job seekers are ghosting employers … just like employers have done to them for years

In today’s topsy-turvy job market, a strange new thing is happening: Employers are increasingly grumbling about job seekers “ghosting” them. These job candidates just don’t show up for their scheduled interviews. And in some cases, they accept a job only to disappear.

Employers don’t like this. But they’ve been doing this to workers for years, and their hand-wringing didn’t start until the tables were turned. My column for Slate today is on this turnabout — and the resulting schadenfreude. You can read it here.

{ 500 comments… read them below }

    1. TrackingCookieMonster*

      For way too large a portion of your taxes, you too can help a corporation in need.

      1. Detective Eames*

        This won’t be popular, but as someone who is job seeking and someone who does hiring, people who hire are people too and aren’t all jerks. I know, I know, it’s like saying “not all men…” but seriously.

        1. TheProblemWithEyes*

          I take it you always, ALWAYS get back to candidates, have never skipped a call and make sure that every single offer you issue is above market rate, fair, and accounts for the terrible employment rights laws in the US, then? As does every single other hiring manager in your business, as is mandated by leadership? In which case you’re the exception to the rule. Doesn’t make the rule any more true.

        2. Random Mgr*

          I agree.

          This comment has some serious “anti work” vibes. It’s not corporations who are doing hiring, it’s other people. Being rude sucks, no matter who it is coming from.

          1. Kal*

            That’s not really that strong of an argument – all that means is that its other people who have been ghosting job seekers. If the people who employ others regularly ghost people looking for jobs, its not exactly fair for it to suddenly become a problem when the people they regularly ghosted start ghosting them back. If people who do hiring made sure to self-police each other and make sure their peers stop ghosting people looking for jobs, that would be an actual start on changing the culture away from ghosting, and would be a lot more useful than complaining that job-seekers are taking their cues on what is professional by copying the behavior of employers.

    1. YetAnotherNerd42*

      Thanks, now I’ve got the Barnes and Barnes song “Fish Heads” stuck in my head. (Anyone else old enough to remember that one from the early days of MTV?)

      1. ArtK*

        I didn’t, until you mentioned it. Thanks.

        It predates MTV (song written in 1978, MTV started in 1981) and was a regular song on the Dr. Demento show.

        1. YetAnotherNerd42*

          Just sharing the joy. :)

          “Fish Heads” may predate MTV but the video was in heavy rotation for a while. Early on, MTV would play just about anything that had a video associated with it. It’s how so many new wave and synthpop acts got a foothold in the US without commercial radio airplay. They had videos early on where more established artists typically didn’t.

      2. Speaks to Dragonflies*

        HEY CRAP!!!! My wife played that song for me just yesterday…my first and hope only time hearing it. What an awful song.

      3. Bryce*

        Dr Demento used to come to my college every year, do a few actual music history lectures and end the week with his favorite songs from his show. Maybe he still does, I haven’t been in touch. Weird Al’s debut and Fish Heads were always in there.

      4. Still cannot think of something clever.*

        Argh….how could you do this to me? I can’t get the song out of my head now! lol

    1. Michelle Smith*

      Yes, and I feel like employers have gotten worse, not better. I had someone promise me a final (5th) round interview and then ghost me for several months before sending an automated rejection (yes, I had followed up). I had someone who would have been my direct supervisor reschedule the interview, give me conflicting times, not respond to a request for clarification, not show up at EITHER time, and then email me two days later saying they weren’t sure they were hiring for the position anymore. Screw these employers. My current job isn’t what I want to be doing, but they gave me 2 raises in the past 6 months in an effort to keep me. It’s hard to justify leaving when prospective employers are paying next to nothing and are extremely unprofessional.

      1. Former HR Staffer*

        i got through 4 rounds of interviews: 2 phone, one virtual (me showing them my portfolio and virtual interview), and one in-person. they didn’t bother to give me a phone call or even a canned reject letter.

        don’t feel sorry for them one bit.

      2. CatCat*

        Yeah, my spouse was laid off 6 months ago. He’s had several interviews and I think all but one ghosted him. The ghosting he’s been getting from employers has been really upsetting him. He’s trying not to take it personally, but it’s hard. It certainly FEELS personal to him.

      3. Llama Llama*

        Yup I am on week three post interview in the stage of “is this non-profit just really disorganized or have I been ghosted”.

        1. BasketcaseNZ*

          My FB memories came up with something like this the other week: along the lines of “its now hitting the point of switch from taking time to check references and do paperwork, to this job will not be offered”

      4. Hats Are Great*

        Ugh, same. I even had an HR person call and tell at ME because THEY ghosted ME after two rounds of interviews. It sounded like one person on the hiring team wanted to hire me and someone else dropped the ball in getting back to me. HR person demanded to know why I was so unprofessional that I hadn’t chased them down repeatedly when they blew me off.

        Thing is, I had followed up twice (including with an email to this person directly) and was just met with radio silence, so I eventually figured they went a different direction, shrugged and moved on.

        But they felt like they not only could ghost me in the middle of the interview process, they felt like it was appropriate to yell at me because they ghosted me!

    2. Danielle*

      I agree, employers are still doing this. I’ve had multiple round interviews, with significant travel involved, and have not heard back despite my polite inquiries.

  1. Johnny Karate*

    I’m torn between “Oh, how the turn tables” and “I learned it from watching you, dad!” on this one.

      1. YetAnotherNerd42*

        I guess you don’t remember anti-drug PSAs from the 1980s. :) Dad finds out his kid (aged about 14, as I recall) has weed, and confronts the kid with the joint he found. The kid responds: “I learned it by watching YOU!”

        The Saturday Night Live parody has the dad continuing: “You’re doing this all wrong, it’s much too fat in the middle, see….”

        1. Darsynia*

          Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin is a song from 1974 about a son who learned to be too busy for a relationship from his father over the course of the song, though, which I think was the reference. One of the recurring lines is very similar to the ‘I learned it from you, dad’ from the comment replied to.

    1. ecnaseener*

      “‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party” also feels relevant.

  2. JelloStapler*

    Quote of the year: “their hand-wringing didn’t start until the tables were turned”. Another headline for the Great Resignation.

    1. zillah*

      yeah, i think this is kind of the thing. even places that weren’t dicks about hiring themselves probably weren’t making noise about what other places were doing like they’re making noise now.

  3. Hills to Die On*

    Just going to continue to treat people with respect and professionalism no matter which side of the table I am on.

        1. not that kind of Doctor*

          Same. There are already plenty of a-holes in the world; I prefer not to add one.

      1. James*

        Collective action is typically built of individual virtue. Corporations are just groups of people, after all.

        Plus, there’s just something gross about intentionally sinking to the lowest level in the group. I’m very much a virtue ethics person, and do not believe that what others do affects the viability of my virtues. Better to die standing than to live as slime. There’s also the karma aspect–I don’t need three times my bitterness coming back at me, got enough to handle.

        This is born out by game theory. The Prisoner’s Dilemma, for example. The optimal strategy is to rat out the other person if they rats you out, BUT to forgive the other person occasionally to break the inevitable doom-spirals. One act of kindness can, it’s been mathematically demonstrated, improve the group as a whole.

        1. Jam Today*

          Collective action is almost always the result of self-interest. The only way to achieve a goal on this scale is to make employers feel the pain.

          1. James*

            The question is, is your intent to solve the issue or to inflict pain? If it’s to solve the issue that’s one thing–free enterprise is not a nice system, after all, and business owners assume these risks. If your intent is only to hurt others, well, there’s a name for people like that. I’d rather not live in a society where “sadist” is the dominant personality type.

            1. sagc*

              lol at somehow equating “I didn’t call ’em back” with sadism. Like, I really don’t think companies or employees are being “harmed” by this? If they were, Alison would, I imagine, tell them that whether or not a candidate calls them back is probably not something to be highly invested in.

            2. Lobsterman*

              What does this virtue-signaling get you? I promise, HR is not reading this and marking it as a positive in your review folder.

            3. TardyTardis*

              Seriously, employers aren’t going to change till they have to. Equal and opposite reaction, yay Newton. Avoiding bad karma rarely involves cutting your own throat to make the other guy happy.

            4. Mannequin*

              Ever consider that when someone is rude back to an a-hole, that it’s simply a form of karmic return?

        2. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

          Agreed. “No single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood” comes to mind. Within a society, individual virtue affects others, and is therefore collective action.

        3. Richard Hershberger*

          I am assured that corporations are not groups of people, but are themselves people. They can even sincerely hold religious convictions, based on the Hobby Lobby precedent. Personally, I wonder how that works. I would love to hear Hobby Lobby’s witness about when it was Saved and entered into a Personal Relationship with Jesus.

            1. Richard Hershberger*

              Chick Fil A’s food is decidedly above average for fast food. One day my daughter, who was perhaps ten years old at the time, declared she would not eat there due to their LGBT+ politicking. I was ashamed to realize I was selling out for an above-average chicken sandwich. We haven’t been back since.

              1. Mannequin*

                I worked at a SA thrift store in the mid 90s and believe me, that place is an all around wretched hive of scum & villainy even in the everyday running of their charity business.

                I’ll never forget when the sweet, devout older couple -who would have been District Managers at any other org, but here the equivalent title was a military title (think Captain or General) because that’s how all the corporate titles were structured :rolls eyes: – retired, and on their last day, came around to every store in the district to personally say their farewells. Then, after the stores were closed & everyone went home, they drove a moving van around to all those stores again, and cleaned them out of all their major appliances & good furniture. I came into work the next day to a lot of blank spaces in our inventory and a locksmith changing the locks- they had to do it for every store.

                Corporate was NOT pleased, but they sure didn’t do anything about it.

          1. WindmillArms*

            Exactly. If corporations want all the perks of personhood, we are perfectly justified in deciding that some “people” are horrible, toxic, and draining, and decide to block them.

      2. Xenia*

        Collective action is the sum of individual behaviour, and our own specific individual behaviour is the thing we have the most control over. What could be better to work on?

    1. Up and Away*

      Agreed. But is it bad I’m keeping a list of my no-show interviews for when the tables have turned back again? I’m not really, but it sure is tempting.

      1. Anan*

        If by interviews you mean you are the employer, yes it is. It’s that side of things that set the tone.

    2. goducks*

      Right. Who has more options available to them, the employer or the job-seeker is truly a cyclical thing. Right now it is the job-seeker. Sometimes its the employer. People on both sides of the table would be wise to remember that this will change back in favor of the employer at some point (and then back in favor of the seeker at a later point), and just treat people with professionalism all the time, regardless of where we are in the cycle.

      1. Zona the Great*

        I’m not sure we as a nation have ever experienced anything like this and I’m not sure the employer will ever gain back the level of power they once had. In fact, I think our history has shown that the power of the employer has gradually diminished over time as evidenced by, among many other things, many of our grandparents telling us we owe extreme loyalty to our employers no matter what. I don’t think there is a pendulum or cycle as you suggest. However, yes, one of the greatest things that matters in life is how we treat each other.

        1. Lady Catherine de Bourgh*

          On the other hand, I don’t think we’ll ever see generous pensions and benefits like our grandparents saw either.

    3. hbc*

      Exactly. Unless I know for sure that the particular hiring manager/company deserves as much pain as I can inflict on them, I’m not even considering ghosting. There is someone on the other side of the exchange who isn’t a representative of The Man and may have treated candidates impeccably for their entire career. A one sentence email costs me nothing.

      Plus, there’s enlightened self-interest. There’s always a chance that I’ll want a job there in the future and don’t want to sweat about whether there’s a record somewhere of me blowing them off and if I should address it in my cover letter.

  4. KHB*

    I’m as pleased as the next person by a good story of jerks getting their comeuppance…but are we sure these are the same jerks? In my experience, there are plenty of good employers out there who are considerate with job applicants’ time. Do they also deserve to be treated like this?

    1. awesome3*

      It’s not that they deserve it per se, it’s that they never realized that the status quo on their side was rude. It’s generally rude when anyone does it, it was just considered acceptable for employers to be rude for so long.

    2. Roscoe*

      It may not be the same jerks, but in a way it doesn’t matter. When just about everyone has multiple stories of being ghosted by employers, you learn that the “nice” ones who don’t do that are in the minority. And sometimes, they are paying for the sins of their peers. That’s life. Just like just because some people who talk bad about former employers may be lying, enough managers think that its likely a person is lying based on their experience, so they’ll treat potential employees the same way.

      Maybe eventually both sides will be better at this.

      But the employers have, for far too long, looked at this as they have all the power. They would (and still often do) cut people for asking about money too early. Would rule out someone for being late to an interview, but have no problem keeping people waiting. Set hard deadlines for applications, but would never stick to their decision timeline. After a while, the pendulum was bound to swing the other way.

      1. MissBaudelaire*

        Exactly. I’m thinking of all the interviews I went on that I never got a response from, all the interviews my husband had that were multiple rounds–and how it was radio silence forever from those companies. The interview even last month he scheduled, went to and–the interviewer wasn’t there. Had called in sick to work that day, hadn’t called my husband, and hadn’t told the other workers there that an interview was supposed to happen. AND he never actually called to apologize or reschedule.

        If that’s the way they treat their candidates, how do they treat their employees?

        Is it true that plenty of companies/employers are kind and say thanks but no? Yes. It is. They might even be the majority (although not around here). But that very loud, very rude minority really sets the scene.

        1. Thursdaysgeek*

          “But that very loud, very rude minority really sets the scene.”

          That is true in so many cases, not just employer/employee ghosting.

    3. Anon for a while*

      It’s the same for applicants, but all applicants have been mistreated for decades. Start there.

    4. Rav*

      I think they need to rethink the process. If they kept prospects in the loop (“Thank you for submitting”/”We’re evaluating”/”Sorry, we chose someone else”/”We’d love to interview you”), it would definitely reset the relationship.

      1. Xenia*

        I think too on all sides we do have to be more open to automation and form letters. A lot of job seekers in particular grumble about automated replies, and while they’re inappropriate perhaps if you’re in the final round of interviewing for an upper-level management position against one other person, with growing companies and more internet based resources form emails are going to stay common because HR might not have time to personally reject a thousand candidates a day. I’d rather get a form email than be ghosted.

        1. The Other Katie*

          By the time the relationship between prospective employers and employees has progressed to “we’re either going to hire you, or someone else”, there should be no form letters involved. The courtesy of a personal rejection after multiple interviews would go a long way.

