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The Anatomy of Ghosting: When a Response is (and isn’t) Required

Understanding what qualifies as ghosting.


Today, let’s discuss ghosting in the context of job searches and hiring processes. While there’s no official legal definition, there’s a consensus in the market on what could be considered ghosting.


When we talk about ghosting, whether it’s on the side of the applicant or the hiring company, it often boils down to initial outreach to express interest. This could be a job seeker inquiring about a position or a recruiter reaching out to a candidate to gauge their interest in an opportunity.


In my opinion, not responding at the initial stage doesn’t qualify as ghosting. While it’s courteous to reply, it’s not an obligation for the recipient to respond, given the high volume of outreach in today’s environment.


Moving forward, if there’s an initial expression of interest, say from a candidate or a company expressing interest in a resume, but there’s no subsequent follow-up, I still wouldn’t categorize this as ghosting. However, it would be considerate to provide closure if one party decides not to pursue the conversation further.


“Let’s aim for less ghosting in 2024.”


Ghosting becomes more apparent after the scheduling of the first interview. If one party doesn’t show up without any explanation, it meets the criteria for ghosting. This behavior is unacceptable from either the applicant or the company’s side.


Furthermore, once a second interview is scheduled, then one party abruptly disappears, it can be considered ghosting. This is a critical point in the process, and any sudden disappearance is highly discouraged.


Let’s aim for less ghosting in 2024. If you have more questions about this topic, call or email us. Happy job hunting; I look forward to hearing from you.