More than three quarters of UK workers say they have been ‘ghosted’ by an employer or prospective employer in the last 18 months. 

The people analytics company, Visier, found that ghosting has become an accepted phenomenon in the workplace,

 ‘Ghosting’ is a term used to explain when someone stops answering calls, texts or emails from another person. Psychology Today’s (PT) definition is ‘abruptly ending communication with someone without explanation’.

Visier asked 1,000 UK employees who have been job hunting in the past 18 months about their experiences with ghosting, using PT’s definition.

The findings indicate that with 37 percent of Brits admitting to ghosting an employer in the past 18 months, 30 percent ghosting a potential employer and 10 percent to both. 

This is in addition more than a third of UK workers saying that they would be angrier if an employer or prospective employer ghosted them, than if they were stood up by a date. 


Hypocritical workers 


However, the study also found employees are comfortable with carrying out the ghosting, and those in senior jobs do it more regularly. Visier’s study suggests that the more senior the worker, the more comfortable they are with ghosting their current or prospective employer. 

This is already evident in the workplace as employees in the highest levels reported that they had ghosted a current or prospective employer within the last 18 months: C-Suite (95 percent), mid-level management (84 percent), first-level management (67 percent), entry-level (48 percent). 


Professional ‘Ghosters’ 

This research also serves as a stark reminder that ghosting is no new fad. It’s been around for some time and it’s a trend that is likely to pertain, especially as an increasingly buoyant labour market and skills shortages across almost every industry place more power into the hands of employees. In fact, some 61 percent of job seekers say they feel perfectly comfortable with ghosting an employer or prospective employer. 

With more job opportunities available because of the hybrid working model, a less personal recruitment process, and the fact that ghosting is so common, job seekers admit that the pandemic has made them more likely to ghost.

 The challenge for employers is that the right position, right salary and a good company culture are not enough. The interview itself must be an experience that attracts prospective candidates to a company. 

A negative first impression was cited as the number one reason job seekers have ghosted their employer or prospective employer. This was followed closely by the job role being inaccurate and a lower salary than expected.

Daniel Mason, VP EMEA of Visier said the trend isn’t new, but has recently garnered more attention as a result of hybrid working. 

He has this advice: “As recruitment teams continue to rethink their hiring strategies in line with the ‘Great Resignation’ now is the time to also implement measures that can reduce the fallout of job seeker ghosting.

“Embedding people data into every stage of the recruitment and employee engagement process is one way that recruitment teams can interest potential candidates and retain them. For example, by using data to highlight at which stage a job seeker is most likely to leave the recruitment process, more emphasis can be placed on improving the overall experience based on what the data is telling us prospective employers expect”.