Top Reasons Why Employers Ghost Job Seekers: Part I
Published: Nov 03, 2023
Job seekers should be prepared to apply to many jobs, and deal with numerous emails and follow up conversations with multiple employers. Once in a while, you might come across a company that won’t respond to you, despite your repeated attempts. Nowadays, we call this “being ghosted,” and there are many reasons why this can happen. In this two-part entry, we’re going to talk about why employers ghost job seekers, starting with things that can happen on the employer’s side.
A Shift in Priorities
During your job search, you might come across listings that say “hiring ASAP” or “urgently hiring,” and while these sentiments could have been true at the time of a listing’s creation, a company’s needs can change quickly, and for any number of reasons. If the hiring manager doesn’t update the listing, job seekers will assume the company is looking expedite the hiring process, and will expect a timely response.
Always check the date on a job listing. If the date is current and the listing states that the company is hiring urgently, you’re good to go; however, if a similar job listing is weeks or months old, it could be a sign that the company’s priorities have changed, or that it’s not particularly organized, which brings us to our next entry.
Imagine yourself as the hiring manager—you’ve got dozens of resumes to go over, emails to respond to, phone calls to make, interviews to set up, interviews to conduct, and choices to make. Throughout this complex process, mistakes can be made. For example, the hiring manager could forget to update or remove the job listing. In the worst-case scenario, the hiring manager is completely disorganized, which is a bad sign.
The hiring manager should take the time to respond to each application during the hiring process. If you’ve done your due diligence and followed up but weeks have gone by since your application, it’s time to move on. If you’ve made it past an interview, or perhaps multiple interviews, and you’re being ghosted, it’s a good indication that the company itself is disorganized.
When a role is vacated, a company must act quickly. If an employee puts in their two weeks, it gives a company at least some time to prepare to fill the role. In the event an employee is suddenly let go or leaves without warning, the company might panic and hastily throw together a new job listing before first considering all its options.
Despite posting a job listing, a company might decide to fill a recently vacated position by hiring internally. Of course, there’s no way for you to know this as a job seeker, especially if the company did in fact post a job listing but subsequently failed to update or remove it. The point is, if you’ve been ghosted during the hiring process it could be due to a company’s decision to hire internally.
Your Recruiter Dropped the Ball
Recruiters are great for casting a wide net during your job search, and they often possess helpful insight into companies and their hiring processes. That said, a recruiter works best as a supplement to your job search, and shouldn’t be relied upon as being your only method of hunting for jobs. Remember, recruiters are working for multiple people all at once, and they’re likely to prioritize candidates who they think will be hired the quickest.
If a recruiter is particularly busy, they could make mistakes. For example, they might forget to answer an email or follow up with a potential employer. In certain cases, a recruiter may offer advice on how to optimize your resume before they start sending it out, but if they’re overwhelmed they might send out a half-baked resume anyway, decreasing your chances of getting a response.
In certain cases, the reason you’re being ghosted by a potential employer can simply be chalked up to bad timing. The hiring manager could be on vacation, or perhaps they left the company shortly after posting the job listing. In addition to this, there are optimal times to apply for jobs throughout the year, and if you’re being ghosted it’s possible that you’ve been applying to jobs during a slow period or a hiring freeze.
Being ghost during a job search can be stressful, so it’s important to keep a level head and consider the reasons why it might be happening. Don’t let being ghosted get you down, as there are many aspects of the hiring process that are out of your control. That said, there are things that a candidate can do (or not do) to cause potential employers to ghost them. We’ll be covering this next time, so keep your eyes peeled for part two.