        2. Deejay*

          The ones that get me are the ones who say “We’ll be in touch regardless of the outcome” and then go silent. Look, folks, if you really are too busy to fire off a form rejection email as you claim, then go with “If you haven’t heard within X timeframe, assume you have been unsuccessful”.

          Yes, that’s not ideal, an actual response is better. But don’t make promises you can’t keep.

      2. Lady Catherine de Bourgh*

        It would be nice if this recent shift in power would establish this as the norm, as companies who ghost would find themselves with fewer candidates than the companies that keep candidates in the loop.

        I know there’s GlassDoor but is there a “this company ghosted me” type site? I’d be happy to name names of companies that ghosted me so people know to avoid them.

    5. Tyche*

      Anecdotal experience is only anecdotal. I’ve applied to many jobs over the last few years. I only received one actual rejection. Small companies, corporations, etc. The only place that sent a rejection was for the city.

      Do good employers deserve poor treatment? No, but nobody does. Sometimes you have to inconvenience innocent people to make a statement. People have to be made to feel uncomfortable for any change to happen.

      1. The Original K.*

        In every job search I’ve done, the employers who said “thanks but no” at any stage of the process have been in the minority.

      2. Ann Nonymous*

        Literally the only employer I applied to out of dozens (this was several years ago) who ever responded in any way was Caltech. They were all rejections, but still. The only one. Huh.

      3. Mongrel*

        It just seems like another moment of dishonest shock & outrage from many employers that they’re having to deal with the consequences of their own actions.
        “Why did you jump straight to action Z (that inconveniences us) instead of doing X and\or Y first (which you did but we studiously ignored)”

    6. Nanani*

      I think this is asking the wrong question.
      When a job seeker has been ghosted by potential employers their entire career, it has effecitvely estalbished ghosting as normal. It doesn’t matter that this specific interviewer has never ghosted anyone, the norm is set.

      So when you, an employee who has been ghosted dozens of times at least, are in a position to pick and choose, it just seems natural to not respond to the jobs you’re not going to take – that’s what you were taught was normal when employers stopped answering you because they’d picked someone else.

      1. Marthooh*

        Exactly. These people aren’t trying to get back at anybody, they’re just doing what they think is normal. What they know is normal.

    7. Mockingjay*

      I’ve been ghosted many times by large, medium, and small companies. The attitude was always “there’s plenty of fish in the sea.”

      Those fish have migrated to more hospitable waters. Those who want the fish need to adapt how they fish and offer much more enticing bait and fish in a wider area. For instance, my company (which does NOT ghost interviewees and treats its employees VERY well) has started offering huge employee referral bonuses for nearly every posted position, because they can’t get enough qualified applicants to interview. (I mean, really big bucks. I’ve never seen recruiting money like this in my industry.)

      (sorry, kinda got carried away there. I have family members who switched out of service industries after years of not being able to find anything and now have better jobs with set hours, decent pay and benefits, training, and promotional opportunities. It’s wonderful for them.)

    8. Rachel in NYC*

      I imagine that the good employers have a different response.

      They probably aren’t thrilled when someone ghosts on their third day, but I know my department had our first choice for a position take a different offer instead and everyone agreed it was an awesome offer and were happy for them. (Admittedly, they’d had a great group of applicants for the role and are thrilled with the person they ultimately hired.)

    9. Eden*

      Right? Why the assumptions that the companies being ghosted on are the ones doing the ghosting? My company’s MO is certainly to never leave anyone hanging once contact has been made and I don’t think we’re special and unique for that. We make changes all the time to improve candidate experience. I mean, we’ll live, I’m not saying this is terrible or anything, but I don’t think “turnabout” is a fair argument here.

      1. zillah*

        i think, though, that – as is so often the case – that even companies that don’t ghost people benefit from those who don’t treat applicants/workers well, and it’s important to recognize that. companies benefit from applications that took more thought and energy, more polished interviews, a larger pool of applicants, and applicants with fewer options who are therefore less comfortable negotiating regardless of how they personally treat people during the process, and i think it’s really important to recognize that.

    10. Polecat*

      I interview with dozens of employers from 1987-2015 and applied to probably 10 times as many job ads. I assure you that the good employers are a needle in a haystack. In all that time, I have exactly one potential employer who stands out when it comes to treating me with respect and kindness during the interview process, doing more than was necessary. Maybe a few others who did the minimum (which to me is, if you interviewed, *proactively* letting you know if you didn’t get the job). The rest were partial or complete ghosters. The amount of time I will waste feeling badly for employers who can’t get candidates to reply to them is zero point zero.

    11. Your Local Password Resetter*

      Statistical probability says “probably yes”.
      Especially if they then complain about it on the internet and in newspapers.

  5. Sloan Kittering*

    Can I just say, I dream of being quoted by Alison in Slate some day, so that I can tell everyone that I was “published on Slate”

      1. awesome3*

        Now I really hope that someone writes in for Friday Good News and their good news is that Alison quoted them in Slate.

    1. Shenandoah*

      I’ve written into Dear Prudence and Carolyn Hax for advice before and had my letters published – I definitely joke I’ve had my writing published in Slate and Washington Post!

    2. Bryce*

      Don’t underestimate how this can work for you. I did one summer internship for some folks who were writing a paper, did a small amount of grunt work that they credited (as one should), so I am now officially a Published Scientist with about four works to my name thanks to reprints.

  6. Anhaga*

    I feel sad for any hiring managers who *have* been behaving kindly toward their applicants, but overall I’m feeling a bit of vindication. I had so many ghostings from even small local companies in our rather tight-knit professional community in my current city. It was not cool.

    1. Roscoe*

      I don’t feel that bad for them.

      I’m sure it sucks. But even good managers have probably done this before. I quite like my company and the people who work there. But some of them have admitted to doing this type of thing. And they feel bad about it, but their logic often makes sense to them. So again, if their logic for doing it to someone else makes sense to them, its just as likely that the logic of the applicant makes sense.

      Its like dating. You may not feel bad ghosting someone, until you have it done to you. Then it may change your behavior for the better.

    2. Justin*

      I think it’s sort of like… the companies who were doing alright on issues of racial equity before 2020 probably had a little agita and extra steps to take but should generally be alright with the possible advancements, even if it’s a hassle, because of the others who have always done poorly.

    3. LCH*

      meh, I’ve been on both sides and think I’m a pretty considerate hiring manager. and definitely don’t feel bad for the companies getting ghosted.

      1. SheLooksFamiliar*

        Likewise. I’ve been in corporate staffing literally for decades, and most of my hiring partners agreed with me about follow-up, timely messaging, and overall appropriate behavior with candidates. It wasn’t always easy or timely, but the overall belief was pretty simple: candidates are investing time and interest in us, and we shouldn’t treat them dismissively. If you truly believe that, the rest is much easier to manage.

        So no, I don’t feel bad for the companies getting ghosted, either. They brought it on themselves for the most part.

    4. hbc*

      To the best of my knowledge, no candidate under me who made it past the first application screen has ever been ghosted, but I’ve been ghosted multiple times. I don’t love it, but I consider it a part of the process. The hiring pool includes people who find it too anxiety-inducing to say “Changed my mind,” people who don’t know they’re causing an inconvenience if they don’t show, people with whom we had a communication glitch and each thought the other dropped the ball, and yes, people who have been ghosted themselves so often that they’re done giving the benefit of the doubt. But I never know which one it is, so I just shrug and move on, which is what I expect most of the good companies/hiring managers are doing these days.

      Plus, the good ones are still likely to experience less ghosting, since they probably do fewer things to tick candidates off–like rescheduling four times, or getting snippy about sharing the pay range, or just generally showing a lack of respect.

    5. Your Local Password Resetter*

      It also impacts them a lot less IMO.
      Getting a really good job (or any job at all) often has a huge impact on your life and living standards. Being kept in the dark about that can be terrifying as a result.

      Not knowing if you can hire a candidate to fill a role in your organization is… not THAT important. Even for a big role, at worst your job becomes a lot harder and more stressful. But you won’t starve or become homeless because someone rejected your job offer.

    6. comityoferrors*

      I’m hiring right now and…I don’t care if I get ghosted. Will it be kinda disappointing if a favored candidate disappears? Sure. But then I’ll wrap up for the day and log out. It does not impact my day-to-day life at all. We’ll hire someone, we’ll train them, it’ll work out or it won’t. There’s not a lot that changes on the employer side when you hire one person vs. another.

      On the other hand, if I’m a candidate potentially uprooting my life to move to a new employer, there is A LOT at stake. That’s my livelihood and my stability and my potential future career. It matters, much more than it matters to me as their prospective manager. That’s not to suggest that I don’t care about my employees – I do – but there’s an inherent difference in the emotional investment there.

  7. Anon for a while*

    The tiniest violin plays for them.

    A friend & former coworker told me that one of the already hard to fill positions at OldJob has gotten harder to fill because everyone they’ve connected with is asking for at least 30,000 above what OldJob offers. Where they used to get a few people who would stay a bit at their rate but leave quickly, now they get no one.

    The answer to this problem is obvious. OldJob would rather give additional work to the current staff with no increase in salary.

    1. MissBaudelaire*

      A lot of it seems like ‘You get what you pay for.’ If you’re offering some benefits and pay that are pretty crummy for your industry/area/whatever, you’re not likely to attract people who will stay there long or commit to you. Because you’re telling them “We don’t think you’re worth it.” Who wants to stay in a job like that?

    2. Workfromhome*

      its same old story

      “how do you review your highest performing employees”
      “easy we give them more additional work until they become average performing employees”

      1. Aggretsuko*

        “how do you review your highest performing employees”
        “same as everyone else, give them “Meets Expectations” so we don’t have to give them a raise.”

        1. Your Local Password Resetter*

          It encourages them to work harder! By ignoring their accomplishments and never being satisfied!

    3. Paris Geller*

      Which is a great way to make current staff leave, and then the process begins again until the C-suite has another meeting about recruiting and the words “but we’re like a FAMILY!” are said.

      1. Anon for a while*

        That’s exactly what happened. Old coworker gave me this update because the most recent person in the position who I knew abruptly quit last week due to burnout. Management is annoyed and nervous that no interviews are working.

  8. H*

    THIS! This is 100% the point “It’s also worth noting that in many cases, the reason employers are having trouble attracting candidates who stick is because what they’re offering—in pay, benefits, hours, or other conditions of the job—simply isn’t competitive. It might have been competitive a few years ago, but it’s not in this market, and they haven’t updated their thinking to account for that.”

    1. Generic Name*

      Agreed. I think folks on the hiring side are also glossing over the importance of “or other conditions of the job”. I think a lot of people are realizing that they won’t work for certain industries no matter what the pay/benefits are because the industry has such a reputation for toxicity and dehumanizing their workers (restaurant industry). Also, I read an account written by someone who applied to 2 jobs a day for 30 days, and got a very low response rate from the fast food/fast casual places he applied to. And on top of that, the responses he got were for lower pay and fewer hours than were advertised. According to this one person’s report, a restaurant that has a sign up about being short-staffed “please bear with us” etc, has signs posted for above minimum wage full time jobs apparently are actually hiring for 20 hour a week jobs paying right at minimum wage. Folks want full time work, full benefits, reasonable wages, being treated like a human, and they want to work one full time job and not 2 or 3 part time jobs with inhumane schedules. Apparently this is too much to ask of many industries/companies. We’ll see how long employers hold out.

      1. DataGirl*

        This. My 20 year old is applying left and right for jobs and even food service which is supposed to be desperate for applicants isn’t responsive. One restaurant advertised $17/hr, but when we contacted a friend who is a manager in that chain we were told they are still only paying the minimum for tipped workers- $2.65/hr. That $17 is assuming tips- but you can’t really count on tips since you never know what shifts you’ll get and how the customers will behave.

        1. Your Local Password Resetter*

          3 dollars an hour is such a disgustingly low wage that part of my brain still refuses to accept any company actually offers that.
          Any manager or executive who offers or defends that exploitation should walk around mortally emberrassed every minute they’re on the job.

        2. Elizabeth West*

          Tipping culture needs to end. Ugh.

          I applied for several kitchen jobs (pre-pandemic) and even with an oversimplified resume, not one person wanted me. They probably thought I was applying to satisfy the UI office. If they’d asked, I could have told them, dude, I’m willing to do the job. But no, just crickets. Although it would have helped me hang onto my savings, now I’m sort of glad that didn’t happen.

          1. Xena*

            Agreed. Tipping needs to be done. Fold the extra 20% into the price of the food and pay the waitstaff a fair wage. Tipping can go back to being a nice bonus rather than forcing waitstaff to grovel at the customers’ feet for the money they should be getting anyways.

      2. Risha*

        My occasional babysitter (a woman in her late 20s, not a teenager) started picking up work like mine at the beginning of the pandemic because she was a cook whose restaurant had cut back to just Thursday through Saturdays nights, right after getting promoted from a much worse place. I asked her last month if she was back to full time yet, and she was still on approximately that same schedule. And more to the point, she didn’t care because she has decided that she was sick of the toxicity and poor working conditions and crap pay, and is currently look to move into a different industry altogether.

      3. Shiba Dad*

        Also, I read an account written by someone who applied to 2 jobs a day for 30 days, and got a very low response rate from the fast food/fast casual places he applied to. And on top of that, the responses he got were for lower pay and fewer hours than were advertised.

        The guy who applied to those jobs targeted jobs he was qualified for and places where the owners complained that “no one wanted to work”. He filled out 60 applications, got less than 15 email responses, a few phone calls and one interview. The employer who interviewed him advertised full time at $10/hour but offered part time at $8.65/hour (Florida’s minimum wage). I think that was a construction job, but I’m not 100% sure.

      4. Starbuck*

        “a restaurant that has a sign up about being short-staffed “please bear with us” etc, has signs posted for above minimum wage full time jobs apparently are actually hiring for 20 hour a week jobs paying right at minimum wage”

        Oh yes. I listen to a podcast (Citations Needed) that examines these sorts of corporate PR anti-worker tactics versus the actual facts on the ground, which are often contradictory to the narratives that they’re trying to spin. It’s been very illuminating.

