Remote Work & Culture

Ghosting: What’s With This Trend in the Job World?

As the unemployment rate for the general U.S. population declined to 3.6 percent as of May 2019, it’s no wonder a trend has emerged: ghosting. A term that’s well-known in the dating world is becoming more commonplace in the job world, and candidates aren’t the only ones who’ve fallen prey to the situation. Employers have, too.

Job seekers aren’t showing up for interviews they’ve been invited to or even the first day of a new opportunity. They’re going silent or disappearing without explanation.

But let’s rewind to the opening statement of this post: the unemployment rate being 3.6 percent. Yes, that statistic provides a logical explanation as to why this is happening on a national level. Though, it’s happening in the military spouse community, too.

So to delve deeper into this not-so-good trend, Instant Teams teamed up with Blue Star Families for a Networks Live! On Demand event to explore theories about why ghosting is taking place, how it affects job seekers and employers, and professional steps to follow should you need to cancel an interview, decline an offer; you name it.

Here are some top takeaways:

Theories on Why Ghosting is a Thing in the Job World

  • Unemployment rates are at an all-time low. If you’ve ever been on the hunt for a home, you’re probably familiar with the term: buyer’s market. Jumping back to the job world, due to such low unemployment rates, it’s a job seeker’s market. Candidates can walk away from a possible opportunity without worry because they have other offers, and they aren’t taking the time to follow up professionally.
  • Job seekers are paying employers back. When you’ve applied for jobs, chances are you didn’t hear back from every single employer. No, not even a courtesy email letting you know they appreciate your application, but they’ve chosen to move forward with a carefully-selected applicant pool. That said, job seekers have turned the tables on employers. Though, that’s not to say the action of ghosting is justified. Always take the high road!

What Can You Do When You’ve Been Ghosted?

  • For Employers: Simply put, move on. There are plenty of other gracious and talented candidates who wouldn’t pass on the opportunity you have available.


  • For Candidates: How you choose to react and follow-up will determine your level of professionalism. Stand up for yourself and make a conscious effort to get the answers you need as to why you were ghosted for a specific event throughout the job application process (whether the interview, acceptance, etc.). If you can’t seem to get ahold of your main point of contact after a couple of emails or phone calls (depending on your primary mode of communication), try searching the company’s website or LinkedIn for another team member and send them a note to see if they can link you two up. 

What Can You Do to Avoid Being the Ghoster?

Speaking from a military spouse’s perspective, our lives are often unpredictable. Here at Instant Teams, we 100% get it. We work in 8-10 different time zones. But if you find yourself needing to decline an interview or job offer, don’t just cut the communication lines and call it a day. After all, while the world may seem like a massive place, it really is small out there. People have connections all across the board.

Therefore, show respect for the employer’s time and resources, and send them a simple email. You shouldn’t feel the need to go into over-sharing mode as you don’t owe them some elaborate explanation. Instead, thank them for the opportunity, but also let them know you’re no longer interested. It’s as easy as that.

Ultimately, it’s all about the next step – what you choose to do after you’ve been ghosted, or as soon as you feel any ounce of needing to ghost an employer, determines the path moving forward.

To watch the full Networks Live! On Demand event, click here.