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Gorilla Jobs Blog Reasons Why You Should Not Ghost A Recruiter Man Standing Up Against Wall Sad And Worried

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ghost a Recruiter

November 9, 2022 0 Comments

In an industry where relationships are everything, ghosting a recruiter may end up backfiring in ways you’d probably rather avoid.

Ghosting isn’t an overly new concept but in the digital age where social media has become ubiquitous, it’s become something most of us have done or been on the receiving end of!

You know how it goes. The conversation or messages are bouncing back and forth and the connection seems strong then – WHAM. A digital wall of silence…irritating, head-busting and potentially anxiety-inducing.

You’re left hanging wondering and probably over analysing what it was that went so horribly wrong with something you posted, messaged or said, with potentially no way of reconnecting to find out why you’ve been ghosted.

Professional ghosting also happens, particularly in the job search. From the candidate perspective, it can occur after putting yourself forward for a role, watching your CV and cover letter heading off into cyberspace, and maybe getting back an initial reply but never hearing anything again after that. Not cool but a reality in a world where some employers literally receive hundreds of applications and don’t always have processes in place to manage them.

Professional ghosting also goes the other way: As recruiters, we’ve been ghosted by candidates, with it tending to happen more so in a tight job market.

It could be early on in terms of not hearing back for requests for more information or deeper into the recruitment process, with candidates not responding to interview offers or not turning up to interviews (yes, it happens – check out this USA Today piece).

And, in the worst case scenario, there are even times when successful candidates who take up offers and sign contracts don’t turn up to the first day of work. 

There could be valid reasons why this ghosting occurs, but, even if it feels justified, we don’t recommend it. Here are the 3 main reasons why.

Gorilla Jobs Blog Reasons Why You Should Not Ghost a Recruiter Woman Talking On The Phone Holding Her Head Worried
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

1. It just looks bad

Ok, so the most obvious, but it’s true – ghosting looks really bad, and in a world where reputation, particularly professionally, is crucial, mitigating risk and/or damage to your reputation should be front of mind.

Ghosting a recruiter also reveals something about character, and it’s not pretty. While ghosting might be a way of avoiding confrontation or of not wanting to be ‘the bad guy/gal’ by saying no to an offer, it also highlights a lack of reliability, integrity and honesty, plus an inability to manage difficult situations, all soft skills employers often look for in a candidate.

It’s also just bad business etiquette to ghost professionally.

2. You might get overlooked next time around

“Never burning your bridges” may be an old school concept, but it remains important in an ever-increasing, personally and professionally networked world.

Recruiters in particular place a lot of time and energy into networking, so ghosting could see word getting around about a candidate’s reliability, meaning future opportunities are placed in jeopardy.

And, because none of us can know the future, if some great role comes up in the future and it’s being recruited through an organisation we’ve ghosted, even in a tight employment market, a recruiter might pass on a candidate who has ghosted them for the reasons listed above.

3. Ghosting has a ripple effect

Ghosting a recruiter also has something of a ripple effect that can damage a recruiter’s reputation or networks.

Many recruiters have longstanding trust relationships with businesses or organisations, so ghosting of any kind can jeopardise this, which in turn ripples out to affect other candidates if jobs dry up due to businesses being wary of a recruiter and their process.

The bottom line on ghosting a recruiter

Rather than ghosting a recruiter, be honest! 

If you need to pull out of the recruitment process or you get a better job offer or are questioning some aspect of the role or organisation, have a conversation about it.

A simple email letting them know and apologising while maybe disappointing for the recruiter is far preferable to ghosting because it shows you respect the hard work they’re putting in. It also means you maintain a professional demeanour, don’t damage your reputation and keep a relationship alive with the recruiter that might be important in the future.

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