In the February 5, 2019 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter a reader asks about the consequences of ghosting.


It just happened at work. Someone “ghosted” their job! A man in his 20s just disappeared without saying goodbye or I quit. For those of us who’ve been in the workforce longer, this is amazing behavior. Don’t these people think the consequences will come back to haunt them? Why do employers put up with this? Looking forward to your comments.

Nick’s Reply

This trend doesn’t surprise me at all. Several generations of workers have now experienced ghosting — the kind that employers practice on employees, job applicants, and new hires. I think what you’re seeing is the outcome of employers’ widespread demonstrations of disrespect — they’re getting ghosted in return.

Ghosting the employee

Employees and job seekers are not just fed up; they have reset the table and are serving the dog food employers made them eat. Why bother giving notice, when the last time you resigned (or got fired) an HR manager ordered a security guard to escort you — and all your co-workers saw was the ghost of their former co-worker flying out the door? (See Quit, Fired, Downsized: Leave on your own terms.)

Of course, there are people who thoughtlessly and rudely “disappear,” as you’ve noted. But I think in most cases it’s a conscious decision to dispense with niceties like resignations because, well, why bother when your employer has been treating you like a replaceable part?

Ghosting the recruit

It also happens during the recruiting process. A recruiter in the HR department (or an independent headhunter representing the employer) solicits you, asks for your resume and references, has you fill out pages of online application forms, insists on knowing your current salary, and requires you to sign waivers so they can conduct a background check — all before they ever interview you.

You comply because you really, really want this job. Two weeks later, after you send e-mails and leave voicemails asking what’s up, you realize that the employer that solicited, recruited and pursued you has disappeared. You’ve been ghosted.

Ghosting the new hire

Worse are the many stories of job-offer ghosting that have become all too common in my mailbox. An employer makes a job offer, sometimes verbally and sometimes in writing. The candidate accepts, agrees to a start date, quits their old job and gives notice, and in some cases travels and relocates across the country. A day or two before the job is to commence, the offer is withdrawn with no explanation, apology or compensation.

One reader recounted that her husband moved a thousand miles several days before his new job was to start, to find housing. Meanwhile, she cancelled their rental agreement, took their children out of school, packed the family’s belongings, and started the long drive to join him. Halfway along the trip, the new hire called his wife to say the employer cancelled the job and rescinded the offer without any reason given.

How do you think that experience will affect that “new hire” when he gets his next job? (See Job offer rescinded after I quit my old job.)

Ghosted after trusting HR

In another case, an HR manager issued a job offer. The candidate accepted and HR instructed him to give notice at the old job immediately. He did. Several days later, the written offer still had not arrived. HR finally returned his many calls and said the background check turned up a problem — but would not disclose what it was. There would be no offer letter. Chalk this disaster up to the candidate’s naive trust in a verbal offer, but blame the HR manager for telling him everything was “a go” and to resign his old job.

(See Get it in writing.)

Turning the tables

Is it any wonder that, when the labor market is tight, workers turn the tables? I’m not saying any of this behavior is appropriate — but the reason more workers are ghosting employers is completely clear. Things have changed.

Perhaps the employer who rescinded an offer didn’t intend disrespect. HR was just very busy processing an offer to a better candidate that came along. The employer that ushered the fired employee out the door was just protecting its interests — it’s nothing personal. But as you note, these changes in the standard of conduct have consequences — but for whom? It depends on the economy.

What are the consequences in today’s economy? I don’t think they are significant for most workers unless the person tries to get a job back at their old company. Today, it seems employers are the ones facing the consequences of treating job applicants and employees with disrespect.

Of course, not all employers have been guilty any more than all workers are. And I’m not suggesting you should ghost anyone, whether you’re an employer, an employee, or a job seeker. It’s a lousy thing to do — and, yes, in some quarters it can affect your reputation. But you’re noticing a trend because there is a trend. Where does it end? Perhaps when workers demand better treatment — and when key jobs remain vacant because no one wants to work for employers that don’t respect them.

Special note to managers: Those recruiters in your HR department, and those third-party headhunters who operate at arm’s length but nonetheless represent your company — you’d better pay attention to how they treat job applicants. Their behavior will come back to haunt you.

Your turn, folks! Have you ghosted or been ghosted? How? Why? More important, how do we change the standard of conduct to improve relations between employers and workers?

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  1. I’ve never been able to understand the concept that candidates live in some kind of parallel universe where they never talk to, or – heaven forbid – might even be (potential) customers.

    Maybe when companies start losing contracts because the candidate they ghosted talked to the “wrong” person, they might sit up and take notice. Though even that might be too much to hope for.

    • “Don’t be rude.”

      Did their mothers never teach them that??

    • The whole process is such a nightmare for all concerned. You can believe that there is always something going on behind the scenes that you don’t know.

      I haven’t job-hunted in a while, but when I last did, I didn’t expect to hear anything when I applied for a job through a company’s HR website. Right now my niece is looking and I always express surprise when she gets any response, even though they often seem to be auto-responders. (She’ll say something like, “I got an automated rejection right away” and I say, “How can an online tool reject you automatically? Based on what?”)

      What really infuriates me, and I have experienced this, is when they have you on site for multiple interviews, sometimes across several days, and then ghost you. This is so unbelievably rude, I can’t understand how it could even happen. It would seem that there would be a process in place that would prevent that from happening, even if it’s an auto-responder, to wrap that up.

      From the hiring perspective: One of the behind-the-scenes goings-on is the fact that frequently, a company already has an internal candidate in mind when they post an opening. They are obligated to keep it up for a number of days and they don’t usually pass on the applications to the hiring manager. Not all hiring managers ask to see the applications, and when there’s an opening later, no one looks through the previous applications. So you have to figure out how to start over if you see a second job you like and it won’t be with the online tool, which usually thinks you already have an account. You have to be able to reach the manager.

      I have had to rescind job offers and it is agonizing. I once hired a contractor. Three days after he arrived, my boss forced me to let him go. I felt terrible and did ask the contract house to add a few days’ severance to it. At least I told him myself, though, face to face. Another time, I made an offer to a permanent candidate and told her not to give notice because of our rigorous security/background check. She said she was excited and would give notice, and I told her again not to. Of course, the background check turned up something that was not acceptable and I told HR to rescind the offer. I let HR handle that one.

      On another note, I stopped blindly accepting the findings of the background check because earlier I had discovered that they were not always accurate. So if you fail a background check, do what you can to find out why. One of the candidates in our department failed due to his “criminal record” in another state, but they just told him blandly that we were not moving forward with the offer. Turned out it was someone with the same name and same birthday and I had to do my own investigation and fight to get them to re-open it. But I was on the inside. If I had not pushed it, the candidate would have just had to accept the rejection and moved on.

