other cases, ghosting takes place after you have sent your application or after a successful job interview, in which all parties agreed at first that an employment contract will or can be concluded.

Ghosting after the application

You have sent your application and do not receive a qualified answer. A study by the job portal Stepstone (2016) showed that applicants had to wait up to 45 days for a reply. It not only sounds like an eternity - it is. Unfortunately, however, it is not uncommon, as delays in the feedback of incoming applications occur time and again in practice.

Ghosting after an interview (from the applicant's point of view)

This is where the number of ghosting appearances is highest and at this stage frustration increases even more. The company has now been introduced and, at best, your trust has been won. The best example in this situation is the statement: "We will contact you next week". But nothing happens. You haven't heard anything for several weeks now and have not been informed about the current status of your application. What happened? Did the company decide to employ a different candidate? Has your data been deleted?

It's understandable if these or similar questions buzz through your head. The certainty is missing! And this is exactly what makes ghosting so frustrating. In this phase it becomes clear that a decision is necessary, whether positive or negative. At least the uncertainty should pass. We explain how you should deal with this uncertainty in the section "What to do?

Ghosting after an interview (from the employer's point of view)

Of course, Ghosting does not only appear with applicants, but also with companies. And with a similar frequency. For HR managers, such situations are part of their daily work routine, but a lot of working time is always involved in such processes, which can be described as wasted after countless attempts.

In the worst case, ghosting occurs when the job interview at the company has gone very well, a decision has been made. It fits on all sides and the employment contract has been signed. But then it happens: the employee does not show up for work.

Ghosting in jobs can occur in many different forms.
Often there is no reason given for job ghosting and suddenly the contact stops.
Often there is no reason given for job ghosting and suddenly the contact stops.

Possible reasons causing Ghosting

There are several reasons why ghosting can occur. Whether on the applicant or company side, and these need not always be malicious.

Triggers on the company side:

  • The company already considers your CV to be no potential cooperation. Your application will therefore be ignored and "pushed aside".
  • During the interview it became clear to the HR manager that "it just doesn't fit". Now he is confronted with a rejection situation and wants to avoid this. The applicant is put off indefinitely.
  • It can also happen that a "better" applicant has been found and the personnel capacities are lacking to inform all other applicants. 
  • The most unpleasant reason is that the company is stalling you as a "second choice" because the favourite could still jump off.

Triggers on the applicant side:

  • Applicants may also discover during an interview that this company does not match them. 
  • If benefits and salary do not match the expectations, this can also be a reason for ghosting. 
  • Often, however, it is simply unpleasant for the applicant to cancel.
  • Another common reason is that the candidate has started another job and is no longer available.

It can be difficult for both the company and the applicant to refuse the other party. We are all just human beings and do not want to hurt others. However, consequences are ignored. Because an applicant who knows that he won't like it in this company will never start working there and a company that doesn't see an applicant in its corporate culture will never hire this candidate either.

What to do?

Ghosting can be avoided early on. All parties should discuss it openly and honestly. Because a cancellation is not a bad thing. It is mandatory! Everybody knows where they stand.

Of course it is easier said than done. As an applicant you should keep the following in mind. Keep calm and be patient. Do not build up unnecessary pressure. In some cases this can have a negative effect on your application. And you certainly want to avoid this. If a company no longer contacts you, you should first jump over your own shadow and take the phone into your own hands. Don't be offended or too proud to ask for information yourself. Often there is no bad intention behind the fact that the company does not contact you. If you cannot reach your contact person, try the central telephone number. If the company still does not contact you or you are still being put off, set the liabilities. Give the company a deadline until you withdraw your application.

Always ask yourself whether you would like to work for a company that does not contact you. It is also important that you honour your own commitments and stop the application process so that all parties are aware of it.

ARTS does not become a ghost

We at ARTS consider such a long delay to be inappropriate and treat each individual applicant with the necessary respect. We have the ambition to send you a qualitative answer to your application after 3 working days and the first contact will be made. At ARTS you will receive a rapid response. We always act and communicate respectfully with our applicants and you will receive a rejection if your profile does not meet our requirements.

ARTS also use liabilities. If we do not receive any feedback from our applicants, they will be contacted by phone and e-mail. A deadline will be set and we will try again. After a new deadline (1-2 weeks) we will cancel the application. Behind this there is also a time expenditure which you as applicant should not forget.

Of course we also know that we are all just people and that the flow of information can sometimes be interrupted. Especially when an applicant has started a new job. Nevertheless, try to take your time and answer the question. Our tip: if you have any questions, you can always contact us by phone or e-mail. In this way, ambiguities can be eliminated and nothing stands in the way of a successful cooperation.

Sources: newsroom.de | karrierebibel.de | kununu.com | dahmen-personal.de

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