        For anyone interested, my favorite work/worker’s rights related episodes are:
        Episode 64: Mike Rowe’s Koch-Backed Working Man Affectation
        Episode 81: How US Media Pits Labor and Climate Activists Against One Other
        Episode 92: The Responsibility-Erasing Catch-all of ‘Automation’
        Episode 111: How “Small Business” Rhetoric Is Used to Protect Corporate America

        and especially the episode that first got me into the show:
        Ep. 118 – The Snitch Economy: How Rating Apps and Tipping Pit Working People Against Each Other

      5. Mongrel*

        “Also, I read an account written by someone who applied to 2 jobs a day for 30 days, and got a very low response rate from the fast food/fast casual places he applied to. And on top of that, the responses he got were for lower pay and fewer hours than were advertised”
        His name was Joey Holz if people want to Google him

    2. Mister Lady*

      YES! This is what stood out to me as well. I see job postings that actually DO include salary and just think “Do they think we’re still living in 2014?” For reference, in my area, a 2-bedroom apartment went from $750/mo to $1200/mo, from 2017 to now!

      1. DataGirl*

        My 20 year old is looking to move out soon. When we compare rental (and other) costs in ratio to minimum wage from 25 years ago when I was in her shoes, minimum wage has not even doubled, but rent is 4-8x as much as it was back then. We calculated to just pay rent on a room in a house (much cheaper than getting an apartment), pay for gas/car costs, food, electricity, water, and internet (a necessity as she’s a student) she needs a MINIMUM of $1000/mo income after taxes. That would require about $15/hr for 20-25 hours/week working. Almost no one in our state pays that much, but as a student she can’t work full time. Even working full time at $10/hr is only an income of $1600/mo before tax. I honestly don’t know how anyone supports themselves at those wages. People literally cannot afford to work minimum wage jobs anymore.

        1. Splendid Colors*

          Where I live, whole families live in each bedroom of a house to afford rent. Or young people share 2-3 people per bedroom of an apartment or house (not couples, strangers) and maybe rent out the couch or the dining room too.

          When I ride the bus in the evening, I’ll see groups of 2-4 young men from India riding the bus home together from work. Apparently the lower and middle levels of the tech industry (not the Google/Apple/Facebook/Cisco level) hire new grads from IIT on H1B visas with what sound like amazing salaries until they get here and find they need to share a 1-bd apartment with 1-3 other people to afford a place to sleep. We have multiple local universities turning out CS/IT grads, but of course anyone who’s been studying in Silicon Valley knows the cost of living and isn’t going to fall for a lowball salary.

    3. The Smiling Pug*

      Good point. I recently applied for a job that will be a step up from what I’m doing. For example, it’s full-time remote with benefits. I’m worried that if I even get a interview, they’ll ghost me and I did all my cover letter and resume work for nothing. It irks me when people say that companies are “desperate:” no, they’re not. Their dumb gimmicks are simply being exposed as what they are: dumb gimmicks.

      1. BabyElephantWalk*

        Companies aren’t desperate. They are just afraid to admit that they no longer have all the power in hiring.

    4. Spearmint*

      This is the first truly strong labor market since the late-‘90s, so we’ve had a whole generation of managers and business owners who only have experience hiring in an employer’s market. I think many of them are struggling to recognize what has changed because of that.

      Not that I have sympathy for them. But it makes sense. Old habits die hard. But the market will force them to change their habits.

  9. H*

    And also there seems to be an uneven amount happening in terms of sign on bonuses and recruitment efforts whereas…what is being done for people’s longevity and loyalty to keep and retain them?!

    1. TheyThemTheirs*


      as a recruiter I’ve also told a good number of companies they need to pay higher, too. crickets. but they’ll keep getting upset their positions aren’t filled!

    2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

      Haha. Why would you do that? It not like they can just leave and go to one of the places offering more money and signing bonuses, right? They would never do that, right?

      In all seriousness though, I hope companies are thinking of this. My employer gave across the board 3% raises and a thousand dollar bonus this year, which isn’t much, but at least shows some level of recognition of the problem (and we’re a non-profit, so we mostly all have some level of respect and loyalty to “the mission”). I’m willing to bet a lot of places aren’t even doing that.

        1. KaciHall*

          A couple years ago I worked at a factory that largely employed people who couldn’t pass a background check or had iffy documentation for $9/hr. As an office employee I made more, but not much. We all got a $10 Butterball promo check for our Christmas bonus. I still have it. It still makes me angry every time I see it, and I’m reminded that I deserve a better employer and to not settle again.

      1. Loredena Frisealach*

        2 years running I was told ‘we aren’t doing promotions this year’, and got a standard COL raise, only to have promotions announced a few months later. If not for the pandemic, I would have left after the first time (I had just started interviews and places went into hiring freezes). I changed jobs this summer – promotion, raise, better benefits, fully remote!

      2. Xenia*

        The company I just started with is showing all the signs of not being penny pinching and I’m so grateful for it. They automatically shipped all their new hires a full set of WFH equipment, even the interns. They did implement austerity measures during the first few months of Covid but then reversed then and provided people with back pay + bonuses. The benefits are really solid, including a huge bonus for passing professional certification exams. The work isn’t easiest and the salary isn’t the highest around but the fact that the company already shows all the signs of investing in its employees long term and provides a good, stable job is making me hopeful for the long haul. More companies need to do that.

      3. Cthulhu's Librarian*

        3% *envy face* My workplace announced a half a percent cost of living adjustment for all staff, five day after the 5.4% inflation rate numbers came out.

      4. The Other Katie*

        My partner got a nice retention bonus and a little stock option grant this year, to try and make sure he stayed. (His team is down to 1/3 of its normal staffing level, which is already too low.) Seems nice, until you do the math and recognise it’s just about the same as the difference in inflation over the past three years when he’s received a 0% raise. So let’s just say, that’s not taken him off the job market.

    3. Elizabeth West*

      It’s like how the cable company only offers pricing promotions to new customers. Longtime customers are SOL.

      1. The Dude Abides*

        This comment reminds me of the job I had on campus during most of my time in college.

        Everyone started at minimum wage, and every fall returning employees got a 50c/hr raise. Getting promoted to either the admin side or the tech side got you a $2/hr raise.

        One year, a minimum wage hike in the state raised the minimum wage by $1/hr. The head honcho of the department made sure to find room in the budget to give all returning employees a $1/hr raise to cut off any potential bad feelings from new employees making the same wage as seniors/grad students (a vast majority of students are hired as rising sophomores).

        1. The Dude Abides*

          Forgot to add – he also did this for the subsequent 25c min wage hikes that came down each year for the next three years.

  10. Justin*

    I should add, right before the pandemic started, I went through two long interviews with a job that would have really been, I thought, a great step forward for me. Total silence after second interview. Turns out, probably a blessing in disguise as I could have seen it all falling apart once the shutdown occurred. But I was genuinely upset for a while considering how much they seemed to like me and appreciate my answers and responses.

    I will note that this reversal also is a potential boonn for minoritized workers who aren’t putting up with dominant groups pushing them around anymore.

    1. BluntBunny*

      Yes it could be a chance to recruiters to not just stick to the usual channels and to consider people they would normally overlook.

    2. Dr. Doll*

      I am still embarrassed and a little angry at the memory, nearly 10 years ago now, of being on a search committee and not receiving any training in how the process worked at our organization — which led the committee to completely ghost everyone but the two who were called for in-person interviews, including the several we did phone interviews with. I didn’t know that HR did not follow up, that the committee needed to do that; I didn’t even know enough about hiring processes to *ask*. Ever since then I have been scrupulous in asking and following up. Usually I’m not allowed to contact people, HR insists that they do it; so I badger them to make sure they haven’t ghosted candidates we aren’t moving forward.

  11. TheyThemTheirs*

    I’m a recruiter and I’m just kind of in awe at the people that are super baffled by it. Like, you’re paying people $15 an hour and the job next door pays $20 and you’re surprised you can’t find anyone? Have you tried raising your rates a bit?!?!

    1. Junior Assistant Peon*

      Even before the current economic situation, I was annoyed with a past employer for always acting surprised that we kept getting fast-food caliber people for fast-food wages.

      1. Aggretsuko*

        Hahahah, there’s a quote from Mary Poppins (musical) about how dad wants the best possible nanny at the lowest possible wage.

    2. Sloan Kittering*

      I hope to God this will be the end of on-call / rotating scheduling too, as when I worked that type of job I would have 100% left if someone else could guarantee me a predictable schedule.

      1. Xenia*

        People on-call should be paid for the time they spend on-call, whether or not they actually end up working.

        1. Your Local Password Resetter*

          Exactly. You demand people’s time, you pay for it. If you don’t actually use that time, that’s your problem.

        2. The Other Katie*

          A significant factor in my leaving tech entirely was being on-call 24/7 for three years, with no compensation if I did get called in but a lot of hassle if I didn’t answer my phone.

    3. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

      My hourly rate as a contractor for my current job as an Implementations Analyst/Project Manager was $33/hr. I was friendly with my recruiter even after I got the job, and one day she was lamenting to me that she had a new client trying to fill almost exactly the same position and in the same area for…$17/hr. They were so frustrated she couldn’t find them any decent candidates!

      1. Texan In Exile*

        Whoa. I am getting $60/hour as a communications contractor – and I think I am being underpaid! Unless you live in a place where it costs a dollar a day to live, your rate seems awfully low.

        1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          If they work for an agency, the rate to the agency is probably $60, but the agency takes a cut. In return the agency provides benefits, pay on W-2, cover employer portion of incomes tax, etc. sometimes even vacation and sick, though not always. They also, if they’re good, advocate for you, place you in appropriate roles, etc.

          My last two gigs were contract, the first on 1099, the second on W-2 with an agency. When all was said and done I probably kept a bit more money from the 1099 gig, but the agency gig was a lot easier to deal with. (And eventually turned into a regular full time team leader role)

      2. Elizabeth West*

        I saw a job post where the company was looking for a certified PMP for $18 an hour. I laughed my ass off. Good luck with that! :P

    4. PT*

      We had this problem at several of my jobs. The problem was, the hiring managers weren’t allowed to set wages. So we’d have people tell us “I can’t work here at the wage you’re offering. You’re offering $12.50 and Direct Competitor is offering $18 and Easier Job is offering $15.”

      And then we’d pass that up to our boss, and their boss, and they’d say, “Well sorry that’s the wage we’re offering because budget and HR pay bands and blah blah blah” and that was it. So we’d end up *apologizing* to people about the pay as we were trying to hire them. It was ridiculous.

  12. Not Today Satan*

    I’ve never ghosted an employer, but I do think it’s more acceptable for candidates to ghost employers than the other way around.

    First, a hiring manager is bringing in what, 7 people for an interview process with a distinct beginning and ending. Job seekers potentially have 10+ opportunities at once, for an indefinite period of time. If your job sucks they might discern it’s not worth a moment more of their time. Second, everyone on the employer’s end is being paid for their time. In non-remote interviews, the meeting is on the employer’s turf. Candidates are not paid for any part of the process and bear several costs (PTO, travel to in-person interviews, suits, etc.).

    Personally I don’t think I’d ever ghost, out of a combination of concern about burning a bridge and just my compulsion to be polite, but I’m not really upset about it either. It’s about time employers recognize that no one is forcing candidates to participate in this process and if they want people to continue, they need to make both the job and the process more attractive.

    1. anonymous73*

      I can’t help but chuckle to myself about this story since it’s happened to me so many times I’ve lost count, but I don’t think it’s acceptable for either side to ghost. Common courtesy seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur over the last decade and it’s infuriating.

      1. Nanani*

        They changed the norm. The norm is changed. You can personally decry it and decide to never do it, good for you, but norms aren’t about individual purity of intent.

        1. Mannequin*

          Exactly. It was the businesses that changed the professional norms first, and now that people are following their examples- thinking that this IS the professional norm- they don’t like it.

  13. irene adler*

    I have the almost uncontrollable urge to email a link to this article to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE RECRUITERS that I have encountered who ghosted me during my 5+ years of job searching. Maybe include a little message: “Shoe’s on the other foot now. How does it feel?”.

    But, I shall refrain.

  14. WonkyStitch*

    This is delicious!

    I have a full-time desk job but have been looking for a Friday/Saturday serving job to pay some bills, earn a little extra $, get out of the house and be active, support a local business, etc.

    Even though restaurants are begging for servers around here, I got ghosted by 2 before I found a place. I applied through the channels I was supposed to (Indeed, paper application, etc) before I decided to post in our local FB group and ask if anyone was hiring. The owner of a local fine dining restaurant sent me a FB message, we met, and I start Friday.

    Hiring managers REALLY need to get with the program or there’s going to be an even worse labor shortage than there is now.

    1. anonymous73*

      Your situation is even more mind boggling. I see “hiring” signs EVERYWHERE. Why those places would ghost potential employee makes no sense.

      1. Rotisserieemptyingexpert*

        Its because they want the candidate to work weird hours or be on call. I’ve had tp turn down a few offers because the ad lied or I was bait and switched.

        1. Generic Name*

          “We demand 24/7 availability but are offering 20 hours a week. Benefits are offered if you work 30, but we make darned sure to not ever schedule anyone for that many hours”

          1. Splendid Colors*

            Because the potential employee said in their application they want Friday nights and Saturdays and are unavailable M-F business hours. The company only wants people willing to work random shifts that add up to less than 30 hours, not specific shifts only (especially since Friday night & Saturday are likely to have good tips so the servers with seniority would prefer those).

    2. Nanani*

      I think this sort of thing is a big factor – employers aren’t willing to flex on schedule (indeed, a lot of jobs expect maximum flexibility of their employees) in order to work around other commitments, but now employees have more options including finding a job that WILL remember what “I am only available these specific shifts” means.

    3. LinuxSystemsGuy*

      They want power over the employee. A guy that can only work Friday and Saturday, because they have a really job and only to do this for funnies or to pay off some stuff can’t be abused nearly as easily, and the first time you stealth schedule the outside of their availability they’ll just refused to work it or quit if you push.

      Restaurants often want people who will work any shift at any time, and will often get peeved if you’re unavailable even at the last minute. I know of people who have gotten in trouble because they’d been out having fun on their day off, so they couldn’t come in when called at five or six o’clock. They were too far away, or they’d been drinking or whatever *on their day off* and got in trouble because they couldn’t just come work at the whim of management.

      Thankfully not all restaurants are like this, but a lot are. And they’re the first to complain about labor shortages.