      One last comment in this overly long statement. (I’m making up for all the other times I wanted to add something and did not.) One time I had a job opening and discovered, too late, that someone who had reported to me previously in another company had applied for it. I was shocked because this person was great and I would have grabbed her. I discovered she had applied on the online thing and assumed I would see it. For whatever reason, HR did not pass it on. (From that point, I asked to see all applications.) So she thought I, her old manager, was ghosting her.

      • “Three days after he arrived, my boss forced me to let him go.”
        Odd the company was not sued for this.
        “Another time, I made an offer to a permanent candidate and told her not to give notice because of our rigorous security/background check.”
        If the hiring process for screening had not been complete, why oh why would someone tell a candidate they got the job?!?
        Again, I would think this puts the company at risk for law suit.

    • In my case it was a Comminwealth of Massachusetts job, and it took two interviews and four months to get a response letter. I was 58 and had struggled 18 months with 20 interviews and only this one job offer after 4 months. In my experience State employers take longer. It was worth the wait.

  2. This even happens internally – as I’ve been dealing with it over the last couple of years.

    I’m in a great job, don’t get me wrong – but always looking for opportunities for improvement and moving up the ladder. I work for a large electric utility, so options are generally pretty wide and varied.

    In the last 2-3 years, I’ve applied for probably 5 different internal positions. Our lovely job system sends me all the automated emails (Thanks for applying, we can’t contact everyone personally, your application will be sent to the appropriate person, blah, blah…).

    Then – crickets…….

    In one instance, I was invited for an interview – but was passed over. Fair enough, and the manager had the decency to call me personally and discuss. But the fact that it took 50 days after the application to even get the invite really made me wonder what was going on.

    Second application – got an email a week later: Thanks for your interest, but no longer in consideration. No reasons, no “here’s how you can improve your chances” feedback.

    Third one – phone interview; during which they finally noted that there were residency requirements that I wouldn’t be able to accommodate. If that had been disclosed in the posting, I wouldn’t have wasted their time. This was another case of waiting a month to hear anything.

    Fourth one – another “thanks, but no thanks” email. At least got a call from the manager to let me know; and he gave me some advice (but was obviously unaware of my experience, as the advice would have resulted in about 4 steps backwards).

    Fifth one – in process now – applied on 1/4/19. Still waiting for anything beyond the initial email.

    I’ve been in the position of the hiring manager before, I know it sucks dealing with HR sometimes – but communication goes a long way. We had to fill 5 positions; conducted 82 interviews in the process (all internal candidates). I can assure you that every one of the 76 applicants that were not selected got feedback from me personally – in some cases via email due to rotating schedules, many cases on the phone. Did it take me almost a week to do that? Yep. Did every one of those people appreciate the contact and feedback? Based on the 50 or so that thanked me for it, I’d say most likely.

    It’s not always some recruiter or headhunter that is causing the disconnect – sometimes the internal process is our own worst enemy.

    • I had similar, actually worse, experience with internal recruitment. Gone through the whole process, the hiring manager told me I got the job, I replied I would wait for the formal notice from HR. Two weeks gone by, nothing. I asked the hiring manager if everything was ok, was told everything was fine and I should prepare to leave my old position. Having read ATH for so long, I refrained from telling anyone until I got the formal notice, not surprisingly ATH advice turned out to be exactly the right thing to do.

      Two more weeks passed, complete silence from the hiring manager. I sent one more email to the him and got no reply. I wrote it off and decided I no longer wanted to work there anymore as obviously their management had no credibility at all. I never heard anything from him in the years afterwards.

      • “Having read ATH for so long, I refrained from telling anyone until I got the formal notice, not surprisingly ATH advice turned out to be exactly the right thing to do.”

        Oliver, you just made my day :-)

    • It’s a wonder anybody ever gets hired.

    • “But the fact that it took 50 days after the application”
      May or may not be applicable, but one company I worked for had a blanket policy, the job posting had to be ope.n for 60 days to collect all applicants, including “internal” job postings

  3. One of the largest employers here on Long Island NY (Northwell) is notorious for ghosting applicants. They always have dozens of openings on their web site and are constantly listed in Indeed and other places. Everyone I have spoken to has had the same experience – they submit detailed and time consuming applications on the Northwell job site, and never hear anything other than it has been received. There is a job submission tracking section on the website which shows “application received” indefinitely with only an occasional update. I have stopped wasting my time applying to them as have most of my acquaintances. I was told by one longtime employee that unless you “know someone” it is impossible to get a job there.

    • @Ron: Sounds like after you’ve been ghosted there, you “know someone there,” and you’re going to tell your friends they don’t want a job there…

  4. I haven’t ghosted before, but if I did I’d

  5. I find the whole idea of ghosting funny considering most states are “Right to Work” states. Employees are no longer respected by most employers. Employees are fired for such random reasons. An employer simply needs to state “We no longer require your services.” Turn about is fair play.

    • @Karen H: I don’t think that most states are “right to work”; all 50 states are at-will employment, which is what I believe you are describing, which means the employer can fire you for any reason or no reason (so long as the reason isn’t because of race, ethnicity, etc.). It also means you the employee can quit for any reason or for no reason.

      Right to work is different. It means that if your employer has a union, you are not required to join, nor to pay dues, but the union is required to represent you and to fight for you.

  6. Good morning,

    This is a common occurrence with headhunters. They either submit a candidate who is rejected or decide not to push a candidate they’ve talked to forward. I guess it’s easier not to give any feedback than to face the music and tell a candidate they weren’t a fit.

    • @Bill: This is why good headhunters don’t worry too much about bad headhunters. The latter poison their own wells quickly with such behavior. Good headhunters know that long-term success in the biz depends on being able to get referrals from the best people in the industry you recruit for.

      Who’s going to provide a referral if you ghosted them???

      The problem is, there are too many bad “headhunters” operating at any given time. Be careful out there.

  7. I’ve seen a couple of the examples you folks have mentioned before (and recently at that): I had a phone interview with an HR person and, the very next day, got a rejection email. I then emailed the HR person back to ask why/what suggestions can you give to improve my chances and so far, haven’t heard a thing back from her. I’ve also had the experience recently of having recruiters submit me for openings and then not hearing anything back from them (despite my following up with them at least once a week after the submittals). Very frustrating, and I can’t blame anyone else who’s had experiences like these from becoming cynical (and maybe angry).

    • The best HR folks (and headhunters) treat candidates so well that, even if they have to tell the candidate, “Sorry, but you’re not right for this job,” they can turn around and ask the candidate if there’s someone else they can recommend.

      Of course, the best will also offer referrals and recommendations to good candidates they had to reject. It’s all in how you treat people.

