Employee Ghosting: Why workers ignore employers


Making its way into the list of 2015’s best words, ‘ghosting’ is often used in reference to a romantic relationship and refers to being dumped through a sudden cut-off of all communication. No longer just a trend limited to the dating world, surprising research suggests that of the UK’s 31.2 million working professionals, over 2.8 million have ghosted their employer.

Why Workers Ghost Employers

The findings revealed that 8.9% of workers have ghosted their employer, citing the top reasons as:

  1. Being mistreated by management “My manager treated me with a disgusting attitude, so one day I just left.”
  1. Finding better job prospects with immediate start-dates “I had been offered a much more lucrative job whilst still employed; I didn’t like my current manager so I stopped turning up instead of handing in my notice.”
  1. Constantly facing unrealistic workloads “I couldn’t cope with the deadlines at work so I disappeared from the office and ignored their attempts to contact me.”
  1. Lack of flexibility in work schedules “My employer was not flexible on changing work days to compensate my university timetable so I was forced to make a choice and never turned up to work again.”

Employers ought to be extremely cautious moving forward; the job market is flourishing which means there are plenty of opportunities available for workers to jump ship if they want to. It’s clear that two-way communication is more important now than ever before, as many of the reasons behind a worker ghosting their employer are issues that could be resolved through support from management.


Why Candidates Ghost Recruiters

Perhaps the cause of ghosting at work is rooted in the recruitment process as this is where the trend appears to be most prolific: 14% of candidates have ghosted a recruiter; and over half (52.8%) of UK workers feel they have been ghosted by a prospective employer during the interview process. Luckily, candidates also revealed the top five reasons they’d ignore a recruiter’s calls:

  1. Being sent irrelevant jobs – 24.8%
  2. Feel bullied into apply for roles they’re not interested in – 18.9%
  3. Sense the recruiter has a bad attitude – 15.7%
  4. Feel ignored by the recruiter – 12%
  5. Receive too many phone calls – 9%

While the recruitment process is tedious for all involved, neither party should resort to simply ignoring the other. Having a qualified candidate simply stop responding to your calls and messages can be frustrating, but the findings show that a little bit more care and consideration for the candidate’s needs would solve the issue.

It is surprising, however, to see so many recruiters are guilty of ghosting candidates and it’s critical that employers and agencies avoid this behaviour. If a candidate is constantly ignored by recruiters, a signal is being sent to workers that the behaviour is acceptable and they’ll begin to mirror it in the workplace.

View the full CV-Library Ghosting research here.

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