Have You Been Ghosted?


(By Laurie Kahn) It’s a new term in talent acquisition, but it’s an old practice. However, it is becoming a more widespread challenge.

Not sure what I am talking about? Ghosting is a term describing those job seekers who don’t show for appointments or for those who have accepted your positon and then don’t show up the first day. Or, they resign via text or just quit showing up for work. 

In a recent USA Today article on employee ghosting, many businesses report that 20 percent to 50 percent of job applicants and workers are pulling no-shows in some form. 

Yes, this is unprofessional and can burn bridges. But in this time of low unemployment, the tables have turned and they are in the driver’s seat. If you still have the attitude that “having a job here is a benefit,” it’s time to let go and become more proactive. 

Many job seekers are fed up with sending resumes to companies and getting no response. The feeling is that if they don’t matter, then why should they not show up for a job that has been offered when a better offer comes along. What a waste of time and money for your recruitment team. Not to mention how foolish it makes a manager feel when they have announced that a new hire is scheduled to join the team. 

As I have stressed over the years, it is critical to have a talent acquisition plan including accountability for those overseeing the hiring process. It has become, and will continue to be, a major challenge for companies. 

Here are some tips to help overcome the ghosting issue:

  • Offer a culture where people flourish through training and support.
  • Brag about your company and promote yourself as a company where people want to work so you are top of mind when people consider a job change.
  • Sell your opportunity in every meeting and watch for buying signals just as you would a client.
  • Have a competitive compensation plan with a robust list of benefits or perks.
  • The need for speed is essential – from scheduling your first interview, to subsequent meetings, move it along quickly or you may lose the candidate.
  • Once an offer is accepted, set the start date for as soon as possible to get them ramped up and engaged before another offer comes along.

Lastly, don’t be surprised if this happens to you. The need to build, monitor, and work a pipeline of potential candidates is crucial to your recruitment success. Owners need to put a top priority on their managers to actively recruit and sell their opportunity. 

Laurie Kahn is the creator and founder of Media Staffing Network. She has worked with media companies since 1993 helping them hire top managers and sellers.


  1. Another factor might have to do with the cynicism and lack of trust spread through the recruiting and hiring dynamic.
    Many of us have had the experience of buying into a company’s snow-job and, after arriving with rosy cheeks and a bushel full of enthusiasm, found ourselves twisting in the wind during a cold November sleet storm.
    Buyers remorse works both ways, and it can develop in a new hire almost instantly, right after the original rush burns off.
    Coming down can be a real drag – a bummer, man.


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