Have you been ‘ghosted’ by a recruiter? Perhaps you have been but didn’t know what to call it. Professional recruiters say that ghosting is becoming a widespread problem. It happens when a company stops responding to you after you’ve done several interviews.
While you might have been ghosted and chalked it up to being part of the hiring process, it is rude when a company interviews you multiple times and then suddenly shuts off all communication.
Jane Ashen Turkewitz, founder and president of Hi-Touch Executive Search, has been a recruiter for many years. She is disturbed by the level of insensitivity that hiring companies are showing to prospective employees after they interview them. Here is how she defines ghosting:
- A candidate has done several interviews and maybe even completed a few sample tasks;
- The company had been responding to the candidate’s emails;
- Then, the candidate sent several polite emails or phone calls for about a month after the last interview, all of which were ignored; and
- Finally, the candidate gave up on the job and moved on.
Turkewitz believes that ghosted applicants should speak up for themselves by sending a polite-but-firm email to the hiring company letting them know that their rude behavior is not okay. Maybe sending such an email won’t help you get the job, she says, but it might assuage your dejected feeling, “and that’s a valid reason right there.”
Here’s her suggested text for the email:
“I would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview for this role. I was surprised, after my seven rounds of interviews, not to hear anything, regardless of my attempts to stay engaged.
Due to the lack of response, it’s a fair assumption that you have decided to move in another direction. While I am disappointed, I certainly respect that if someone more qualified entered the picture.
That said, isn’t it common courtesy to let a candidate know where he stands in the process, even if it’s a difficult conversation? A rejection is disappointing, but ‘ghosting’ shows a lack of leadership and empathy.
I hope one day, if you are in my shoes, interviewing for a new, exciting job, that you are not treated in such an unkind manner. Wishing you and yours continued success as I find success elsewhere.”
Turkewitz offers a word of caution to those who haven’t received a response after only one interview. While that’s still rude behavior, she says, it isn’t uncommon. A note like this would be more appropriate in this case: “I would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview. I’m assuming you are moving forward in another direction.”
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