  8. Many years ago a new hire at the company I was working for ghosted. He sat next to me so I obviously noticed when he stopped showing up. I couldn’t even blame the guy, a month or so into the role and he hadn’t spent even a minute with his hiring manager. I suspect he had no idea what he was even supposed to be working on. Employers have only themselves to blame for this behavior. I see it only getting worse from here on out. For many many years employers have treated their employee/candidate relationships as purely transactional. Now they’re feeling the sting when the shoe is on the other foot. Does anyone really think this pain will change their behavior? I predict the same stupidity for many years to come.

  9. On one hand, I decry the lack of professionalism – on either side.

    On the other hand, FOR YEARS employers have ghosted candidates in all the ways Nick described (and probably more to boot). It doesn’t take many occurrences before people start burning for the chance to do it back. Employers have made their own bed, and now have to lie in it. One hopes that they’ll actually learn, genuinely; I have my doubts however.

    On the gripping hand, people like myself (and myriad others) have posted, blogged, spoken up at networking meetings and employer roundtables… all trying to warn that such treatment WOULD come back to haunt employers. For our trouble we’ve been labeled “angry” and “uppity” and in the case of one private email, I was WARNED to “… know your place.” In the case of the last one, you could almost hear the “BOY!” that was not actually written – that was the tone of the entire email: KNOW YOUR PLACE PEON!

    I have been told, point blank during one onboarding meeting, that I should be grateful I have a job at all:

    Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?

    So the shoe’s on the other foot now? Boo f-ing hoo.

    • I recall that blog post from back then. I was, for a long time, oblivious to the fact that people can actually received a degree in Human Resources. Cringe-worthy statements like “be happy you have a job” really make you wonder what’s being taught in those HR classes. About a year ago I was sitting in a restaurant across from a table of young girls–presumably high school seniors–who were talking about their college plans–to get degrees in HR. I was tempted to butt into their conversation to ask “where?” so I could look up the courses one takes to learn how to come up with phrases like “be happy you have a job”.

    • @David Hunt: I, too, remember that article (thanks for re-posting it as it is a timely reminder about what is going on). I wish more employers would read it and take it to heart, but I fear too many of them don’t see themselves in it.

      I agree with you, and like you, have less than no sympathy for employers who are ghosted by candidates and employees. They’ve taught people how to treat them, or you could look at it as karma or (finally) revenge. For years and years employers solicited applications from job hunters, then couldn’t even be bothered to send out an automated response to say “thanks but no thanks”. Too many never even gave candidates they interviewed the basic courtesy of a call to say that they decided to go with the other candidate, and to wish you luck. There are too many examples of employers rescinding job offers, of doing the bait and switch (you apply for, interview for, and get hired for one job, but when you get there you learn that your job, title, duties, and pay are not what you were promised, and if you dare to complain, you’re fired or told that you suck it up because you’re so lucky to be working there).

      Employers who complain about the lack of loyalty from employees shouldn’t be shocked. They haven’t seen us as human beings for a long time, but as fungible parts, to be dumped and replaced at whim. Now that the job market is tighter, these employers don’t like how candidates are treating them. Pot, meet Kettle. If employers want basic courtesy and respect from candidates, try modeling that behavior. When someone applies, notify them that you received their application. When he interviews with you and you don’t hire him, call him and tell that he didn’t get the job. It doesn’t have to be difficult, even a simple “the position has been filled, but we were impressed with you and your skills, and we wish you luck”, etc. would go a long way to repairing the relationship.

      I would never do this to an employer, and if I decided not to interview somewhere, I would call them and tell them! But I never get the same courtesy in return. It says more about them than about me, and I can sleep at night. I don’t know how they sleep, and the excuse that HR is too busy (too busy to have a program that spits out auto-generated reject emails?) to tell people they’ve courted haven’t been hired is lame, and makes me wonder how they treat customers/clients.

      • I had one of those “lucky to be working here” moments within the last year. There are about 50 people doing similar work at the company where we work. The high-energy CEO comes out every quarter to tout the great sales and earning results. Except last year we were told there would be no raises for our group because we had not hit some mystery metric that we were not told about. I asked why the CEO still got $12 million, I was given the lucky-to-be-here specch. Found out that almost all of us had the same discussion with our managers.

        It is easy to confuse right-to-work and at-will. Corporations and government tout r-t-w as a happy feel-good slogan. AW is snuck in alongside RTW.

        • @Jim: Yes, it is easy to confuse at-will employment with right to work, although they really are very different things. I think of the former as having to with ease of firing and quitting (hence the ability of employers to fire any employee for any reason or no reason so long as the reason isn’t because that employee is a member of a protected class–think race–as the best example) and the latter as having to do with unions (employees cannot be forced to join a workplace union nor pay union dues, but that union is required to represent those non-member employees and fight for them).

          The slogan I sometimes hear with regard to right to work is that in states that are right to work, you (employee) have the right to work for less money (because the end goal of this legislation is to break and eventually eliminate unions). One way to do that is to require unions to protect and support employees who aren’t members and don’t pay dues, but still benefit from the union’s efforts. Right to work is fantastic for management and owners.

      • Some time ago I corresponded with someone who worked at one of the ATS software places. They told me, point blank, that there is the ability in the software to email a person when their resume is received. Just knowing that alone – “You’re in and complete!” – would make a difference.

        That, after coming in for an interview, they can’t even tell you?

        Another story: I interviewed for a job with 4 people (I think) that were on my schedule. They added someone to my schedule – a good sign. Each interview went long – another good sign. I was supposed to be done by noon. I left at 2 PM (no lunch offer which was annoying). And… nothing. Finally, literally almost three months later, I got my contact who had originally invited me live on the phone. He said they’d put the position on hold.

        And they couldn’t even tell me? How hard is it to hit REPLY and type off a few sentences?

        • @David Hunt: If ever there is a story for how NOT to treat job candidates, yours is it. Like you wrote “How hard is it to hit reply and type off a few sentences?”. Apparently it is very difficult, but I think this is due to laziness (sending a quick, three sentence email to let you know that the position was put on hold, or filled, or that the funding went away doesn’t take but a couple of minutes at most, less if the HR drone keeps a template of those kinds of emails/letters on file. A quick change of the name of the recipient, hit send, and it’s done). And I think arrogance and a lack of professionalism in addition to poor social skills are also the problem. But the main problem is that this behavior is acceptable to the muckety-mucks. If management came down on HR, or the hiring manager, or whoever is in charge (is ANYONE in charge?) of hiring, then things would change. The tone gets set at the top.

        • @David Hunt: Your story about what the ATS rep told you just confirms my biggest fear — the real problem may be inept, untrained personnel jockeys who are destroying their companies reputations and ability to hire, perhaps unbeknownst to the board of directors.

          And, speaking of boards of directors, WHERE ARE THEY??

