Professional “ghosting” is real, it’s a problem, and it’s something we need to be talking about more.
You have probably heard this term in the modern dating world, when someone quits responding to calls, texts, social media messages, etc. without any explanation. They don’t “dump” you – they “ghost” you.
In essence, it’s the same thing professionally.
This Daily Herald article defines professional ghosting as “…a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact.”
But it’s not just happening in workplaces.
On LinkedIn I get requests from other users requesting a proposal for my services, or an email asking for some time to talk. I respond within 24 hours of the request and often never hear from them again. They started the conversation, I replied, and yet they just never responded, ghosting me.
I’ve talked with many HR recruiters and they are experiencing the same thing. One recruiter told me that she recently took someone through several interviews and made an offer to the candidate with a start date. The candidate accepted – but never showed up for the job! No call, no showing up, NOTHING.
So what’s the cause in this new behavior so many people feel is acceptable?
Per the Herald article:
Analysts blame America’s increasingly tight labor market. Job openings have surpassed the number of seekers for eight straight months, and the unemployment rate has clung to a 49-year low of 3.7 percent since September. Janitors, baristas, welders, accountants, engineers — they’re all in demand, said Michael Hicks, a labor economist at Ball State University in Indiana. More people may opt to skip tough conversations and slide right into the next thing. “Why hassle with a boss and a bunch of out-processing,” he said, “when literally everyone has been hiring?”
I’m dedicating my next few blog posts to sharing articles, information and insight into professional ghosting and the implications it has for organizations – and for individuals. I hope you’ll share your experiences and stories with me along the way!