Ghosting work? It’ll come back to haunt you


Everyone hates being ghosted.  And that includes recruiters and employers. If you agree to an interview or work opportunity in the GTA or anywhere and, for whatever reason, can’t follow through, do the right thing. Communicate. Let people know.

Sound obvious? Not to everyone. Studies show that not turning up to a job or a meeting is happening more than it should.

Ghosting in the workplace can come back to haunt you

Job candidates and employees of any age can do a vanishing act, but research shows it’s mostly done by those newer to the job market, with under six years of work experience.

In our personal lives, psychologists estimate almost half of us have ghosted someone, or have been ghosted by a date, a friend, or an acquaintance.

And workplace researchers say that because ghosting is now a somewhat common (albeit mean) practice, people may think they can suddenly stop all communications with employers too.  But that’s not thinking smart.

What do we know about workplace ghosting?

People ghost to avoid their own discomfort or embarrassment about giving bad news.

It may seem like the easy way out, but the repercussions can haunt you.

When you you disappear without a word, expect your work contact to take it personally.  They’ll feel disrespected, disappointed, and angry.

No news is worse than bad news

If you just don’t show up at work, without telling anyone, you leave others to scramble last minute to find a replacement. This puts a lot of stress on an employer and on colleagues who likely have to step in to cover for you.

If you don’t show for an interview that a recruiter set up, you’re leaving it to an embarrassed recruiter to apologize for your inexcusable behaviour.

People who are ghosted have long memories

Workplace ghosting is a reputation killer.

If you have to give unexpected notice or can’t make an interview, but are upfront and professional about it, people won’t take it personally, and they’ll do their best to understand. Even if they’re not pleased in the moment, they won’t hold it against you forever.

But if you ghost, you’re blackballed. You burn a bridge.

To make the point, Meredith Jones, a director of HR for a national restaurant chain, told Wall Street Journal reporter Chip Cutter, she doesn’t need to record the names of employees who ghosted in a database because “I have a list of names in my head that have burned me so bad,” she says.

The manager you ghost today could be hiring at your dream company tomorrow

People change jobs and companies all the time.   The workplace community is smaller than you think.

You could easily cross paths again with someone you burned today. They may be in a hiring position at another company that you’ll want to to apply one day. Or they could even be colleagues or friends with someone who is in a hiring position, and your name comes up. As noted, we don’t forget the names of people who ghost us.

A work relationship is a relationship

At GardaWorld Staffing Services The Bagg Group, we are renowned as leading match-makers because we know that it’s very important to ensure the right fit between a job candidate and a company.

You aren’t just bringing your skills and experience to work, you are also bringing your best self to a team. You’re building connections and reputation every day. How you communicate with people in the workplace matters to your career now and into the future.

And for opportunities for full-time, contract, and temporary that you won’t want to ghost, check out our  job board.

Gene Hayden, author of The Follow-Through Factor: Getting from Doubt to Done (Random House), is a career coach who has helped hundreds successfully put their best foot forward at interviews and in the workplace. She is also writer-in-residence for The Bagg Group.


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