Job Ghosting: The Spooky Workplace Trend Affecting Employers Everywhere


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“Ghosting” has become a new method for people to quit jobs.

Kelsey Ruble, Contributor

In an attempt to avoid confrontation or a potentially uncomfortable conversation with an employer, some candidates or employees will go radio silent instead. It’s called “job ghosting,” and it’s quickly become a popular trend in the workplace.

While ghosting isn’t necessarily a new concept, it’s one that’s become more prevalent over the last few years. According to an article in USA Today, “Many businesses report that 20 to 50% of job applicants and workers are pulling no-shows in some form.” Some experts attribute this to more opportunities from an improved economy, change in candidate or employee attitudes, or overall fear of confrontation. 

Antonio Smith, a 20-year-old from Norfolk, Virginia, shared his experience with ghosting an employer. 

“It was for a store back in Norfolk called the Body Shop,” Smith explained. “It seemed great at first, but I found out the pay wasn’t the best, and I didn’t want to settle for a job I’d end up hating later on down the line.” Smith never showed up for his interview.

Elizabeth Griffin, a 25-year-old retail manager residing in Portland, Oregon shared a similar experience while working in the food industry. She had just landed a position at one of their local breweries. “I lasted one shift and never showed up again,” Griffin said. “I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal because the turnover was so high.”

For employers, this process can come at a big loss to their company. That two-week grace period that businesses receive when an employee formally quits becomes nonexistent. This can make the hiring process difficult. However, there are certain precautions employers can take during the hiring process to avoid some of these issues. 

Eileen Leuthner, the store manager of a Sears in Oviedo, has said that job ghosting has made her change the way she interviews candidates during the hiring process.

“We try to discuss with them thoroughly why they left their last two jobs. Sometimes, a clue is when they have worked a lot of jobs previously,” Leuthner explained. 

She also encourages other employers to follow up with references, because communication is key. 

So where does it end? With the number of job openings surpassing the number of job seekers, this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. For employers, things are about to get even spookier.