- The business, financial and legal sectors are most likely to "ghost" job applicants, according to a survey emailed to HR Dive by U.K.-based training company The Knowledge Academy. The company polled 1,325 full-time employees across industries between March and May 2019 to see how many applicants ghosted an employer and vice versa.
- Ghosting was defined as being unresponsive to communication during the recruiting process. Twenty-two percent of advertising, marketing, public relations and media applicants have been ghosted by recruiters, according to the survey. Other industries studied showed relatively low rates of employers ghosting candidates, including healthcare (16%) and retail and hospitality (13%).
- The study also measured the industries with the most cases of applicants ghosting recruiters. Advertising, marketing, PR and media took the top spot with 28%, followed by business, finance and legal (21%), retail and hospitality (14%), technical services (11%), "miscellaneous" (10%), education (8%), healthcare (5%) and government (3%).
Professional norms are constantly fluctuating, and HR experts have reported that ghosting has entered employment relationships in various ways. Ghosting may be considered simply bad manners under most circumstances, but a deeper look into the practice by LinkedIn in 2018 showed the behavior may be due in part to younger workers not knowing how to respond to multiple job offers. Some applicants still think ghosting is okay, a 2018 Clutch survey found. Respondents to Clutch said they tend to ghost employers when they accept another job offer (30%), don't hear back from an employer (23%) or decide a role is wrong for them (19%).
The practice is having a measurable effect on talent strategy; according to LinkedIn, some recruiters are double-booking interviews with the expectation that as many as half of candidates will be no-shows. Experts who previously spoke with HR Dive emphasized the importance of communication tools and strategies to ensure candidates aren't left without updates on their application status.
Job seekers are frequently frustrated about sending in resumes with no promise of feedback from an employer. Ghosting can apply to both sides of the recruiting process, but regardless of who does the ghosting, unresponsiveness can be a deal-breaker that deprives an employer of a quality candidate.