          • My question to the ATS rep would be: is that feature turned ON by default, or OFF? These software companies could easily make these features available, if they wanted. Most of the time, they would rather create a situation where the customer must come up with more money for “consulting”, or any number of extra cost add-ons that are not included but should be.

            • @Invisigoth: Good point, but keep one thing in mind. ATS companies are funded by the HR industry. It’s up to HR to define and manage the hiring process, and to manage their vendors. Whether ATS vendors take advantage of HR, or HR isn’t managing properly, in the end HR makes the decisions.

        • David Hunt, it’s good to connect with you again!

          This kind of crap has been going on for a generation now. I suspect that I will never tire of relating this true anecdote of bad employer behavior:

          Posted at 6:32 pm on August 24, 2010 (

          OMG, I AM NOT ALONE! This kind of despicable behavior has been occurring for at least twenty years. When I told an “old timer” (a member of the prior generation) about this phenomenon, he was genuinely bewildered. “But that’s their job,” he said.

          February, 1991, with a company in Danbury, CT — I am the “round peg” for the “round hole” that they are trying to fill. I know that I am not getting an offer because two managers and one HR person adamantly refuse (!) to speak with me after the interview. Fast forward nine years and at least two spins of the company’s “revolving door”: after 3-1/2 tries (I was put on the payroll as a temp), my very personable boss apologized for being unable to act sooner and told me to expect an offer. But it was too late.

          Posted at 11:15 pm on April 27, 2016 (

          This week’s topic is not a new phenomenon. In 1991, a potential employer had me travel 200 miles one-way and stay overnight at one of the better hotels in the area (all at company expense) for two days of interviews. Subsequently, each person that I had spoken to face-to-face adamantly refused to speak to me over the telephone. This is how I was able to figure out that they would not be hiring me.

  10. “Why bother giving notice, when the last time you resigned (or got fired) an HR manager ordered a security guard to escort you — and all your co-workers saw was the ghost of their former co-worker flying out the door? (Nick)”

    What “at will” employment terms reaped they are now sowing.

    At-Will means you the employee are disposable at a moment’s notice as in empty your desk George here is escorting you out the door like a criminal. Doesn’t matter you are the recipient of three rarely given gold stars or that you are regularly ranked and rewarded as a top performer, the drill is the same.

    I don’t have an once of pity for employers any longer. Enough with the foolish malarkey a worker owes a corporation something the corporation is unwilling to give. Loyalty is a two way street and loyalty is just not part of the relationship in American capitalism any longer.

    The professional American journals an management made a big deal about employee deception in resumes all the while blind to the far more extensive and insidious and destructive practice of employer delegated deception the sole purpose if which is worker exploitation.

    Few have a clue how pervasive and deep this global supply chain is and the extent that American corporations are creating global technological smoke screens to hide these deceptive supply chains.

    To wit:

    Listen to Yogesh (Yogi) Marge For Xoriant Lying and Saying It’s My Job by User 295952651 #np on #SoundCloud

    • @Rob: You’re the Allen Funt of recruiting, audio edition. If these recordings weren’t evidence, they’d be funny.

  11. I’ve never had a job offer taken back at the last minute but I dodged a major bullet years ago (back in the mid-90s). The recruiter I was working with called me to let me know that I was one of two “finalists” for a position. Good news I thought. About a week later I was told that the other guy had gotten the spot. About a month later I got a call out of the blue from the recruiter. Was it to talk about a new position? Nope. It was to tell me that the guy who’d received the offer had given his two weeks notice, quit his job, and showed up on his scheduled start date only to be informed that the company had decided to eliminate the position after all. And failed to contact the almost-new-employee of that fact. A lawsuit ensued though I never heard anything about the outcome.

    At one employer, we had a new help desk analyst fail to come back from lunch on his first day. Did he find that the job was not what he’d been told? Who knows. Management was mum about the whole thing.

    Those incidents occurred 20+ years ago and were, AFAIK, pretty rare occurrences. Nowadays, following the rise of the resume black hole^W^W^W ATS as the sole point of entry into most company’s hiring processes and the lack of any feedback about where one stands in the hiring process, it surprises me not one whit that some candidates are going to fail to treat companies any better than the candidates themselves are being treated. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told during conversations with inside contacts and hiring managers (even those that an external recruiter has put me directly in touch with for a phone screen) that the next step is… wait for it… go through the HR website’s ATS. Then? Crickets. Not even an impersonal canned rejection email. It’s almost as though HR really doesn’t want the company to hire people. Hey, if it’s an automated system, how hard is it to automate a periodic notice about where candidates stand in the process or telling them that they aren’t being considered because they didn’t meet a critical requirement or percentage of the requirements? Your ATS can’t do that? Then, IMHO, it’s the wrong software.

    • Hmmm. So, is quitting without saying a word sort of like an automated resignation, with no human contact or communication involved? Sort of like the other end of the ATS system? :-)

      I love your ruminations! I think you’ve shown that ATSes are not life-cycle capable.

    • This fall I had a fantastic over-lunch conversation with a hiring manager to whom I’d specifically been recommended. He liked my resume, we seemed to have good rapport during lunch. Like you… “Please put your resume in through our system.”

      So I tried. The ATS literally would not permit my resume to be uploaded (never happened before!). I tried again. Nothing. I emailed him to relate the problem. He sent me a PDF with instructions (condescending much?). I tried again. Nothing – didn’t work.

      Fortunately, my consulting business (always looking for new clients*!) is taking off and providing a living, if not fantastic, income. I told him that. Not even a “Shucks, but good luck!” reply.

      * Website very much under construction / being edited.

      • Hiring Manager vs. ATS.

        ATS wins. Company loses because Hiring Manager lets technology run the joint.

  12. I’ve not been ghosted in interviews or job offers (haven’t managed to get on base yet, frankly), but I have been a regular recipient of radio silence after applying for a position or submitting a resume. I know I’m not alone. It seems to be the norm, not the exception.

  13. This same scenario occurs in the B2B sector as well. It’s been in effect for decades but has increased more recently over the past 8 years. As such it’s really a cultural situation. The company that ghosts employees also ghosts supply chain vendors. In the B2B world, there are forms of remedies called agreements and contracts. No company likes the thought of litigation, which isn’t a factor in most employee situations because of the “right-to-work” status in most states. Vendors now often research prospects to find out if they engage in ghosting and other unprofessional practices. Those that do such things are rejected by the vendor.
    Ghosting has become a form of therapy for employees. It will increase due to the cavalier attitude in vogue by employers across the board (mid-large companies). Ghosting is also becoming a springboard for individuals to open their own business to avoid this hassle altogether.

