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About 78 percent of job seekers have ghosted a prospective employer, according to a December report from the job site Indeed. That’s up from the prior year, when 68 percent said they’d gone AWOL during the hiring process sometime over their career.

Why the sudden lift in ghost sightings?

Reclaiming Control: For some individuals, ghosting employers can feel like a way to reclaim control over the job search process. It allows them to assert their autonomy and prioritize their own needs and preferences without feeling beholden to potential employers.

Avoiding Confrontation: Ghosting can be a way for candidates to avoid uncomfortable or confrontational conversations with employers, particularly if they feel uncertain about declining a job offer or providing feedback on the hiring process. By simply disappearing, they circumvent potentially awkward interactions.

Asserting Boundaries: In situations where candidates feel disrespected or undervalued by potential employers, ghosting can be seen as a way to assert boundaries and protect their own well-being. It sends a message that they are not willing to engage with organizations that do not treat them with the respect they deserve.

Maintaining Privacy: Some candidates may prioritize their privacy and prefer not to disclose personal reasons for withdrawing from a job opportunity. Ghosting allows them to maintain their privacy without feeling obligated to provide detailed explanations to employers.

Ghosting may feel good, but it’s not a great look.

Overall, it reflects a breakdown in communication and mutual respect between employers/recruiters and job seekers. It can have negative implications for both parties, including damaged reputations, missed opportunities, and increased frustration in the job search process.

Feeling ghosted? We’d love to hear your story. Email with details on your situation.