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Survey: 'Ghosting' Employers Is Acceptable According to More Than 40% of Job Applicants

New survey finds job seekers and employers ghost each other at all stages of the recruiting process as part of doing business in a tight job market where companies compete to hire top talent.

'Ghosting' a potential employer is an acceptable practice, according to a new survey from Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews company. More than 40% of job seekers say it's reasonable to ghost companies during the interview process, abruptly cutting off communication when they decide not to pursue a job. A strong economy means candidates have more jobs to choose from. As a result, companies must work harder to win talent.

Workplace ghosting occurs because job seekers accept another job (30%) or decide a role is not a match (19%). Job seekers also ghost in response to being ghosted: Nearly one-quarter (23%) say they ghost when a company stops communicating with them.

Marissa Connell, a current job seeker, views ghosting as a normal part of the recruitment process. She ghosts companies that post inaccurate job descriptions or do not answer her questions about a role.

Overall, more than half of job seekers (55%) say they abandon 1-5 job applications during the job search.

"If we're losing good candidates because of a problem with our process, that could be having a bigger impact than we'd like," FullStack Labs CEO David Jackson said.

Job Seekers View Companies That Ghost Unfavorably 

Applicants rank ghosting more favorably when they initiate it, compared to when companies ghost them.

More than one-third of job seekers (35%) say it's very unreasonable for a company to ghost an applicant. Only 21% believe it's very unreasonable for an applicant to ghost a company.

Companies That Fail to Communicate Signal Approval of Ghosting

Companies that ghost candidates inadvertently may signal their approval of ghosting.

More than one-third of job seekers (36%) said the last company that rejected them did not respond at all.

When candidates receive a response, only one-third (30%) of rejections end with a generic rejection email to provide candidates with much-needed closure.

Fewer companies personalize rejection. Only 1 in 5 candidates (21%) are rejected by phone and only 13% receive a personalized rejection email.

Ghosting Is Considered More Acceptable in Early Interview Stages

Among job seekers who approve of ghosting, nearly half (48%) say it's reasonable to ghost a company during the early stages of the interview process.

As companies evaluate and compare candidates during the middle and final stages of the interview process, job seekers' positions shifts, and they consider it more reasonable for the company to initiate ghosting.

Once a job offer has been made, however, job seekers believe it's equally reasonable for companies or applicants to ghost. Nearly 1 in 10 job seekers say it's acceptable for a candidate to ghost after accepting a job offer (9%) or for a company to ghost after extending an offer (8%).

Clutch's 2018 Recruiting Survey included 507 full-time employees who started a new job in the past six months.

Read the full report here: https://clutch.co/hr/resources/what-causes-workplace-ghosting