  14. I think some candidate ghosting comes from HR folks too chicken to call with bad news, and some from not wanting to give status updates that make the company seem slow. I told my kids that they should know that company time was a lot slower then their time, and that they should never expect fast action.
    I got ghosted by a summer intern 30 years ago. He had worked for me the year before, and was great. But that was probably due to issues with him, his mother didn’t even know where he was. He probably screwed up his life by doing it.
    I’m confused about people leaving jobs through ghosting. Don’t they want that final paycheck? Or are they in jail somewhere?

    • @Scott:

      Call me hard-nosed, but “too chicken” doesn’t fly with me. You wanted the job, along with that comes responsibilities, even if they’re ugly.

      Now, I will agree 100% with you that a company’s time scale is far slower than a candidate’s, especially if the candidate is jobless and watching whatever funds they have vanish into the bill black hole. Which does, in some way, lead to a question about EQ – that hip-hop-happenin’ term these days: if a company values EQ wouldn’t its people have empathy for those job searching and work to make the process as speedy as possible?

  15. Many years ago (25+) I was interested in working for a particular Company as a technical editor. I had sent them my resume, I think. During my job hunt, I somehow made contact with an employment agency, which called me one day about the “dream job” at the Company I was interested in. I thought that the Company was hiring me for the technical editor position (that’s what the employment agency told me); however, after I arrived at the work location, I was given some word-processing tasks and learned that I was being hired as a temp. (I don’t remember the details now.) When I realized what was happening, I told someone at the Company that I had to go to my car to retrieve something (my lunch?). Instead, I drove away and went home. Someone from the employment agency called me several times thereafter, but I refused to accept the call (instructed my husband to say that I was not at home). Talk about miscommunication (or DECEIPT)? Bait and switch?

    • Nah, that was “cut and run!” :-)

  16. Nick – Some of these questions you get make me really laugh, because of the naiveté.

    I would add one thing to your list: One thing I’ve experienced and hear about is when you’re interviewing with multiple employers and one of them comes back with an offer. When you inform the other employers of the offer, this can blow up in your face as some employers are not ready to make an offer (there’s some good reasoning here) or are adverse to getting in any type of bidding war even though the offer in hand could suck.

    Back to the point. Quite simply, candidate/employee ghosting is simply a reaction to behavior we have seen from employers. Employers can pull the BS that you state without much recourse, but when the shoe is on the other foot, it’s the worst thing ever!

    PS – A correction for some of the readers: Right to work has nothing to do with a state being at will. A state can be both at will and right to work – the later simply meaning that you are not forced to join a union as a condition of employment.

    • @Davidd: This is why I love this community — a lot of smarts! You and Marybeth provided good explanations about right to work and at-will. Thanks!

      • Hah, that’s a good one. “Smarts” in HR and recruitment? Best joke I’ve heard all day.

    • At my last job I was very lucky and able to play one offer against the other. Not so much for salary, but just to make a decision.

  17. It would be interesting to see the correlation between employees ghosting and length of employment. A new hire who can obtain other employment quickly wouldn’t have a gap on their resume to explain. Particularly those with an in-demand skillset where the “you’re lucky to have a job” accusation falls flat.

  18. Nick, thank you so much for bringing this up. In exactly one month from today’s date, it will have been exactly ten years since I suffered the humiliation you spoke of.

    I was the keyholder for a mid-sized company’s regional distribution center. I had spent thirty years going above and beyond to care for the company, its facilities and equipment, its customers, its employees, and our service partners. Five years before that, I was a key holder for a department of a very large institution. And five years before that, I was working my way up in the field of manufacturing and distribution.

    All told, 40 years of professional dedication, nearly 40 years of marriage, and a daughter licensed to practice law. And yet, when the company was bought, and it was clear that I wasn’t going to be a part of the new regime, I was escorted out of the building with my small box of personal belongings, with no opportunity to say goodbye to my comrades, who had been with me 10, 20, or 30 years.

    Fortunately, I have just recently recovered from the trauma of losing my job and being unemployed for nearly two years afterward. I survived my survival job for six years, and was able to avoid being escorted out because I was retiring voluntarily. Even though I had severely limited my personal belongings onsite because of my previous bad experience, I needed help taking stuff out on that day. I didn’t realize the positive impression that I had made on my co-workers over the few years I was there. I needed help carrying out all of my retirement gifts.

    It took two years of retirement to complete the healing. The trust, however, will never be restored. Though I enjoy working (which is why I am only “theoretically retired”), I could never be a part of the current practices of corporations and corporation wannabes.

    While I was recovering, I often joked that I had to lose my job in order to save my soul. Still dedicated to my field, I continue to contribute to its knowledge, but am critical of the totalitarian undercurrents in much of the business world. I once had a vision of a humanistic business environment.

    Silly me.

    • @Citizen X: You have a fine way of reminding us of the human element in business. Thanks.

  19. We can not control what others do. We can control what we do. Therefore, always treat people with kindness. If you run a company, be nice to your customers, employees, and vendors. If you work for a company, do the right thing no matter what.

    I know this sounds idealistic but if I strive to live this way, I can sleep at night.

    • @Kevin: BAM! You are absolutely right. I don’t advocate ghosting, but I must admit I chuckle at “what goes around.” But your message is an important one. While we might understand why employees are now ghosting employers, taking the high road means don’t do it just because somebody did it to you. Or, do unto others… Thanks.

      • Nick:

        In Game Theory the single best outcome is tit-for-tat behavior.

        If employers behave well, employees and candidates should behave well. Conversely, if employers behave badly they need to get it to the hilt. If employers – who are the ones with the power – stop, then stop as well.

        Something that I’ve learned in my (cough cough) umpteen years is that people generally don’t stop behaving badly / stupidly until they recognize that the outcomes they experience are a consequence of their behavior. Employers have – pardon – p!ssed on candidates and employees for decades. And, truth be told, the shrill whining that I see in multiple articles tells me that, at least broadly, employers still haven’t made the connection.

        To quote Bill Engvall of Blue Collar Comedy: I don’t want to be a jackass. I didn’t get up wanting to be one today. But you (employers) pushed peoples’ jackass buttons for years.

  20. Fresh out of graduate school in the early 198os, I was substitute teaching to make ends meet before I got my first job in the field of chemistry. I was so happy to get called to a job interview in a well-known company! On the day of the interview, I took the day off, meaning that I won’t get the day’s meager pay I so desperately needed. I arrived on time and had a (surprisingly) long discussion with the HR manager. When she asked if I had any more questions for her, I replied that she satisfied all my questions about the company and I would like to start speaking with the hiring manager. At that point, she hemmed and said there was a problem: there is no opening for hire, as the person vacating it decided to stay. She said she tried to telephone me the prior day, but no one answered. I lived alone in an apartment and those were the days before cell phones and answering machines. She could have easily taken my number home and called in the evening when I was likely to be there, but that would have been too kind. I was, of course, not offered compensation for any of my wasted time.