  15. It's me, Mario!*

    A couple years ago I was ghosted for a job within my own company… by a former boss… for a position on a team I had worked for previously. When I had left the team previously it was because I was doing the work of 3-4 people, and while I loved my work, it was not sustainable. I left on very good terms, and within a year they had hired 4 people to do what had previously been my job alone, and they were hiring for a 5th person: Someone to lead that team. I was BEGGED repeatedly by my former boss to apply. As it was a promotion (and I had done the job previously with far fewer resources), I went for it. 9 months and 7 rounds of interviews later, I heard through the grapevine that my former boss hired her best friend for the position and just… never told me. The experience was embarrassing and demoralizing. I now no longer work for that company, and a few months ago my old boss called me and begged me to do contract work for them… at whatever rate I wanted… for as many hours as I wanted. And I… never called her back.

    1. irene adler*

      Thank you for this!

      (Although I’m sorry you were treated so poorly. Really, not hard to dash off one quick email to let you know you didn’t get the position. )

      1. It's me, Mario!*

        Funny enough the reason I kept going was because I didn’t want to burn any bridges within my company. But that bridge has burned to the ground now!

    2. Leela*

      This is appalling and also familiar, the owner of the company I work for gave the Managing Director position to his unqualified friend, an accountant. The company has been absolutely tanking as the accountant 1) let a bunch of critically needed roles, and the people in them, go, to save money 2) did not replace them with any form of leadership at all 3) checked out and collects a paycheque while expecting lower level staff to do absolutely every aspect of his job, including running basic meetings he sets up and then just sits there zoning out during while we have no agenda or know what we’re supposed to be discussing, he just waits for one of us to take the reins and do it all for him (usually the most talkative, not the person who’s best at it). If I didn’t love my own department so much I’d leave because it really is rotting the company inside out, and I am *furious* with the owner for using our quality of life at work as gambling chips to see if his unqualified friend would make a decent director

    3. Hex Libris*

      One place I worked ran mostly on part-timers. When a full-time position opened up, they passed over SIX internal candidates! to hire from outside. We all got the message and started looking elsewhere.

  16. staceyizme*

    It’s easy to celebrate the shift in the balance of power. Maybe bad jobs are like bad relationships- the sooner they’re left, the better. But- it’s not corporations that have to slog through more work when positions go unfilled. It’s people. Ghosting a job impacts those who have to pick up the pieces of the work to be done with less help. It fosters cynicism in those who interview, hire and fire. That doesn’t seem like a good thing. It just takes a phone call, text or email to say “no, thank you” or “this didn’t turn out to be the work that was described to me” or “frankly, this place is awful” (in whatever terms are comfortable for the employee). Civility isn’t just for boy scouts, debutantes and grannies having tea. It benefits all of us. Even if it’s not reciprocated, it defines us as people who are reasonable, reputable and rational. That’s not necessarily for the job market. It’s for the self.

      1. Nanani*

        Ding ding ding
        Putting the performance of civility ahead of actual kindness, fairness, and decency is a bad path.

        You can put on all the flowery descriptions and inflated civilizational importance on it you want, but in the end the power dynamics matter more.

    1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

      But shouldn’t civility go both ways? I think the point many people are making is that e players have been treating potential employees this way for decades. In thirty years of working I have applied for dozens, maybe hundreds of jobs, and I can count on one hand the number of times an employer has actually contacted me to let me know they weren’t hiring me. In nearly waver case the outcome was either getting the job (in which case they obviously contacted me), or just… nothing.

    2. KTB1*

      Honestly, “It’s for the self” is how we got into this mess to begin with. Corporations decided to do exactly what worked for them and was self-serving. Now they’re wringing their hands because it’s actually kind of a bad way to do business and they don’t like being served humble pie.

      Like Justin said, the people in power rely on the rest of us being “civil” to reinforce the status quo.

    3. WindmillArms*

      People looking to hire are being paid for their time; job seekers are not. The onus is on the people being compensated to set the tone of doing the extra work to keeping candidates informed. They didn’t bother, so why would we expect uncompensated people to do it?

    4. anonymous73*

      It also just takes a phone call, text or email to tell me I didn’t get the job. Civility goes both ways.

    5. Allonge*

      This is where I landed too – I, personally will do my best to be civil, for three reasons:
      1 I need to look at myself in the mirror every day
      2 The person I would be inconveniencing most by ghosting is not Evil CEO of Evil Corporation TM, it’s random HR assistant with two kids and a mortgage just like mine
      3 The message I would send by ghosting has very low odds of being interpreted correctly. Hopefully most companies will realise that they need to pay and treat people reasonably to get applicants if they don’t get enough. Me not showing up at work on any given day will not result in soul-searching about messaging people who did not get the job.

    6. Hex Libris*

      Civility (or courtesy, or professionalism, or whatever) that consistently only goes one way doesn’t do much for “the self” other than enable poor treatment without even a hint of repercussion or pushback, especially in a power-imbalanced relationship. I certainly agree that we’d all be better off if *everyone* embraced civility, but asking job seekers to keep turning the other cheek as they spin like tops is not productive.

    7. Canadian Librarian #72*

      Are you really arguing that people shouldn’t ghost on employers primarily because of what knock-on effects that could possibly have for people already employed by the prospective employer? Is it possible I”m misreading?

      Look, I’ve never in my life ghosted on an employer because I generally feel you should just err on the side of caution; why risk burning a bridge that may be useful later? But the “civility” argument really doesn’t convince me. And frankly, I think I can figure out self-improvement independent of how I handle communications with prospective employers.

      To be quite honest, this smacks of the kind of “professionalism” that’s actually just the reification of old power structures that privilege whiteness, maleness, Christian hegemony, and so on. It sounds too much like those old adages that claim to be about professionalism but are actually about enforcing hierarchy and extant power relationships. I’m not about that.

    8. The Other Katie*

      None of this is the responsibility of the job seeker. Resolving burnout and frustration of its existing employees is something the employer has to deal with – for example, by making more effort to retain existing employees, improving working conditions and pay to make themselves more attractive, and so on. It’s the organisation that has to change the script. Demanding “civility” from an outsider with literally no power _other_ than to reply to an email or not, rather than a structural change in the organisation that employs them, is both out of line and unlikely to result in any positive change.

  17. WomEngineer*

    Companies, changing the status on my profile to “no longer under consideration” *without* notifying me is just as bad.

    1. datamuse*

      And the thing is, it’s not hard to do! The software that runs our applicant system will send the e-mails for me as soon as I change the applicant’s status in the system.

      Anyone I actually interview gets a personal note if I don’t hire them. But it’s ridiculously easy to let applicants who never made it to the interview stage know as well. It’s boggling to me that this basic courtesy isn’t followed.

  18. Lacey*

    My husband was dealing with all of this before covid, but probably for similar reasons as everyone’s dealing with it now. His company wasn’t competitive in pay (at all) and it wasn’t a great job in the first place. Just about everyone around could offer something better.

    He got sick of his boss saying the problem wasn’t pay & benefits, it was how he was hiring and just left himself.

    1. CommanderBanana*

      Yep, we’ve had a slew of people leave, and our ED is trying to spin it as just part of the trend of people leaving.

      1. Aj Crowley*

        But… the trend of people leaving is due to terrible working conditions (the pay, the benefits, the schedule, the work itself). I am in an incredibly lucky position where I work (in a job literally created for me) and I have never considered leaving as part of the current trend. And I’m someone who rarely meets a trend I don’t like (fashion wise etc).

        Jobs I have left have all been due to a problem or concern – whether it’s a toxic work environment, lack of opportunity for growth, poor compensation/benefits, or all three. It wasn’t trendy then (well, except a micro level at the individual jobs) but I would have felt buoyed in my decision by this if I had been worried about finding a similar or better job.

        Your ED’s logic doesn’t hold up.

    2. The Other Katie*

      His boss’s attitude is reified and reinforced by the business discourse that “extrinsic motivation” doesn’t matter for job satisfaction. Employers have had a long luxury period of assuming that “interesting job” > “pay, benefits, schedule, supervision”, not recognising that they’re exploiting workers who don’t have a choice. Now workers do, so there’s going to be a lot of “interesting” positions out there going unfilled for a while.

      1. Cedrus Libani*

        I think it’s within bounds to consider the “intrinsic motivation” aspects of the job as part of the overall recruiting package. People will give up cold hard cash for better intangibles. But if there are many similar jobs available, with the primary difference being how much they’re willing to pay…money is an excellent tie-breaker in these scenarios. (If you’re offering $20/hr and the job sites are stuffed with postings that offer $35/hr for the same role, you’ll be getting the leftovers, if you get anyone at all. Not complicated, but there are those who will refuse to understand, because it is inconvenient and therefore must be false. May these people have all the success they deserve…)

        1. The Other Katie*

          Sure. Money’s not everything – but it’s not nothing either, and very few of us can live on inadequate wages for The Cause. (Especially if The Cause is someone else’s dream of something that’s going to make bank. For them.)

  19. Willow*

    When I was hiring for a position earlier this year, I responded to every application that came in–first an acknowledgment that we got their application, and then a rejection later, with personal rejections from my boss for the people we interviewed but didn’t hire–all 80+. This should be the standard, not the exception, even if (especially if?) you don’t have an HR to help you with hiring. But it’s not even the standard where I work. And I really can’t blame anyone for ghosting employers at this point when that has been the standard for so long.

    1. datamuse*

      Same! Years ago we had a position with over a hundred applicants. Every single one of them got some notification, even if was a polite but automated e-mail to those who never made it to the interview stage. Companies *must* have the capacity to do this, and yet they just…don’t. Ugh.

  20. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

    It was wrong when it was done to me and it’s wrong when it’s done to those who have done it to me.

        1. WindmillArms*

          Think how often we ask the people lacking power to “ignore it” or “be the bigger person.” In practice, that almost always means reinforcing the current power structure. It’s not the same thing at all.

    1. Sandman*

      I agree. Power differentials do matter, but defaulting to decency is the right thing to do. We don’t get to a better place by being worse people.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Power differentials do matter

        I’ll grant and agree with that. I didn’t say all the wrongs were equally wrong, but this isn’t a case where enough wrongs aggregate to create a right.

      2. Starbuck*

        Employers hiring couldn’t find it in themselves to send these rejection messages when they were on the clock and being PAID FOR THEIR TIME. And now they’re outraged that candidates, who are spending free time to apply and interview, don’t want to spend even more of their unpaid time on an employer they don’t want to work for? I have absolutely no sympathy.

        1. WindmillArms*

          This! All the pity parties for the poor companies or the poor hiring managers or the poor HR people leave out the major difference that *they are being compensated for their time.* Job seekers are not! If one side should be the first to act with a little extra effort and decency, it should be the *people who are paid for their time*.

    2. anonymous73*

      I don’t think it’s acceptable for either side to ghost the other, but I can’t help but feel a little satisfied that companies are dealing with the same inconsideration and rudeness that they’ve been dishing out for years.

  21. Peppercat53*

    My husband’s employer is in a highly competitive market where they already don’t have enough qualified people in the pool to pick from. His colleagues keep leaving for big raises at other companies. Husband’s employer has been hinting to my husband that they want to do a retention bonus thing and I keep telling him they need to include a significant raise along with that bonus. Raise would be much better long term- bonus is a one time thing. It’s basically carrot dangling- I doubt they will ever do anything for him. If he didn’t like his role so much and fear that he would move to a position where he’d have to be on-call often he would probably consider leaving. I think he should see what’s out there but I don’t have to do his job so it’s ultimately his call.

  22. Mental Lentil*

    Anyway, I’m thinking about making meatloaf for dinner. Mashed potatoes and gravy, maybe some broccoli for sides.

    1. Not really a Waitress*

      I love meatloaf… which is crazy because I hated it as a kid. I learned when I got older, my mom just couldn’t cook. How do you make yours?

      1. The Dogman*

        So many people hate dishes because of this

        “I learned when I got older, my mom just couldn’t cook. ”

        I was a chef for a few years and learned to cook some dishes my mother (who is a good cook usually) had not done well at all, and I hated. I like all of them now except the fish ones… I would be a dolphin if I was supposed to eat fish!

  23. EH*

    My partner got laid off during the pandemic. He made it to the very last round of interviews – they said it was him vs one other person. After that interview round, he never heard back at all, even though they’d promised to let him know either way the following week. For bonus fun, they reposted the very same position a few weeks later. Just. WTF. I really, really hope that company has a lot of applicants ghosting them.

  24. J.E.*

    I don’t know what angers me more, the employers who ghost or the employers who get back with you about an interview six months to a year after you applied.

    1. bishbah*

      I had one send me an automated rejection email more than three years after I applied. I guess they were cleaning out their system.

    2. Jean*

      I randomly got an email the other day notifying me that an employer finally viewed the application that I had submitted… 5 YEARS AGO. I shit you not. At least they didn’t reach out and try to schedule an interview. I would have gone down there in a literal clown suit just to waste their time.

    3. RJ*

      I’ve recently heard back from two companies I’d interviewed with prior to the pandemic (February 2020), trying to fill positions at the same salaries offered initially with no flexibility and no opportunities for advancement. It’s amazing how some companies cannot or will not acknowledge that things in the hiring market have changed and they do not have the power to change them back to how they used to be.

    4. Nanani*

      The places you contact for seasonal work (in my case, summer job because I was a student in school full time when its not summer) that don’t bother getting back to you until the fall _-_

    5. The Dogman*

      My personal favourite was the job who hired me, didn’t tell me or the hiring agency I was with at the time, scheduled a start date, had that date without me knowing, fired me and then fired the agency too.

      I thought the agency had stuffed it up, but a friend who worked at the corporation in question told me that someone in the corporations HR had messed it up, then the whole management lot decided to cover up the fact that for 6 weeks they failed to inform the successful candidates they had the job, and fired them all before said candidates even knew.

      I found out when they sent a stroppy email to the agency who contacted me to ask why I never attended the first day, I pointed out I would have if someone had told me I got the job!

    6. The Dude Abides*

      This occurred in the position I’m in now, but had to sort out getting a promotional grade in the interim. Applied in September, got initial grade in December, won appeal in January, interviewed in March, started in April.

      And this was the second time the job had been posted. People who have promotional grades at my current title are in *very* high demand right now, and I might make the situation worse – I’m about to interview for a title three steps above mine in my old unit.

    7. PT*

      I once got a solicitation from an ATS to apply for a job…from a job I had quit shortly after I was hired after they did not pay me for over a month.

      “We found your resume in our files and think you’d be a great fit for this opening.” HAHAHAHA no.

