You’re swiping away on a dating app, searching for that one true match. You swipe right on a good-looking guy or girl with your fingers crossed, hoping it’s a match. You find out that you are in fact compatible! Excitedly, you reach out to the person, looking to strike up an interesting conversation and take things to the next level. Days go by and no reply… “Did I do something wrong? Did they receive my message?” You’re left hanging. You’ve been... ghosted.
Being ghosted is a common term in the dating world and it’s something that no one wants to experience. But, is the act of “ghosting” making its way outside the dating sphere and into the professional world? Employers ghosting applicants is nothing new, and has been happening for years. You apply for a job, you wait and wait, only to hear crickets. Even a rejection letter would be nice at this point. With times changing, have the ways of ghosting changed as well? Has the ghoster in the professional world become the ghosted?
Recently, the tables have turned and now applicants are ghosting potential employers, and they’re doing it quite often. Ghosting is a trend primarily in the younger generation entering the workforce. Which is why so many employers who have been in the business for some time are baffled by the new trend. Technology has played a huge role in paving the way for candidates to feel that it is okay to leave their potential employers high and dry. Social media and the evolution of social media apps have made it all too simple to establish relationships without any real face-to-face contact; making it easy for someone to dip out without thinking twice.
Just like dumbfounded recruiters, you may also be wondering why so many people are turning down potential job opportunities this way? The answer may be as simple as, there are many opportunities and the task of declining an offer is daunting. Our job market has seen a massive shift and for the first time in years, more jobs exist than there are job seekers. Applicants have the advantage, with endless options as to where their career choices will lead them.
However, being overwhelmed with options does not justify ignoring someone who is willing to hire you and believes that you deserve a position at their company. Let’s all remember, no matter what the situation is, respect is always important and relationships are valuable. Burning potential bridges is the last thing you want to do. You never know when you may need to cross that bridge again.
Luckily, there are things you can do to display good character and let a recruiter down easy.
- Be honest. Prospective employers don’t want to bring someone on whose heart is not in it, so don’t feel bad about turning down an offer if it doesn’t feel like the right fit. Honesty is the best policy. You don’t have to fill them in on all the details, but being upfront will make the news a lot easier to take, and leave your last interaction with them a more positive one.
- Be prepared. Be prepared to answer any questions the employer may have about your decision, but be polite. It’s best to lead with words of praise and let them know what you liked about the position or their company. This will allow you to leave the door open, and maximize any future opportunities.
- Be graceful. Apologize sincerely for any inconvenience that your decision may have caused. If applicable, let them know that the decision was not made lightly, but another opportunity was a better fit for you at the time.
- Don’t delay. When you have made your mind up to turn down the offer, don’t waste time. The sooner you let them know, the more they will respect your honesty, appreciate your decision, and the faster they can move on to other qualified candidates.
It is understandable that in today’s job pool, candidates may be juggling multiple offers. However, there’s a way to go about properly declining. Communication is the key to success in so many realms, including the job market. By participating in open and honest conversation, not misleading anyone or giving false hope, you’re demonstrating professionalism at its finest.