  21. A few years ago I had theee interviews with a company. At the end of the second interview the HR person said they were very interested and were moving forward. (No offer yet). After the third interview I never heard from them again – I pinged them a couple of times – once to thank them and the other time to get the status. They ghosted me!

    I saw the HR woman in a store soon thereafter. We did not say hello, but fear crossed her face and she started pushing her cart and walking very fast. At least I think it was the HR person.

    • I’d guess that after your third interview, someone else at the company made a different decision. Then the HR person had egg all over her face with you.

      I’ve seen this kind of thing from both sides. From the employer side, it’s amazing how decisive some companies can be when they’re faced with actually having to write someone a paycheck. Hmm, maybe they don’t need this new/vacant position after all.

      On the candidate side, I was ghosted once after three interviews for what ended up being two different positions. It was clear they’d decided to start their search over, this time looking for cheaper candidates. But saying anything more to me or the other interviewees would only have confirmed that to us.

    • Something similar happened to me in 2014. I was interviewing at a company that produces baked goods like Texas toast and garlic bread. I was applying for the Purchasing Manager position.

      I had an interview with the Production Manager who would be my boss. It went well and after a week I followed-up. The HR person nor the production manager called back. Around 2 weeks later, I saw the guy in a hardware store. I gave him a blank stare and I could see in his face that he knew who I was. He walked away very fast.

      The next day the HR person sent an email. She was apologizing for the long waiting time and that the hiring manager was on travel. I would be one of two final candidates and they would contact me shortly to go through the next steps. I could smell the malarkey 10 miles against the wind. Of course, I have never heard back.

      The consequence is that I boycott the company since then, and I will never buy their products again. I wonder whether company owners are aware of the damage that HR and hiring managers cause with ghosting candidates.

  22. You talk about a business Ghosting the new hire. I have one for the books. At a time it was hard to find a full time job I received a job offer from a large company. I got the offer in writing and gave notice. As I was walking to the door the morning I was supposed to start I received a call telling me they had decided to have someone from Nebraska move to Illinois and take the position. 10 seconds later and I would have found out about this when I walked in the door. It turned out they knew this within a day of send me the letter. As it was, because I had resigned I spend more than 2 months without income. And employers wonder why employees are doing this.

  23. I worked for a high turnover private company that would ghost many applicants and fire people left and right. I remember in a 6 month time period that we had about 8 millennials start the same job during those 6 months in my department and they all ghosted the employer. Most of them left for lunch on their first day and never came back. My boss would take them out on their first day for lunch so they wouldn’t bolt. It became a running joke at the company. One new hire lasted a full week and he declared on that Friday afternoon that this company is bull____ and he is out. He left and didn’t come in on Monday and my boss left him many messages.

  24. Some time ago, I applied to a job via a headhunting company, which was assigned to do the recruiting. Got an automated reply to the application, then long radio silence, then finally an update that said “thanks for your patience, Karsten”, then a final “you are no longer a candidate”. Replied and asked if there was anything particular with my candidacy that led to that decision. Never a reply.

    Later, I learned that a former colleague of me actually had gotten that job, and it had been a long and bureaucratic process, with personality tests, interviews and the full show. And the company is bureaucratic as heck. Seems I dodged a both a headhunter and company bullet.

    On the other hand, I applied to a company where I happened to know the COO from before. Just emailed them a CV, a Skype interview, a meeting at their head office. Very good, professional and candid. For various reasons, I found that it was not the right time and place now, so I sent them a polite email and explained why, and we wished each others the best for the future. No HR, no BS :)

    • On the flip side of that, I submitted my resume for a position for which I was – easily – a 98% fit. Without any stretch of imagination I had all the buzzwords / keywords without even trying. The right experience, more than enough education.

      I applied well after working hours. Within an hour I had an email saying I was not a fit.

      Let me repeat: This was after working hours. It’s not possible that a human looked at my resume at that time of day. (On the plus side I did get a reply!)

  25. I am a recent college grad at an advanced age. Have applied to a certain local hospital for a job in my career field. Heard from the state’s employment department that this employer was conducting a job fair at their office. Attended the job fair only to find out they were not taking resumes nor interviewing. Two of their HR employees to talk to 100 potential applicants. When it was my turn, all they wanted to know was had I applied via their online portal (yes) and thus they looked me up and said they were sending an email to X telling them I had come to the job fair. And they told me my application had been routed to the hiring manager, X, already. I found this very strange and disheartening.

    • @Kathy: I’ve found that so-called job fairs are a colossal waste of time. At one time, job fairs were great. Bring copies your résumé, dust off your suit or best business casual attire, and go. You had opportunities to meet hiring managers, to talk to them about any available jobs, and many conducted interviews right there. When a former employer decided to close our site and move some of the jobs to East Greenbush and Hartford, they sent the word out of the pending closing to other local employers, large and small, and hosted several job fairs for the employees who opted not to move with their jobs. I got a job that way–by being able to meet with a hiring manager, who decided that she liked both my résumé and me well enough to hire me. Other colleagues got jobs that way, too.

      This was in 2001; fast forward to today, and not only do hiring managers not attend job fairs, but you’re lucky if you can interest the bored HR drone (she’s too busy posting on FB and playing with her phone to talk to you) and who can’t even tell you what job openings they have. They’ll ask you if you have visited their website, and tell you to look through the job listings, then apply online if you’re interested. Good luck getting any information about the job itself, duties, pay, etc. I’ve given up going to job fairs. No one will even look at your résumé, and no one wants to talk to you. Then why bother? Just push people to the online portal and hope they fall into a black hole.

      What has filled the gap in job fairs is the résumé writing “industry”. I noticed far more of those than attending than real employers, but of course they charge you for the service (no blame, of course, but that is no guarantee of getting a job, or even that one of the bored, clueless HR drones will even look at it). So yes, compared to how job fairs were handled before, they’re disheartening and strange.

  26. Years ago I was sick for a few days, Each morning the HR department called to see how I was feeling. They had a policy of 3 days to job abandonment. I asked about the calling and the reply was, years earlier, another person was out, they called the 3rd day with no answer then happened to call a neighbor who replied with the info the person passed away the day earlier. A REAL ghoster. I think the availability of talent must be such that the workforce has become so expendable you will never be missed.

  27. I interviewed for a job via Skype before Christmas and was told after the new year they would have me in for an in person interview with a presentation. I’ve heard nothing. No emails, no calls. Its rude! They said they really needed someome too. What do I do?