    8. Bryce*

      Semi-related, I once had a care package from my mom disappear in shipping. They claimed it was delivered and signed for, the signature didn’t match me and nobody in any of the surrounding apartment complexes had heard of that name. A year later a box of rotting honeycake shows up on my doorstep, never opened.

      I just want to know the other side of the story on that one.

    9. North Wind*


      A friend of mine referred me for a position at an organization he had been involved with. He spoke with them and they expressed interest in learning more about me. They had him email me the link of the job description/application with someone at the organization cc’d. I responded, expressed my interest, sent my resume, etc, and just crickets. No acknowledgment whatsoever.

      About 3-4 months later I get a phone call and some guy says, “I’m from such-and-such organization and we’re calling to discuss the position you applied for”. As if only a few days had passed. I was absolutely flabbergasted and said quietly (mostly to myself in amazement), “But that was months ago!” I collected myself and let them know that my situation had changed since then and wished them luck in their search. Honestly, if he had even acknowledged the time that had passed it would have seemed so much less presumptuous and… weird.

  25. 36 Cupcakes*

    My company is desperate for more people. But not desperate enough to pay more and the owner doesn’t want us to put the pay scale on the job ad because “people will just apply to the highest paying ones”. Yes, that is how it works.

    I’m just working crazy hours (but I’m hourly so I’m making more) and rolling my eyes everytime some turns us town or ghosts us.

    1. MissBaudelaire*

      I am so irritated when ads don’t put the salary in. I’m not applying for mystery pay! Yes, I am going to apply for a job that can afford me. I don’t work because I’m a nice person who wants your business to do well. I have bills.

      1. Sabina*

        Speaking of mystery pay…I applied for what was advertised as an administrative position years ago, and it was implied in the ad that it was salaried, a monthly dollar amount was stated. Go to the interview and find out it’s actually mostly a commissioned sales job and the salary stated is an estimate of what you *could* earn in commissions if you were a star performer…total scam. The women interviewer has the nerve to state, “I don’t know why I’m getting all these administrative types applying and no one with sales experience”. Uh, ’cause it’s advertised as an administrative position, you utter lunatic.

    2. Bee Eye Ill*

      Yes let me give you all my personal info like social and birthday then take a day off work to come interview just to find out you pay $10k under what I make now and want me to be on-call 24/7. Hell to the naw.

      1. LCH*

        omg, don’t give anyone your social until after they make an offer and you’re filling out HR onboarding paperwork.

            1. Paris Geller*

              My application for my current municipal government job (that was hosted on a well known government-specific ATS) required it as well as my driver’s license number. Not uncommon for background checks, even if they don’t run the background checks until after you’re one of the finalists.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            If it will let me, I put in all zeros. If not, I back out. I haven’t seen but a few of those lately, mostly municipal jobs.

    3. Elenna*

      “people will just apply to the highest paying ones”

      Translation, they know their rate isn’t competitive and they’re hoping to sucker people into interviewing before telling them that.

    4. datamuse*

      My employer (a university) doesn’t put the pay scale in the ads and we’re trying to get them to change that policy. Applying for academic positions is incredibly time-consuming and can entail multiple interviews and even travel. Having *some* idea of what you might make as a salary if you get the offer seems like basic information that should be available at the start.

  26. tuna soboro*

    I hire at my job, which is fully remote and pays minimum wage for the state (11.75/hr), and we’ve had no trouble finding part-time workers. We’re registered in several other states. We’re a skilled job but don’t require any previous experience, and we get at least a hundred new resumes a week submitted to our site. We have had one or two people either not communicate for a long time after being offered the job or not even finish their paperwork to start, but that remains a very rare happening. So I understand the frustration of employers, but I don’t really feel for them at all lol. We could change our job description to require prior experience, and we could go back to the office and require that people be local, as we used to, but we don’t anymore, so maybe evolving with the times is what’s helping.

    This made me laugh in the article:

    “For example, we have been trying to fill one of our entry-level positions for the last year:
    First go-around: no qualified applicants”

    “Entry-level” and no qualified applicants… hmm…

    1. Elizabeth*

      “Entry-level” – I want to tell every company that posts entry-level, You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      1. tuna soboro*

        Seriously. I mean, obviously many don’t think so, but I always thought entry-level should imply training is available for workers and that basically anyone can do the job. And often, I think that would be true for most entry-level jobs if the employer invested in training.

        1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          There’s a little wiggle room here. If you’re advertising an “Entry level IT” position, or certainly entry level of any professional position (Lawyer, Architect, CPA, etc) you can expect people to have minimum degrees or certifications, or a base level of skill with computers, but yeah the number of “entry level” jobs that want a year or more of experience is pretty crazy.

          1. Elizabeth*

            Fair, but those aren’t the egregious postings. 5 years+ experience and an advanced degree for what’s essentially a receptionist/mailroom position is where I typically see it.

          2. Chairman of the Bored*

            When I hire for “entry level engineers” I mean somebody who recently graduated from engineering school; not that I’m looking to hire anybody off the street and teach them how to be an engineer.

            This doesn’t seem like an unreasonable approach to me.

            1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

              Exactly. When hiring for “entry level professional-person” it’s reasonable to expect them to have the proper degree, certifications, or skills. It’s not reasonable to expect them to have five years of work experience. That’s mid-career

              1. L'étrangere*

                Exactly. And when hiring for afore-mentionned ELPP, it’s also reasonable to expect to pay them more than ‘anybody off the street’

      2. MissBaudelaire*

        I feel like somewhere in the last ten years ‘entry level’ came to mean “Only five or so years of experience.”

        I feel like it’s also business speak for “We’re gonna pay you peanuts because it is ‘entry’.”

      3. Ursula*

        As I recall from when the letter was posted, the LW clarified that they do want experience, but only 1 year. I can see why that would still be considered ‘entry level’.

    2. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      Entry-level position: minimum 3 years of professional experience required.

    3. Parenthesis Dude*

      In my field, entry-level means that you have no work experience but that you have a college degree and have some knowledge of what the team is doing – whether it’s because you picked it up on your own or from school. It would be very possible to have no qualified candidates for an entry level position.

      Of course, entry-level employees in my field would laugh at an offer of $11.75 an hour. It’s probably $25 and benefits at this point.

    4. Blllllpt*

      I actually read an article explaining that jobs that say entry level expect 2-3 years of experience and now, internships are what entry level used to be. Although I’ve heard in some instances you need prior internship experience to get one…idk how people start out unless they’re able to go to college right after high school and can afford to do internships.


  27. That One Girl*

    I was ghosted by my own company once… by a former boss with whom I had a great relationship… a boss who had literally BEGGED me to apply for said position… and it was a position I was uniquely qualified for as I had done it very successfully previously. After 9 months of interviewing (7 rounds of interviews) I heard through the grapevine that my former boss had hired her BFF instead. And she just never bothered to tell me this. It left me feeling embarrassed and angry. Now I no longer work for that company, and my skills are in high demand. My former boss called me recently in a panic about how they desperately needed my help and (again) begged me to contract with them. I never called her back, but I am now doing work for one of their competitors!

      1. That One Girl*

        Whoops! I am! Some sort of glitch on my end when I commented the 1st time and I didn’t think it went through. Apologies for that as it won’t let me delete the duplicate now.

    1. LadyHouseOfLove*

      The surprised Pikachu face they get when their underqualified buddy they hire for a position screws them over in some way or form. I’m glad you were able to do better and greater things.

    2. MissBaudelaire*

      Hah! Wow! I love it at my OldJob when my boss would give his favorites the choicest shifts and they would screw him over. When there was a mass exodus of the people that did the job (five of us left within two months, on a team of 11), and his favorites were in that group, he hit the wall.

  28. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

    In rather appropriately timed news there was an article in my local paper about how some companies are ‘concerned how to keep running’ at the moment when they advertise jobs for abysmally low pay and nobody seems to be interested in applying or interviewing for them.

    Oh dear. How sad.

    1. They Called Me....Skeletor*

      We had a very similar article in the Tampa Bay Times.

      It was really tragic. *giggle*

    2. Elenna*

      The poor companies, how dare people not want to work for practically nothing. Must be those darn millennials, so entitled. /s

      1. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        Another thing Millenials killed: jobs that pay uncompetitive rates and have crap benefits

        Thanks, Millenials!

      2. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

        I’m Gen X and very tempted to write a response about how if you don’t even pay enough to travel to the job then you really can’t expect anyone to apply – yes that includes ‘students working part time’. The money some of them were offering wouldn’t fill my car.

        (Which my limited maths is about $8 a gallon in the (UK)

        1. LinuxSystemsGuy*

          Unless prices have gone down in the last month or two, it’s closer to $9 a gallon. I was just there and my GF is very precise in her math

          1. Keymaster of Gozer (she/her)*

            You’re right. Apologies, I’m dreadful at currency conversion.

            (I drive a tiny car and it just cost over £50 to fill it)

    3. The Dogman*

      I know, we have McD’s and similar offering fixed hours (which is pretty amazing really) but still not paying much over minimum wage, a friend is a manager in a local one, and they cannot get people to interview.

      I suggested that perhaps McD’s could take 30% less profit and spend it on raises, she agrees but they won’t do it while the parasites at the top keep the greed levels up!

  29. CBB*

    If I applied for a job, and some time later (after I had lost interest for whatever reason) received a response, I would probably ignore it. Does this count as “ghosting”?

    (Though I agree not showing up for a scheduled interview is rude.)

    1. irene adler*

      Yes-technically it does.
      But hey, their fault for not getting back to you in a timely manner. Did they honestly expect that you would wait for them -all that time- and not explore other avenues?

    2. anonymous73*

      Technically yes. It takes 30 seconds to craft a response stating that you’re no longer interested. You also don’t ant to burn bridges. If you don’t respond, and then see another job with the same company, they may be hesitant to contact you because you ignored their email.

      Which is why I think it’s so much worse when companies ghost you because they basically have all of the power.

      1. Software Dev*

        Lol it is unlikely they would even remember you or track that kind of thing unless they are a very
        small company

        1. anonymous73*

          That may be true but why risk it? You see stories on here all the time about people getting burned because of the way they acted in the past. I’m not going to ghost a potential employer because I’m mad about other companies ghosting me.

    3. hbc*

      Maybe technically, but until you get a real conversation going between two people, I don’t consider it really ghosting. They posted an ad to communicate with the world, you responded to a company. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reasonable expectation there that you owe each other anything, especially given the elapsed time.

    4. Generic Name*

      If it was an automated “we’ve received your application” that did not ask for a response, it would not be ghosting. If it was to schedule a phone or in person interview, then I would say that yes it’s ghosting.

    5. Tiffany Aching's imaginary friend*

      I don’t think it’s ghosting until there’s been actual contact, and a single email from them could have gotten lost in the ether or someone’s spam filters, been mis-directed, any number of things. Now, if you did respond with interest and then ignored their next email or phone call, that would count as ghosting.

  30. Elizabeth*

    My husband’s company interviewed a tradesman last week (whose resume was apparently all but written in crayon) and he said to them that he had 14 interviews scheduled and if they wanted to make him an offer, he’d look it over and get back to them at some point next week.

    It’s a good company but I don’t blame this guy one bit. Even if he was bluffing, the fact that the job market is such to allow it is a good thing. It’s past due for it to be a seller’s market.

  31. YouDoPayOurSalaries*

    This was a small part of the article, but re: hiring difficulties:
    As someone who works for a tax-funded government organization, the issue we’re running into is that the salary market is going up (which I applaud), but our budget was already tight and our “income” (tax dollars) has not gone up to match. If we can’t convince our community to pass a tax increase (when they’re already feeling the CPI hit and other financial difficulties), my only path forward will be to not hire replacements when folks leave for better paying jobs (which I respect). Things like universal healthcare would be so beneficial to businesses (government or otherwise) with small budgets.

    1. J.E.*

      I keep hoping things like this will finally be push to universal healthcare. I can see companies being willing to hire more full time people if they didn’t have to pay benefits. I would hope that would mean salaries would also be higher but I’m not betting on it.

      1. Ruby*

        Companies don’t like universal health care because the current system literally puts people’s lives in the hands of their employer. Quit your job? No health care for you. Look at what’s happening with John Deere’s strike right now.

        1. Autumn*

          What really blows my mind is that if we did do Universal health care an enormous burden would be pulled from companies large and small. It would also make contract work a lot more appealing to people.

          But the Greedsters have sold too many on the idea that this would increase taxes enormously, when the reality is the Greedsters would actually have to pay their taxes! (Perish the thought!)

    2. J.E.*

      “my only path forward will be to not hire replacements when folks leave for better paying jobs (which I respect). ”
      Something else that happens in situations like this is that your organization starts to skew toward people who have a spouse and aren’t the primary breadwinner so the salary isn’t an issue for them, but then that tends to homogenize those workplaces.

      1. Anon b/c at work LOL*

        YUPPPPPP this is how it is in my field. Then people wonder why we can’t attract diverse applicants. Gee, IDK, when you can only rely on cis hetero white women with big earner husbands b/c the pay is trash…

    3. Sandman*

      I’m on the board of an organization in the same situation. I’m hopeful that it could lead us to make some other positive changes, but asking the public for a funding increase without increasing service is a tough sell.

      1. Anon b/c at work LOL*

        Ahhhh yes the taxpayers who enjoy the servant part of public servants…

        (Not you, typically the boards are great and get it. Thanks for what you do!!)

    4. Anon b/c at work LOL*

      Ohhh I feel this. And I bet we are in the same field ;-)

      And when you can’t hire replacements, then it looks like your department/building/org isn’t necessary, then budgets are cut even more, or hours are cut, then whoever actually NEEDS the job or who can’t leave for a myriad of reasons is left to suffer. That would be me–I can’t leave b/c I actually need FMLA protection and can’t chance having to be at a job for a year to be “safe.” (Family members with health issues)

    5. Hex Libris*

      Oh my goodness, yes. Cut, cut, cut, never restore previous funding levels, expect the same service as before the austerity measures, and then cue the bafflement when hiring and retention are abysmal! Can anyone who makes these decisions do basic math?

      1. Anon b/c at work LOL*

        LOL love it when libraryAAM comes out to play :)

        Yeahhhh or patrons are like “wow they used to be so nice what happened”

        I DON’T KNOW MARGOT. Maybe my budget was slashed, my staff was laid off and yet people expect a High Level of Customer Service and I’m pulled in 1000 different directions.

