Expert: ‘Ghosting’ has become much more common among job recruiters, seekers

Consumer Investigations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Have you ever been “ghosted” by a potential employer?

If so, you’re not alone.

Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources for Indeed, said ghosting, which is defined as when someone stops all correspondence without warning, is growing more and more common among recruiters.

“We’ve all heard of ‘ghosting’ from a social media perspective and a dating perspective, and now ‘ghosting’ has crept into the world of recruiting,” Wolfe said.

In a survey recently conducted by Indeed, Wolfe said three-quarters of employers and job seekers that responded said “they’d be ghosted by one or the other.”

Wolfe said while the reasoning behind “ghosting” varies, the trend appears to be here to stay.

“I think transparency is key on both sides and authenticity,” Wolfe said. “It’s building a relationship and letting people know that they’re not moving forward because they didn’t have, you know, a certain skill set or there were other people that had stronger experience.”

Wolfe said it goes both ways, and if a job seeker opts to ghost a potential employer, it could come back to haunt them.

“If you, two years from now, are applying for a job at the company again, they may have a record of you ghosting them in their applicant tracking system or in their file,” he said.

Wolfe said this may make the company think twice about an applicant.

Landing a job mid-pandemic is tough enough. That’s why Wolfe said it’s important to stay connected and continue to search for opportunities.

“With social networking and just technology these days, we’re all just a couple degrees removed from one another,” he said. “So who do you know that might be able to help you get a foot in the door?”

Currently, the national unemployment rate is 6.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Rhode Island, the unemployment rate is approximately 8.1%. 

Compared to this time last year, Wolfe said some sectors have had above-average job postings.

“Not surprising are pharmacy, loading and stocking, construction and driving,” Wolfe said, noting that the below-average job postings are mostly within the hospitality sectors.

“Food prep and service, arts and entertainment, beauty and wellness, and tourism,” he continued. “We’ve all heard those industries have been hit really hard by the pandemic and have not rebounded yet.”

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