Was it something I said?

Updated: Feb 8, 2020

Was it something I said?

Ghosting is a term normally used in dating, you’ve been on your first date and you thought it went well, paid for the meal, they had to shoot home so you paid for their uber only to check your phone to text them, and they’ve blocked you on everything. Shit, not again!

If this is you then don’t get down it happens to the best of us, however you’d never expect this trend to creep into the recruitment process, but it has, and it is becoming a catastrophic trend.

Like in dating, you start to build a relationship with a candidate, start talking about their personal lives, how their kids smacked his head on the fridge again, how Arsenal are having the worst season you’ve ever seen, how their holiday to Marbella planning is going. It gets personal and you have a real connection with a person, you are rooting for them more than they are for themselves and you put them forward for a role you are sure they are going to be job offered…

…and then the day of the interview comes and a phone call from the client comes in, and your chest is filled with dread, it’s happened again. They haven’t turned up. You’re frantically trying to call them to no avail, justifying it in your head, They must have a flat tyre, they must have a family emergency, they must have driven to the wrong office, but you know in your heart, it’s happened again… you’ve been ghosted.

One for me that springs to mind is a candidate who got job offered on the spot, all parties were impressed and happy… only for the candidate not to show up on their first day. The client call came in. WTF, we were so confident. We tried our best to reach them… phone, text, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Email, Facebook, smoke signals, carrier pigeon, you name it. Even a colleague called the other offices of a competitor we knew they had also second interviewed at, and they weren’t there. Takes me back to the heartbreak of 2016.

Why is this trend happening? Although you’re gutted you’ve lost your commission, you’ve also let down the client and lost a great connection you had for a person, and for what?

Candidates are ghosting for many reasons and obviously every case is different.

Is this happening in every sector or is it a recruitment exclusive problem? If so, how on earth do we combat it? Obviously being open about the issue and explaining the issue should deter ghosting, but are people too shy? Are they too scared to tell you that they no longer want this role, or have been job offered somewhere else?

What’s your worst case of ghosting and how did it make you feel?