      2. Cthulhu's Librarian*

        Sad secret – budget allocations are really about policy priorities/agendas. Math and where the funding comes from? That stuff is actually of almost no importance in the process (though it provides a convenient excuse when something isn’t on the priorities of elected officials…)

      3. Why did I go to library school?*

        The academic library I left earlier this year finally said, “you know what? Fine, keep cutting our budget. We’re cutting our hours. Have fun explaining that one to the students!”

        It’s enough to make you shed a tear of pride :’)

        1. Hex Libris*

          So good to see pushback. Nobody wants services to be impacted, but it’s not right to ask your (almost universally criminally underpaid) staff to do twice the work with half the resources, even if it’s not actually impossible. It’s past time for decision makers to get this message: cut budget, lose services, answer to the public/students/parents.

        2. Anon b/c at work LOL*

          Ahh yes we did that. And when residents got mad, we told them to call the town!!!

          Too bad, so sad.

    6. Middle Manager*

      I feel this. We are getting routine complaints from the field we oversee about how hard it is for them to hire and retain staff (which are accurate because we don’t pay human service staff remotely fairly for their work) and all the while we are beyond drowning in staff shortages, inability to incentivize staff to stay with bonuses/raises/promotion/anything other than a pat on the head….Somedays it feels like the whole ship is just moments away from sinking.

  32. ecnaseener*

    If it’s unprofessional and rude to ghost someone in business communications, then why have employers been doing just this for years? It seems perfectly rational to conclude that since they have been ghosting applicants for years, therefore ghosting is normal and acceptable in business.

    This is my favorite part. It’s completely true – employers think candidates are being intentionally rude just for fun, but how many of those candidates are probably just drawing the obvious conclusion from past experience?

    1. LizB*

      Exactly. They created a business culture where it was basically the norm for the party with more leverage to ghost the party with less. Apparently they thought there would never come a time when the balance of power shifted, and they were no longer the ones with more leverage…

    2. Nanani*

      It doesn’t matter if any one person thinks its rude. It has been established as the norm *by employers who don’t bother closing the loop on hiring*

    3. Not an expert... Still learning :)*

      Agree with root causes here. Doesn’t mean its something we should celebrate though.
      Similar point…. Some time ago some of my friends were thrilled about a sexual harassment case that was female on male. Not finding it amusing. The guy in question possibly had never done anything wrong and may well have been badly impacted by his experience, just as countless women have. Its not something to celebrate!
      Same way here not all companies and not all hiring managers or HR assistants have abused their power equation in the past.
      It may be an idea to understand why candidate ghosting is happening; which is accurately brought out on this thread. And then firmly advocate for it to stop…… On both sides.

      1. ecnaseener*

        Bit of a false equivalency there, sexual harassment vs failing to close the loop on business correspondence…

        But my comment was not at all saying we should celebrate this. I was actually getting at the opposite — so many people are perceiving this as something candidates are doing on purpose as “revenge” or whatever, and I’m sure some of them are, but I was pointing out that some of them are just doing what they genuinely think is normal.

  33. Meep*

    I work for a small startup company and ironically, there is a career fair today at the local university. We do this twice a year – The Spring and Fall semesters. My boss already has a reputation of being a massive flake. His “second-in-command” (my Toxic Coworker (TM)) is also a massive flake. Twice a year, for three weeks, I get people emailing the customer support email as a last resort because “we” don’t show up to interviews or cancel at the last minute but don’t reschedule. These are good candidates we should hire, but the hiring manager is so far up her own a$$ she believes everyone should wait for “us” because she is “busy” and that they aren’t that great anyway.

    It is safe to say when we get ghosted or rejected (and rightfully so as our pay is abysmal by industry standards), she complains about how ungrateful, entitled, and stuck up the person is. So we get people who, frankly, have no ambition and while smart, are not very business-savvy and lack drive. And they leave once they realize they can do better than working under someone who will constantly exploit them and thinks so little of them (she also is a literal HR nightmare – I just had a conversation with one of our contractors how she wanted to hire a guy that was not the right fit for us because he was “hot” and how he had to hide the resume).

  34. Elizabeth West*

    I would never ghost an employer myself. If I decided the job wasn’t for me, I would let them know. When I get ghosted, I put a note on my spreadsheet. It is, in effect, a naughty list. And it’s a long list, unfortunately.

    I don’t expect a response to my application. I understand companies probably get hundreds of apps, especially if the job is actually worth having. That’s not a big deal. An interview is a level above that, whether it’s by phone, Zoom, or in-person. It’s a simple courtesy for an employer to inform a candidate they’ve talked to that they went with someone else. Our time is just as valuable as theirs. I don’t feel sorry for any of these people. F*ck around and find out, as it were.

    And no, it does not count if they send a rejection five months after the interview.

    1. Elenna*

      Exactly. If I just send in an application and hear nothing, okay, maybe it’s inconvenient to send a response to every one of the hundreds of people who applied (although according to Alison there are ways to make it pretty fast). But if you’ve brought me in and spent an entire morning talking to me, you can darn well spend another 30 seconds to send an email saying “sorry, we’ve gone with someone else”.

    2. Roy G. Biv*

      So many companies require applicants to apply via a web portal, and I presume that all goes into a database from which they choose who to interview. How hard is it to set up that portal with a form letter email that says, “Thank you, but ZYX Corp has gone another direction.” One click and the applicant at least has some type of reply that tells them to move along with their job search.

      1. Skippy*

        Absolutely. If companies are going to make us retype all of our information into ATS, at the very least they can press a button to send an email when they’ve eliminated you from contention.

    3. anonymous73*

      I feel the same way, and I’ll even take it a step further. If a recruiter calls me and asks me a few questions, then tells me they’ll send my info to the hiring manager, I don’t expect a call or email if they pass. It’s generally a 5 to 10 minute conversation and doesn’t feel like a waste of my time. Any more than that, and I deserve a response, even if it’s a form email.

      I like that companies are finally getting it paid back to them, but they still hold most of the power. I don’t want to burn brides, so I’m going to respond even if I’m not interested. Which is why companies ghosting candidates is so much worse.

  35. Turtlewings*

    Currently, my workplace’s custodial contractor is severely understaffed. It’s causing big problems for us, but at the same time, I can’t help my feelings when the lead guy complains about the lack of applicants and being ghosted by people he tries to hire. The work is hard, gross, and undignified at the best of times, but during a pandemic, it’s downright dangerous, and (knowing my workplace) you’re offering peanuts. Big shock that no one wants the job! Or tries it for a day and quits, or accepts it but bails for something better the moment they can!

  36. Shiba Dad*

    Hasn’t ghosting employers been a thing for a few years now?

    Related but off topic – a couple of years ago I learned from a person in college admissions that kids are ghosting schools after accepting admissions offers and going through orientation. They just don’t show up at the start of school.

    1. quill*

      I would initially assume that’s possibly covid related? A friend was supposed to have a grad school roommate and she just… never showed… because supposedly she realized that her course would be all online, so why not save the money and live at home.

      (And when it comes to admissions it’s probably a little more complex, but I wouldn’t discount changes in scheduling as being a factor.)

      1. Shiba Dad*

        I learned about admissions ghosting in the before times. I would guess it happened more after covid hit.

    2. Nanani*

      Is accepting multiple college offers a thing? Did they pay their tuition fees and then ghost or?
      So much about college is the opposite of work that I am pretty baffled honestly.

      1. TrackingCookieMonster*

        At the school I work at, tuition isn’t owed until the first day of term. So in theory, they could sign up back in the beginning of summer, then drop everything the day before term begins and not owe anything.

      2. PT*

        Accepting multiple offers was a thing when I was in high school and I graduated in the early 00s. IIRC most schools only required a $300-$500 deposit by May 1 to hold your spot, so students/families who wanted to (and could afford to) buy extra time to make a decision would put down a deposit at two schools. It actually had a name, “double deposit,” like “Melissa did a double deposit at Binghamton and Penn State.”

    3. anonymous73*

      I’m sure ghosting employers isn’t a new thing but it’s become more prevalent in the last 6 months or so. With the lockdown and working remotely, people are adjusting their priorities and demanding more from their jobs. Although I will say that I don’t understand how many of these people are supporting themselves without a job.

    4. BradC*

      That’s interesting; ghosting a college after enrolling has the additional risk that you could end up being responsible for tuition/fees if you don’t formally withdraw by the school’s deadline.

  37. They Called Me....Skeletor*

    So now that the shoe is on the other foot, employers are all wringing their hands and are upset.

    This is me looking like I care about their fee fees being hurt. -.-

    I was interviewing with a Baptist Church once. At the end of the interview, the interviewer made it a point of telling me that they were reaching out to inform folks who didn’t get the job, he said that we (interviewees) had taken time out of our schedules the *very least* we deserved was for him to close the loop.

    Guess who never called to tell me I didn’t get the job?

    1. WindmillArms*

      Pretty much every professional white-collar interview I’ve had has ended with “We’ll be in touch!” If they hire me, I get a response, but otherwise I’ve only ever gotten silence.

    2. LCH*

      so many places have told me they will follow up either way after an interview. and just don’t. why say so in the first place? are they just super disorganized? I’m fine if places who never said they would follow up don’t (although you really should follow up with everyone who gets to the interview stage).

    3. Skippy*

      Every time an employer tells me they’ll definitely contact me “one way or another” it’s a tell that I’ll never hear from them again.

  38. Bookworm*

    I just can’t feel very sympathetic. Yes, it’s unprofessional. Yes, it really sucks when it happens to you. But as Alison has said, this has been ongoing for years.

    The power has shifted, at least temporarily, so they can deal. Those people really needed those jobs years ago and to not even hear that the organization was not moving forward can be downright enraging. I do hope it does, at least some small level, help organizations understand how extending a basic courtesy of letting a candidate know can go a LONG way.

  39. Lynn*

    While individual companies vary in their responses, as a whole they have set the norm that ghosting is acceptable. Companies are now, somehow, shocked that job seekers are following those same norms.

    The worst thing is that I suspect that when the worm turns again, companies will take this as an excuse to behave even worse…as if they weren’t the ones to start the cycle in the first place.

  40. Elizabeth Proctor*

    My alma mater is having trouble filling dining services positions and are all like, “We don’t know why we can’t get people to work for us!” Then I went and looked at the postings, they’re paying $11-$12/hour in a town where there is a Target and a Walmart, among other things, who both have something like a $15 minimum wage. You’re not going to compete with that if you’re paying $11.

    1. Jake*

      The answer to why can’t we hire anybody is always one of two things.

      1. You don’t pay enough.

      2. Your reputation is torched.

      Even in the case of number 2, an adjustment to number 1 will typically overcome that.

  41. CaviaPorcellus*

    This is very much a “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes” situation.

    Also, if you think your offered wage is competitive because you’re comparing it to minimum wage ($7.25 an hour at the federal level, where it’s been since July 2009), your calibration is so far off it’s laughable. Think – are your employees able to afford the average rent for a 1 bed/1 bath apartment on this salary? If no, the answer is not “Well, they should live with family/get roommates/get a second job”, it’s “Our wage is not competitive”.

    1. Jake*

      It’s not even that. It’s way simpler. People will work for the best offered benefits package offered.

      It’s not about cost ofliving or affordability. It’s 100% whether you are offering a package that surpasses your competitors.

      1. CaviaPorcellus*

        On one level, yes. On another level, no, it’s very much about cost of living and affordability.

        As an example, there are a ton of businesses in the Bay Area here in California that are desperately trying to hire. But even with the pay war they’re waging with their competitors, nobody wants to work there, because they’re offering $30,000 instead of the industry standard of $25,000. In an area where housing is generally $1,500 per month minimum WITH a roommate. People are leaving rather than taking the best possible package offered by these businesses.

        1. Jake*

          You’re forgetting that they have competition outside of their geographical area.

          If another company IS paying enough to live in a different locale, then their package is more competitive, and the San fran folks need to offer more.

          1. PT*

            Right, but at that point, you might be getting into the price range where all but large corporations physically cannot offer that kind of money because they do not have it. A large national corporation might be able to offer living wages at their Bay Area outposts because they have so much revenue they can balance it out somewhere else.

            An independent business or restaurant or taxpayer-funded service is likely to only have a set amount of money they can draw from the community in profits or taxes, before they hit their ceiling and have to shut down.

          2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

            It’s even worse than that in the age of covid remote work. My Boston based employer (we’re a non-profit, but research based, so our pay tends to be reasonably competitive) realized that if we are working remotely, it doesn’t matter where you hire. We’ve recently brought on several employees from down south at Boston level salaries.

            I mean, it depends on industry, how easy remote work is, etc, but in many cases companies are literally competing with higher COL areas. If you’re in Florida, we can probably offer your employee a 40-50% raise to come work for us and still be *saving* money over a local candidate.

    2. Elizabeth*

      “Competitive wages” typically seems to mean “We’re competing within the industry to see who can get away with paying the least”.

  42. Bean Counter Extraordinaire*

    The company I work for is dealing with this as we speak! (Er, write.)

    We are interviewing for a receptionist position – nothing wacky, 7:30-4 M-F, average pay for the position/location, answer phones, casual dress code.
    HR has told me she’s scheduled THREE interviews, and been ghosted by all three. There’s another interview scheduled for later this afternoon, I’ll let you know if they show up!

    1. OyHiOh*

      Average pay for the position/location may still not = living wage. Just because your pay is in line with everyone else does not mean everyone else has adjusted to economic realities of the last decade, much less the last 2 years or so!

    2. LinuxSystemsGuy*

      Have you considered above average pay for the position/location? I’m not trying to be funny here. Like any other marketplace, in a tight labor market the way to differentiate yourself is to offer more benefits than your competition. Remember also that your “competition” isn’t necessarily just other companies looking for receptionists.

      Entry level clerical skills are in decent demand right now. A person that qualifies to be your receptionist is also the ideal candidate for say, an Amazon Customer Service Rep. My SIL had previously held several receptionist/office assistant type roles. Turns out that Amazon is looking for those exact same skills (pleasant phone demeanor, basic computer literacy, ability to handle simple and text and email based conversations, etc). She now makes 40% more than her last clerical job, is 100% remote, and they have immense scheduling flexibility, so she can easily take care of my niece.

      That’s your competition too, not just the office down the hall. And honestly even the office down the hall maybe offering more than you if they’ve already realized this.

