The Ultimate Cold Shoulder


(By Buzz Knight) The ultimate “cold shoulder” of business is the act of ghosting. Initially born in the early 2000’s around the on-line dating universe, ghosting is the colloquial term describing the practice of ending communication or contact with a partner, friend, business relationship, job candidate or similar individual without any apparent warning or justification and ultimately ignoring attempts to communicate made by said individual.

As the proper rules of business etiquette are under attack this tactic has unfortunately crept into the business world and has become a standard operating procedure that many sadly practice.

Why has this practice accelerated?

Impossible to answer completely but one has to wonder if the rise of social media over the years has been an accelerant?

Social media makes it easy to think individuals have connected with one another yet social is a quick messaging to an individual and then it’s “on to the next thing.”

The “on to the next thing” mentality has made our society less engaged with truly understanding the feelings of others.

We can all acknowledge that an email inbox that is overwhelming and overflowing can stress out the best of us, but where has the commonsense decency of business and personal interaction gone?

Every business has become prone to this problem.

I hear from many broadcast professionals who are searching hard for their next gig who experience the frustration of being “ghosted” in a job search.

Typical scenario is an individual has a great conversation or two with a prospective employer, vibe feels good and they sense a good potential match or collaboration.

Individual does follow-up reach out to prospective employer and without any explanation or rationale the reach out is met with crickets.

No explanation, no communication just a deafening thud to the conversation.

Then the interaction worsens when a job applicant doesn’t even get the courtesy of a rejection letter to let them know of another candidate getting a position.

These are simple rules of personal and professional etiquette that have almost vanished from standard operating procedure.

If you are ever in the hiring and recruitment process for your business it is imperative you have a system that clearly communicates to job candidates the status and ultimate determination in the hiring process.

Furthermore, if a job candidate asks for some feedback on why they didn’t get the position offer them helpful input on why it wasn’t a match.

It is part of your brand identity on how you conduct business and it ultimately carries a lot of weight on the impression people have of working for your company.

Do the right thing by people and make ghosting a thing of the past.

This would be a positive step in improving the business etiquette of your company.

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


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