  28. Yes! I went through four levels of interviews, over a few weeks time, met the executive team, was asked how soon I could begin and how excited they were to have me. They would follow up. Three weeks and no call later, I emailed a request for status to the hiring manager, and received an email from a lower level recruiter telling me they ‘decided to go in another direction.’ I was flabbergasted. All the time I spent and took off so I could meet their interview timetable. And no one had the courtesy to call and tell me. Totally unprofessional. But I just landed my dream job last year so I’m very very happy to be with an organization that respects me.

  29. A few years ago I applied to a role to work as a sales rep for a former customer of mine. Because it was a large medical group, she couldn’t hire me directly, but instead I would have to interview with several people, including a hiring manager she didn’t see eye to eye with. Everyone seemed to think I’d be a great fit, but because she wanted me, he was determined to find some way not to hire me. Except I met every challenge and dodged every obstacle he threw out there. I got a call from her saying “They’re going to make you an offer – act surprised when they do!” Then… nothing. Even she didn’t know what was up with the role – to support her practice! But because I was by then unemployed I had the time to just stay on their radar. ONE YEAR LATER, they reach out to me – and offer me a PT role, with no benefits. The hiring mgr gave the FT, full benefit, expense account role I had interviewed for to a woman with a certificate in a related field (I have a master’s and years of experience in that exact field), but that he fancied. Thankfully by then I had a competing offer, and accepted that. HR guy had the nerve to tell the doctor I would have supported that they were shocked I didn’t jump on their offer. Really??? And shocker, the candidate they hired didn’t make it a year…

    • @Anna: This is truly a punchline:

      “And shocker, the candidate they hired didn’t make it a year…”

      Tells us all we need to know about that company!

  30. I was ghosted by so many employers after I graduated college it wasn’t even funny. The only thing that kept me going besides my family was my motivation. That being said, I graduated college less than a decade ago and this was when the economy was still unreeling from the recession. But even as the economy recovered the situation did not get any better. In fact, it wasn’t until 2016 that I finally landed a full time job and not a temp or a part time job. And not even that was relief; that job lowballed me to the point of nearly paying me peanuts that I did not stay loyal from the start. I was out of that job in 5 months. But that is a story for another day.

    My point is, I can completely relate to why employees and job seekers ghost these days. Employers have been ghosting candidates for a long time that now the tables have turned because job seekers are now so jaded that they feel that they can act the same way and give employers the same treatment to see how it feels. This should not come as a surprise at all. And if employers think it feels ugly and insulting, imagine how they made job seekers feel when they did it. It doesn’t feel so pleasant now, does it? It is a wonder why the tables have now turned. And I can see why because I can totally relate.

    Fast forward to 2019, I am finally back on my feed and employed at a job with a decent salary, great benefits, a wonderful boss, a great culture, and a tremendous opportunity to grow. I have no intention of leaving as a result. I was treated with respect and a timely response from day one and I couldn’t be any happier.

  31. I am still waiting for the rejection email from Schlumberger for a job I applied to in 2002, when their last communication was “you are definitively on the list”… :D

    • Hmmm, they didn’t specify what ‘list’. :)

  32. A HR manager was knocked down (tragically) by a bus and was killed. Her soul arrived at the Pearly Gates, where St.Peter welcomed her. “Before you get settled in” he said, “We have a little problem…you see, we’ve never had a HR manager make it this far before and we’re not really sure what to do with you.”

    “Oh, I see,” said the woman, “can’t you just let me in?”

    “Well, I’d like to,” said St Peter, “But I have higher orders. We’re instructed to let you have a day in hell and a day in heaven, and then you are to choose where you’d like to go for all eternity.”

    “Actually, I think I’d prefer heaven”, said the woman. “Sorry, we have rules…” at which St. Peter put the HR manager into the downward bound elevator.

    As the doors opened in Hell she stepped out onto a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club; around her were many friends, past fellow executives, all smartly dressed, happy, and cheering for her. They ran up and kissed her on both cheeks, and they talked about old times.

    They played a perfect round of golf and afterwards went to the country club where she enjoyed a superb steak and lobster dinner. She met the Devil (who was actually rather nice) and she had a wonderful night telling jokes and dancing.

    Before she knew it, it was time to leave. Everyone shook her hand and waved goodbye as she stepped into the elevator. The elevator went back up to heaven where St. Peter was waiting for her. “Now it’s time to spend a day in heaven,” he said.

    So she spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds, playing the harp and singing; which was almost as enjoyable as her day in Hell. At the day’s end St. Peter returned. “So,” he said, “You’ve spent a day in hell and you’ve spent a day in heaven”. “You must choose between the two.”

    The woman thought for a second and replied: “Well, heaven is certainly lovely, but I actually had a better time in hell. I choose Hell.”

    Accordingly, St. Peter took her to the elevator again and she went back down to hell. When the doors of the elevator opened she found herself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. She saw her friends dressed in rags, picking up rubbish and putting it in old sacks. The Devil approached and put his arm around her.

    “I don’t understand,” stuttered the HR manager, “The other day I was here, and there was a golf course, and a country club. We ate lobster, and we danced and had a wonderful happy time. Now all there is, is just dirty wasteland of garbage and all my friends look miserable.”

    The Devil simply looked at her and smiled, “Yesterday we were recruiting you, today you’re staff.” ;-)

    • I think in many cases it’s not actually that HR is presenting the position and company as better than reality, but making applicants go through many hoops to get the job.

      So I think there should be version of this joke where the HR manager is put through many interviews including interview to determine whether the HR manager is a ‘cultural fit’ for heaven, then ghosting the HR manager.

  33. I find the complete lack of self-awareness of recruiters – contracted and HR types, that complain about being ghosted by “unprofessional” candidates and new hires amusing. They have got their head in the sand.

  34. I was just ghosted this week. I had a great interview for a job at a startup with the company founder. It was a half hour call and he said he had another call right after so we couldn’t go over, but on the phone he said he wanted a second interview ASAP and he would follow up with me. He said he was very excited to talk to me further. I got an email about half an hour later with 3 times to select for an interview and he reiterated in his email how excited he was to speak to me again and what we would be talking about in the second phone interview. I responded with a time right away. The time for the interview came and went. No phone call. I called and left a polite message about rescheduling. Then I sent an email asking to reschedule and I said I hoped everything was ok. It’s been 3 days and no response.

    I did check the job post (where he is listed as the poster) and yesterday I noticed the job had been changed from remote to a city that I am not far from. I had even mentioned in my interview that I am there often. If this change is requirement was fueling this ghosting, You would think if he was that enthusiastic about me, he may have given me the benefit of letting me know the requirements changed and asked if I would still be interested instead of just deciding to not call and not respond altogether because I am not physically there.

    • @Mona: It’s an understandable mistake to over-think these situations. Step back and consider the most fundamental problem – he failed to honor an appointment. I love how you played that: “Is everything okay?” You gave him an easy out once he realized he’d behaved like a cur. But he didn’t take it. He did not correct a nasty faux pas.