      1. Bean Counter Extraordinaire*

        Oh, I’m not involved in the hiring/budgeting for the position, I’m just friends with HR so I hear all the venting!

    3. Bean Counter Extraordinaire*

      Update: The candidate DID show up!
      Now as far as wages go, I have no idea, I’m not involved at all – I’m friends with the HR person doing the first round interviews, so I hear the trials and tribulations.

    4. Guin*

      7:30 to 4 is sort of awkward hours. No parent with small children will apply because they can’t drop off at school until 8. Maybe they can get after-school until 5:30, but early drop-off is not common by any means. Try switching the hours to 8 – 4:30. That will make a difference.

  43. Poster Child*

    In the case of employers, I think ghosting is due to disorganization. A hiring manager didn’t let HR know what they want to do with a candidate, or HR doesn’t have a good process to make sure all candidacies are resolved. In a smaller org, or in the case of applicants…I think we’ve allowed in our culture for people to get away with ghosting across the board. It’s acceptable that people don’t like conflict or delivering bad news, whether in employment or dating or even inviting friends to make plans. Even a close friend will not respond if the answer to an invitation is no. I’d rather get a no than a non-response!

    1. Anon b/c at work LOL*

      Yup, agreed with the disorganization….and, in some cases there IS no HR. (Small companies, local government offices…)

      Now that I’m on the hiring side, it is INTENSE how much time is spent (wasted?) between each step in a process.

  44. SlimeKnight*

    Hey, that was my comment in the article! As an update: after pushing back the start date for number four several times, that person ghosted us as well. So now we’re back to trying to fill the position again. On the bright side the organization has (finally) started a pay study that will hopefully lead to adjustments–especially for these low level positions.

  45. chibrusu*

    Somewhat related, I’ve been reading the anitwork subreddit ( A lot of posts have been snapshots of messaging between boss & employee & it’s shocking how many of those posts are just absolutely disrespectful & threatening:
    boss: You need to come in on your day off for reasons.
    employee: I can’t for reasons.
    boss: This isn’t a request, it’s an order.
    employee: I can’t & I won’t.
    boss: Your attitude is unacceptable, you’re on thin ice.
    employee: OK, well, I quit
    boss: Wait! Wait! No, let’s discuss this.

    1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      I would take a subreddit with a hefty grain of salt — there may be a lot of fantasy conversations between “boss” and “employee”…and then the whole bus started clapping.

      1. not a doctor*

        Yeah, there was an original one of these that I think was probably true (the one where the employee got yelled at for sitting down), but a lot of people have jumped on the trend with increasingly less believability.

    2. Rotisserieemptyingexpert*

      This happened to me last month. I had just started at a place where they overworked me 4 days into the job. Somebody didn’t show up for a morning shift on my day off. I thought it was my day off. I made plans to get some errands done. When I said I could not come I got accused of being difficult and having attitude. It was hard to find people to work in the morning. Only 5 adults worked there. Resgined that afternoon. He kept trying to convince me to stay and recommend this place my friends. My boss who thought this was unacceptable quit a week later.

  46. Momma Bear*

    Even if I understand the whys, I find it very frustrating on this end. I had someone decline their interview the DAY OF the interview, after I had arranged for several high level people to attend per company requirements. I guess it was better than ghosting.

    1. anonymous73*

      Yes it was the correct way to handle it and much better than ghosting. And while I get the frustration, I bet you wouldn’t have hesitated to reschedule that interview if one of the high level people needed you to do so.

      1. Momma Bear*

        If it was a good reason we would have rescheduled. We’re not heartless. However, they withdrew from the process. I wonder if the only reason they said anything at all was they were recommended by an employee and the employee realized they weren’t coming in and nudged them to say something. It was weird though.

        1. Skippy*

          Would it have been better if the person had showed up with no intention of taking the job? That’s a waste of everyone’s time. If the candidate cancels ahead of time, even if it’s the day of the interview, the higher-ups end up with an unplanned free hour on their schedule, and believe me, those are heavenly.

        2. anonymous73*

          I still see nothing wrong with the way the interviewee handled the situation. Your attitude about it is the reason candidates are behaving the way they are at the moment. You expect them to bow down to you because it’s really really hard to coordinate the schedules of a bunch of important people, and get upset when they cancel because they’ve decided the role isn’t right for them.

  47. Jake*

    We aren’t seeing this trend at all yet, luckily.

    To be fair, these stories sound similar to when we hire interns with flex schedules, 15 bucks an hour with no benefits. All this means is the rest of the market has caught on.

  48. Turtle*

    Ghosting is so rude. I mean, I get the sentiment, but that doesn’t mean people should behave in a gross way.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      I agree that it’s rude.

      I also suspect this is somewhat related to desire to avoid the “difficult” conversation of telling someone no, I’m not interested. So many advice questions are how can I convey something to someone without having to say the words out loud, and how many answers to letters are just have a direct conversation with a person?

      1. anonymous73*

        If that’s the case, it’s an excuse. Send an email. It takes 30 seconds and isn’t that difficult.

  49. Admin 4 life*

    It’s really hard to imagine they don’t hear themselves. I’ve been ghosted 17 times in the last 6 months. I’ve interviewed with 42 different people and I’ve always been told that contacting candidates is part of the next steps. The offers I have received are also less than I stated I would accept in the initial conversation and they seem shocked when I spell it out that I would be losing money to leave my current role for the offered salary and benefits.

    “We want someone who wants to be here and is driven by the work and not the money.”

    Some companies just put you into a database and you have to log in to see you were rejected. That’s at least better than nothing and it requires very little human labor to automate.

    1. Eliza*

      There’s a reason the song title isn’t “She Works Hard Because She Wants to Be Here and Is Driven By the Work”.

  50. goducks*

    I’ve been hiring long enough to have been through both extremes; at times it’s been strongly an employer’s market, and at times (like now) strongly an employee’s market. Back and forth over the decades.

    I’ve learned to roll with it and to always treat applicants well, no matter who has the upper hand in the market. The pendulum will always swing one way or another, but I can try not to take it personally and to always behave with integrity.

  51. Applause applause life without pause*

    Thinking back to my evil ex-boss and her ranting and raving about how no one needs to work for her. I’ve seen vacancies at her business for months now and I love it. popcorn.gif

  52. Anon b/c at work LOL*

    This may deserve to go in an open thread another day, but even though I am enjoying the snark, part of me is thinking “oh crap” now that I’m on the OTHER side of things. I’ve been on the hiring side for a few months and it’s only now do I realize there is so much that candidates CAN’T know about the process. It’s making me rethink all of the times I would wonder why I never heard back from job interviews or applications. It’s really not the people/applicants. I wish I could give updates to people…I can’t even tell them they didn’t get the job yet b/c technically it hasn’t been filled NOR has the 1st choice been approved. It’s such a cluster. Anyone else feel this way?

    1. anonymous73*

      I get it but even a non-update update is better than nothing. If you tell someone a decision will be made by X date, and that date passes with no decision, reach out and tell them it’s taking longer than expected. Having been part of hiring processes before I know it can often take longer than expected, but completely ignoring a candidate that has taken time out of their life to interview for a job is not okay.

      1. Anon b/c at work LOL*

        I completely agree. Fortunately we didn’t give anyone any sort of timeframe, but I feel terrible for not getting back to anyone yet. AND there’s a good chance I may have to reneg on our first choice as they are being difficult with me on a few terms of employment…

  53. Zona the Great*

    How timely that I just saw this article: “Business Insider
    Denver’s airport held a job fair to plug its huge labor shortage. An exec said he’d hoped 5,000 people would come – but only 100 showed up.”

    If anyone knows where DIA is in Denver, I’m sure you can take a guess at one reason why this is. DIA is in the middle of now where. Driving there is a disaster and the train is expensive and unreliable. I wonder how much the average concession stand at DIA pays? Likely not more that entry level jobs in the city. That he thought 5000 people would show up further illustrates how out of touch employers are.

    1. Important Moi*

      So you’re saying they didn’t hire the 100 people who showed up because they weren’t unicorns?

      1. Zona the Great*

        Ha! Oh I don’t know how many were hired. I would assume all 100 were not hirable to work concessions, in the CEO’s mind.

    2. Admin 4 life*

      I’m in Colorado and it’s laughable that they thought that 5,000 people would show up for $15 an hour or $3 an hour plus tips, and probably still have to pay for parking after a 45 minute commute, and also work hours that don’t align with childcare.

    3. Texan In Exile*

      Unemployment in Colorado seems to be pretty low.

      Cheapest parking is $2/hour if you take shuttle from the lot to the airport. (And it looks like there is a shortage of shuttle drivers, so who knows how long it would take to actually get a bus.)

      It’s a pain in the neck to drive to the airport. (My mom lives in Colorado Springs and we usually fly into DIA and drive from there, so I have lived this.)

      So this would have been an many-hours ordeal – and for a minimum wage job where people have to be on their feet the entire shift and deal with the public?

      (Note to self: Take own food on next flight – looks like buying food at the airport will be tough.)

    4. londonedit*

      Yeah. The UK government has spent the last 10 years making it clear that they hate all foreigners and the last five years crowing about Brexit and how we’re going to Take Our Country Back and not have to rely on all those nasty immigrants. Then it turns out we need lorry drivers, so the government decided it was very generously going to make thousands of special visas available for all the wonderful drivers from the EU who wanted to come and work here. How many people applied when they became available? 170.

  54. HR Here*

    I used to manage recruiting and HR for a restaurant, and candidates ghosting us was the norm. Other recruiters/HR/hiring managers are just now experiencing what many of us in different industries have already been dealing with! I used to double-book interview slots knowing that 50% of my candidates wouldn’t show up, and that typically resulted in a better use of our time. Very very rarely did it cause candidates to have to wait past their scheduled time, and even then it wasn’t by much.

    I’ve also always made it very clear to anyone involved in hiring that it tarnishes the employer-brand to ghost candidates. Huge no-no in my opinion. Having managed recruiting in multiple industries for years, and recently gone through a job search myself, I’ve gotten to see both sides through this weird job market. I’d argue that BOTH sides shouldn’t ghost… it’s rude, unprofessional, and compromises your reputation.

    I’m not sure if the tides will shift and there will be a more even balance between candidates and employers. However, I will say candidates who ghost me at any stage are hurting their reputation, particularly in the service/hospitality industry where there’s a lot of movement and they’re pretty likely to want to keep connections. I’ve had countless candidates who have ghosted apply again several months later… it’s pretty unlikely their previous ghosting isn’t going to work against them, especially if we have a large candidate pool.

  55. Karma*

    I know I should be the bigger person and say people shouldn’t do this…but I also understand the years (decades?) job candidates have experienced the same thing. Wasting so much of their time filling out applications and going through several interviews only to be ghosted. As a hiring manager, you’re getting PAID regardless of whether or not someone shows. Job candidates are giving you their time freely in the HOPES of getting a paid job later on.

  56. CA PM*

    This might be another reason people ghost an interview.

    I applied for a job a job and was contacted for an interview. I was told to reach out to the HR person, which I did and provided my availability. HR person responded with her availability, and then nothing. So I sent a follow up email. This time HR person said I’m set for day and time, yet I did not receive an invite with the details. I sent another email asking for the details. So far I haven’t received an invite. At this point I’m thinking of rescinding my candidacy.

    1. An*

      Not to be a jerk, but what kind of details and invite are you looking for? When the HR person responded with her availability, you should have replied, not sent a follow up.

      I’m not sure if there’s something really missing from this exchange or if this is par for the course with this HR dept.

      1. Tiffany Aching's imaginary friend*

        It’s pretty clear to me that the HR person thinks they’re sending emails with information, but An isn’t receiving them.
        @An, might want to check your spam folder?

        1. CA PM*

          I checked the spam folder and it was empty. I was looking for the HR person to schedule an interview along with the details. As it was I had no idea if this was a video interview or a conference call.

          There’s an update: the HR person finally responded and said ” due to the number of applicants the interview would be conducted by email”. She did apologize for not making that clear.

  57. Lobsterman*

    I’m convinced at this point that we’ve entered capital strike territory – that employers are simply refusing to hire or retain staff, because they’re trying to break people’s wills and/or push for even more favorable legislation in response to bad economic numbers.

    1. Mental Lentil*

      If you’ve seen the antiwork subreddit, yes, this is happening. There are a number of people reporting that they have applied to literally dozens of jobs at restaurants that are all screaming for employees and hearing nothing.

    2. EmKay*

      That is indeed happening. The companies screaming the loudest about not being able to hire anyone aren’t even interviewing for the alleged job openings they have.

    3. WindmillArms*

      Absolutely right. Companies are also finding that it’s even cheaper to just pile all the work onto the remaining skeleton crew while simultaneously shrugging and claiming they’re “trying” to hire help.

    4. Ami*


      If employers were actually serious about “needing absolutely anyone” for roles “that just can’t be filled”, we would have a positively tiny number of people unemployed and still seeking work at basically any job. That isn’t the case. This is all a big PR campaign to screw workers over even more.

  58. Tawny*


    Honestly, if your job ad includes the lines “Only successful candidates will be contacted” then you have no right to complain when the shoe is on the other hand.

    Employers! Be the change you want to see! If somebody takes the time to apply for a job with your company, acknowledge you’ve received the application, and send them a polite PFO if you’ve decided they’re not the right fit – even if they don’t make it to an interview stage.

  59. Texan In Exile*

    I’m sure you will all be glad to know that the Wisconsin Republican (you know – free markets) members of the legislature are all over this – they have a solution.

    Child labor.

    I am not making this up.

  60. Susie*

    One positive thing my company does is notify candidates that were interviewed either by phone, postal mail or email if the position has been filled.

    We have had several people who came in, work a few days and then resign or leave for another opportunity. Sometimes working in a museum is not what people think it is. We do provide a pretty detailed job description, pay and benefits for each position and we do review that during the interview.

  61. I DK*

    Yes, an employer ghosting a candidate is rude. It always has been and it always will be. But that doesn’t make it not rude when an applicant ghosts an employer. It’s not right. It’s not civil. It’s not “just desserts.” It’s just rude behavior. Period. And neither side should be doing it.
    Banks have been taking our money for years with outrageous fees, but that doesn’t mean I can walk into a bank and take their money. Nor would it make banks “better understand what they’ve been doing to [their customers] for years.”
    We need to get rid of the rudeness and incivility on both sides of the table, and not champion this poor behavior from anyone. -DK

    1. Mental Lentil*

      All true, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t get to sit back and enjoy watching the show.