      That’s all you need to know. Where the job is located, whether the posting was re-written, whether you’re a fit, what they’re doing or thinking — none of that matters when you’re dealing with a company and a manager that behaves like an untrained dog. (My apology to all dogs.)

      Please move on. They don’t deserve to talk with you again unless they make profuse and sincere apologies and do something special to make up for their behavior. Don’t wait for it. Please – move on. There is nothing there, and it’s not your fault.

      Of the tens of thousands of answers I’ve posted to readers’ questions in over two decades, this is perhaps some of the most important advice to take to heart. Don’t let errant employers who misbehave mess with your mind. It’s them, not you.

      I wish you the best.

  35. One thing I will say for the millennial generation, they have no problem with “no loyalty” to an employer, and “ghosting an employer by giving no notice” when resigning. It is one of the few things I give many of them credit for, and this coming from a man now in his early 60s.Ever noticed that employers can ghost you all day long, terminate you at will for any number of vague and wishy-washy reasons, but heaven forbid you ghost them and leave without notice, which is perfectly within one’s rights with at will employment. After seeing friends and family kicked to the curb after years of loyal service, being ghosted and treated in degrading ways, and endless strings of dead end job interviews, it is no wonder.

  36. Oh, I’ve been ghosted! I had a great interview at the firm, then the guy sends me an email a short time later to say the process was taking longer, and encouraged me to call them in a week or two to check in. I called twice. No answer. I am an attorney, and my state requires all new lawyers to attend a professionalism course, but I guess they missed that class, and the part where professionalism is necessary as you may never know when you’ll need a favor…

    My rule: if you ghost me then you’re dead to me. (Employment-related) calls will be ignored, and I will extend no professional courtesy.

  37. I was “ghosted” last year when trying to move from one civil service job to another.

    What was essentially my dream job opened up. My resume was perfect for it, and I’d been building towards this job for years. I applied for the job, I got the interview, and then I get a call saying they were giving me a “soft job offer” and that “we still have to finalize the paperwork, because it takes a long time at personnel to get a start date lined up, but you beat out 300 people for this job and we wanted to let you know.”

    They send me piles of personnel paperwork to fill out, background check materials, I talk to my new supervisor several times on the phone to work out details of making sure all my references and prior employers have valid contact information. They give me a tentative estimate of my start date.

    I had been waiting for the formal, final job offer before giving my two-weeks-notice to my current employer, but I made the mistake of telling some co-workers of my good fortune (it was hard to hide my overflowing happiness at getting my dream job). It made its way around the office grapevine and then my supervisor and HR rep are wondering why I didn’t turn in my notice if I had a new job offer.

    I told them the reason: that they hadn’t finalized my start date and finished the hiring paperwork at my new job. They said that didn’t matter, if I thought I had a new job, I should turn in my resignation and give my notice.

    Under pressure from HR and my boss, I turned in my notice and gave an effective date right before the tentative start date I was given from my new employer.

    Then, a few days later, I get a terse e-mail from the new job saying something to the effect of “Although you were a compelling applicant, we have decided to make the final job offer to another candidate.” No reason given for pulling out the job offer, no indication that there was any problem in the hiring process.

    I tried to e-mail them or call them to ask for more information, but to no avail. To them, it was like I didn’t exist anymore.

    I’d already packed up my cubicle, I’d gone terminal leave from my job, and was now stuck trying to rescind a resignation that I didn’t even want to turn in the first place. I was lucky to keep my job, and will probably never know why I didn’t get my dream job, even after it was offered to me.

    • @Joseph: Very sorry to hear it. Now, this is my “I say it til I’m blue in the face” lecture. Two things:

      1. Never, ever, ever quit your job for a new one until you have a bona fide, signed offer and start date in hand. (Even then, unfortunately, it can go south, but this at least gives you something you might use in a legal action.)

      2. Never, ever, ever tell anyone at your old company where you’re going (much less that you ARE going). Tell them two weeks after you start the new job. Give notice only when (1) is taken care of.

      I’m not lecturing you after the fact, because it of course changes nothing. But I hope others read and absorb the lesson you took the trouble to share. Thanks for sharing it in painful, compelling detail!

    • While it’s better to keep the mouth shut (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure), I see nothing wrong with feigning surprise and lying when confronted about an intention to quit. This is something that I saw at my first post-baccalaureate job over 40 years ago.

  38. All these employees “ghosting” their current employer is the direct result of the IDIOT NARCISSISITIC Hiring Managers blatant rudeness going on with all this psychopathic “ghosting” and/or giving out job offers only to RESCIND them after the candidate gives their two weeks notice to their current job. So now obviously the logical outcome of this demonic chain of dysfunction is that the employee is afraid to give a two week’s notice to their current employer in case the current interviewer/hiring manager for the new job back peddles at the last minute. How ELSE can they cover their own butts??? When you have selfishness and rudeness ruling the day, it just creates MORE selfishness and rudeness by default. A never-ending cycle of chaos and destruction. The devil is behind it all. This is the “New World Order” devaluation of people to get the communist globalism of 1% filthy rich “elite” and the 99% work slaves. Like Pharoah in the Old Testament removing the straw for the brick but still requiring all the Israelite work slaves to produce the same quota of bricks each day. This is the modern day version of this satanic bullshit.

  39. Recruiter contacts me, says I’m “perfect” for the position and setups an interview. Both the employer and recruiter say that a decision will be made by the end of the week. Send thank you email to employer – no response. Call recruiter after interview with feedback. End of week comes and go, don’t hear from anyone. Call recruiter, who says “oh, they are interviewing more people”. Follow-up with recruiter several times – no response. Never heard from employer. Ghosted by recruiter and employer.

  40. This bad behavior isn’t just for the mid-level positions, and that bitter taste can be left in the mouth even with a rejection letter if what goes on in the interview kick-starts it.

    In my own case, I’d applied to a regional pizza chain near me as an order taker in their centralized call center back in early 2017. Made it past the computer’s first screening, into a face-to-face interview, where hours and pay rates were discussed. It soured me on even considering an offer when they mentioned that they only paid pocket change over minimum, and that I’d start at 30 hours a week, with the “ability to move up to full time” based on performance.

    At the same time, I’d had an application and interview with HR at a big box store literally down the street that ‘sparked’ my interest. When they offered me a full 40 hr/wk, and a starting rate that was more than a dollar an hour better, I knew which one I was going to pick, and was busy drafting my own “I appreciate your interest in me, but I’ve decided to go with another offer” rejection.

    When I got the e-mail from the first interview that said they were going for other applicants, I just laughed, and seeing just how ‘well’ they treat their employees caused me to move them from first choice when I wanted to order pizza, to completely boycotting them.