    2. The Other Katie*

      Politeness norms serve the interest of power.
      This isn’t robbing a bank. It’s following a behavioural norm set by employers themselves, as a whole.
      Of course it’s not “polite”. It’s not meant to be. It’s meant to make a point.
      Pretty effective, right?

  62. Mimi23*

    No one really wins in this climate, though. As consumers, we suffer with bad service, or screwed up delivery orders, or long lines, or …. you get the picture. Rudeness and incivility may feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t change anything.

    As a 35+ year HR practitioner, I’ve always made a point of following up with anyone I interview. Back in the “old days” that mean mass-mailing actual letters. With a stamp! With email technology, it’s easy to send a kind and respectful rejection message. Sadly, I frequently get thanked for sending anything at all – which tells me I’m in the minority to make a point of doing this.

    I am a consultant now and currently helping a handful of organizations with their recruiting efforts. I get “stood up” at least once a week. It’s annoying, but I look at it as dodging a bullet for my client. Someone who’s that rude wouldn’t be a good employee, most likely.

    1. Anon b/c at work LOL*

      But that’s you, an HR person, where it’s your full time job, to contact and interview. And I bet in the “old days” you had an admin to help with the mailings…?

      Many of us are doing the hiring while working our regular job b/c there is no HR person to do the ground work. We barely have the time to interview for the people we desperately need to work for us, nevermind reaching out to everyone who applied. I’m already worried about having the time to do my regular job and train a new person, who hasn’t even started yet. We are strapped.

  63. Bill Sadlowski*

    I read your article in Slate today, titled “The Strange New Trend That’s Enraging Hiring Managers.” My daughter applied online for a position at a national beauty company store located within another national store and was scheduled to come in for an interview. When she arrived she was told that all positions had been filled. So, her heart was broken and she was very frustrated with the company and did not understand why the interview was scheduled and why she was not informed of the position being filled.
    It would seem that companies are still playing games with applicants and it’s about time they got some of their own medicine. All we expect is a little courtesy and respect.

    1. CommanderBanana*

      Hah, I think I know which store! I was offered at job at probably the same store several years ago, but never started…because the woman who was supposed to coordinate onboarding and new hire training never bothered calling (they required a week-ish long training course), and by the time I was able to get in touch with her, I had taken another job.

    2. Rotisserieemptyingexpert*

      I applied to that store a couple years ago before covid for seasonal help. I said I didn’t want to work a night shift and put that on the application. The lady on the phone was begging me to work that shift after I told her no 3 times.

  64. Arsene*

    I was out with a few people and one jumped into a story about how this guy who owned a construction company was complaining about how he kept having people interview, accept the job, then ghost and never show up. Her theory was that people just “can’t even” anymore and are burnt out from the pandemic. Then I offered up that maybe the applicants found jobs with better pay or benefits when this one wasn’t paying enough and just didn’t feel compelled to get back to the employer, with whom they barely had a relationship. I got crickets from the rest of the group.

    I still don’t get how generalized pandemic burnout would translate to multiple people ghosting on the same job… Though looking back on it after the fact, she is having some major burnout at her current job and was probably projecting. (She should absolutely find a new job, and I’m sure she could find something great in this job market, but she definitely won’t.)

  65. We'll see*

    Hi All. I’m not going to have a very popular side discussion opinion so I must start off with I 100% agree with everything in this discussion. I do think tables have turned and some employers are getting a taste of their own medicine.

    I do want to say that I feel like everyone is looking at this collectively – meaning viewing it as if EVERY employer ghosted potential employees; now employees having the “upper hand”‘ are snubbing employers only this does not represent everyone. There are employers that do get back to you, give feedback, give a competitive wage, are doing all the right things in a competitive market; there are candidates that do not ghost, that follow up on interviews, that complete interview processes.

    I agree that the above is probably majority (I’ve experienced being ghosted by employers tons and tons of times!), however I do not believe snubbing a potential employer (who good be a “good guy”) is not going to make up for all the times someone was ghosted by employer. Each case is it’s own.

    Again I just want to reiterate that I agree with everything said in this discussion, I just feel like there is a lot of lumping everyone in one category that might not be a correct non-skewed results.

    1. The Other Katie*

      This doesn’t really matter, because for the most part, applicants only come into contact with a potential employer one time. So whether or not your particular company ghosts applicants doesn’t matter – what matters is the applicant’s experience of being ghosted by companies in general, which has established a behavioural norm.

  66. Todd*

    My stepson has a finance degree with a 3.9 GPA. He applied for over 200 jobs that he was well qualified for and got ONE interview for an entry level position with a land survey company. The interviewer then challenged him about why he wanted an entry level job. Well, maybe because nearly every other job (even the finance jobs labeled as entry level) state that they REQUIRE years of experience.

    So now he’s working at Publix until he can find something else. He wouldn’t dream of ghosting an interviewer, but he has had that happen to him several times in the past. I’m currently waiting to hear back about an INTERNAL position that I’m very qualified for. It’s been almost two months and I know they just haven’t made the hiring decision yet, but they told us it would be a quick process.

  67. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

    I turned down a Very Large Successful Company on Friday because their hiring manager ghosted me. Turnabout, babies.

  68. Accidental Sith*

    When I was doing hiring earlier this year, my HR department said they would handle sending rejections to phone screens. (I sent personalized rejections to anyone who made it to the interview.) I was horrified to find out THREE MONTHS LATER that they had never sent those rejections at all, and we’d essentially ghosted about six people we’d phone screened.

    I immediately corrected the situation, but I was completely mortified to have unintentionally joined the Dark Side.

    All that to say, if a candidate ghosted me now, I’d be bummed, but it would also feel like well deserved karma.

  69. Sindy*

    It seems to me that companies have trained employees to act like this over several years. You get back the energy you put out into the world, and hiring procedure for the past…what…40 years? has been to completely ignore their candidates. Over time this has trained the working population to not treat employment and interviews terribly seriously so when a stressor appears on the scene then propriety isn’t a big deal anymore. After all we learned it somewhere.

  70. Hippo-nony-potomus*

    I think a lot of employers are stuck in the past, not just with salary/benefits, but the entire working experience. Many employees want the flexibility to work from home, at least part of the time. They know that school could be shut down if COVID spreads, or their spouse could be diagnosed and the entire family would need to quarantine. Even if they like coming into the office, they want flexibility.

    People in smaller cities and rural areas are hungry for job opportunities; I wonder how many companies are open to permanent remote or hiring someone for “98% remote” (i.e. come into the office a few days a year). Seems like a lot of hiring problems would be solved by throwing medium-city salaries at people out in the boonies, or who want the flexibility to work from Florida in the winter.

    Perhaps companies are still looking at resumes in a rather outdated manner. If they are only calling the top 10 applicants for interviews, those top 10 might have options with dozens of other companies. Drill down further into your candidate pool and hire on reliability + potential. Look to onramp non-traditional employees (e.g., women who have been out of the workforce for a decade while raising their kids). Consider if your educational requirements are necessary.

    Consider whether people are willing to tolerate round-the-clock availability. You’re better off hiring someone who will work hard from 8 to 5 than hiring no one because you’re holding out for someone who will give their life to your PowerPoint presentations.

  71. CLP*

    I’ve read a lot of comments that refer to HR, Hiring Mgrs, Recruiters, etc. However…. for small businesses this is not the case: they don’t have crew waiting around to do interviews. They are offering fair wages and benefits especially when they are offering a true entry-level job with paid training.

    Someone carves out time to give an interview, sometimes after-hours or on the weekend to accommodate the potential hires’ schedules, and then no one shows up. Then we wonder why the small brick-and-mortar shops are selling out to large corporations. Things like this might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. We will end up with only large, impersonal mega-corporations.

    1. not that kind of Doctor*

      Unfortunately small employers also suffer the consequences of large corporations treating people like crap. :-/

    2. PT*

      Because we spend a lot of time romanticizing “small business” in the US and we forget that most of them cannot pay market rate wages, they cannot offer affordable health benefits because their group size is too small, and they’re exempt from the ADA (kicks in at 15) and FMLA (kicks in at 50.)

      Small business jobs are often bad jobs.

      1. CLP*

        Not everyone has the same priorities for their career either. Some don’t want a big corporate career. But if we keep expecting everyone to fit into the same mold and encourage them to treat all employers the same, then all we will have left is big cookie cutter businesses which can’t provide fulfillment to all types of employees.

        1. VintageLydia*

          Folks still need to afford shelter, food, and healthcare, though. And subsidizing someone else’s dream of owning a business while we eat ramen isn’t looking so attractive anymore. Wages need to be raised across the board.

          1. CLP*

            Sure, but that has nothing to do with why applicants send in an application, schedule an interview, and then just don’t show up. Why go through the steps if they have no intention of going?

            1. Splendid Colors*

              Based on previous letters to AAM, I’m guessing they had been applying to multiple jobs and got an offer after they scheduled the interview. As others have commented, the applicants have probably been ghosted so often in their interview process they’ve internalized that this is just how things are done. They may not be super organized in keeping track of where they are with all the applications, either, and might have started at a new job somewhere by the time of the interview.

    3. Ami*

      Small businesses…are offering fair wages and benefits especially when they are offering a true entry-level job with paid training.

      Umm…can you please provide directions to these lovely-sounding, small business employers who don’t violate multiple workplace laws everyday, just because they know they’re able to get away with it?

      I’ve worked for a large number of small (and medium) businesses. Every single one of them was dodgy and exploitative in various ways.

      1. CLP*

        Umm… from the sounds of all the responses “dodgy and exploitative” isnt exclusive to small or medium businesses. And if you only want to work for big corporations that is your prerogative but not everyone wants to. Ghosting your interview is easily absorbed by mega-corps, but is detrimental to small ones. We can all have a good laugh where businesses get their comeuppance, but when the familiar, friendly local car repair, electrician or dog groomer shutters their doors – don’t complain that only cookie cutter chains exist.

        1. F.M.*

          You know, the indie places near me that treat their staff well have been doing pretty decently, as far as I can see. The Tim Hortons that was constantly dirty and understaffed because they offered minimum wage and an irregular schedule? They closed ages ago.

          But somehow I’m supposed to feel really bad for businesses closing if they’re small and not large, regardless of how they treat their staff, because something something mom-and-pop, something something ‘buy local’, woo.

          Being a small business isn’t a virtue. It’s just a fact. Those businesses need to be good for me to care about them staying open, just like big ones do.

  72. Hacker For Hire*

    This post makes me absolutely overjoyed. It’s good that employers get a taste of their own medicine.

    My guess is the COVID pandemic made people realize that health and family are #1 priority, not work — especially when you’re exploited, underpaid, and treated like crap.

    1. calonkat*

      My millenial daughter says this is exactly it. People realized there is a limited amount of time on this planet, and they get to choose where they spend that time. Apparently being shouted at by a boss in exchange for a pittance and health insurance that doesn’t cover any preventative care is not how people want to spend their lives now.

      It’s one for Ripley, for sure.

  73. learnedthehardway*

    I think a lot of the reason why employers have ghosted people over the years is simply the volume of people applying. I worked in HR for a VERY large tech company, and the sheer volume of people who applied to positions was almost unmanageable. Multiply that by the fact that a lot of people applied for multiple roles, and the time it took to reject applications and then instruct the applicant tracking system to send out a rejection notice, and it started to add up to a lot of hours of time. Eventually, the company simply went with a statement on its job postings that “only qualified applicants will be contacted” because the recruiters just did not have the time to deal with it.

    The standard became that you would send out a rejection email to anyone who the recruiter had interviewed in person and a phone call to anyone the hiring manager interviewed but wasn’t going to move forward.

    1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

      While I would have understood this reasoning back in the 2000s, or even early 2010s, I have to say that if your ATS can’t handle batch email processing of all applicants with a rejected flag in 2021, it is a poorly written one.

      Library systems use some of the most out of date pieces of database software, and we’ve figured out batch emails to notify people of holds and the like. Any organization that has ATS which can’t, is paying for something that no longer meets the bare minimum expectation of what it takes to be an ATS.

      It’d be like hiring a secretary who doesn’t use computers, and only writes shorthand in elder futhark.

      1. calonkat*

        And the systems seem to be capable of sending mass emails about group interviews, so it’s clearly just a choice not to spend 5 minutes to set up an email about “the position was filled but not by you.”

    2. The Other Katie*

      You were working for a tech company that couldn’t work out how to send an automated email when an applicant was marked rejected in an electronic application system? This would take literally a couple hours of programming time and zero hours of HR time.

  74. booper*

    At 17 I interviewed and was hired for a “job” (I now know) selling knives for everyone’s favorite knife-selling MLM. After multiple interviews I paid cab fare to get to (no license!) and took time out of my summer to find, I was called back to the hiring manager’s office where I was told unceremoniously that I did not get the job and they thought I lacked any real salesmanship skills. Fine, I said, thank you for your time–only for the manager to say she was “joking”, “just wanted to see my reaction”, and she’d “be emailing me my new hire paperwork, training starts Monday”. I ghosted the heck out of that job and I’m not sorry about it. But they were shocked I tell you! The emails didn’t stop for weeks! How COULD I be hired and not show up?! Employers who play stupid games win stupid prizes and I’m glad they’re getting what’s coming to them.

  75. Despachito*

    I can see your point (that companies ghosting you can be very annoying), yet I cannot agree with the “just deserts” vibe I can see in many comments here:

    – as it has been pointed out several times, the employers ghosting us are not necessarily the same we would be ghosting
    – I am definitely not a fan of collective guilt, and this seems very much like one. It is very easy to say “you are a member of a group that harmed me, so I am fully entitled to harm you back” and to convince yourself you have the right to do so but I do not think it is correct.
    – if I make my own good behaviour conditional on good behaviour of another vague group of persons (“the employers” “the government” “women/men in general”) then my good behaviour is not something ingrained in me but rather a thin layer which can be easily scraped off, and what is beneath is not very nice.
    – if I feel I can act nasty in the same way that pissed me off if done to me only because the power scales are tipping the other way, this also does not really paint a nice picture of my character.

    It is awful to be ghosted but if so, I do not really make two wrongs right if I do the same awful thing to a completely different person!

    I’d be all for blacklisting the ghosting employers if I can in the least afford it, telling them/everyone that it is rude, but I do not think I should counter the behaviour I hate with the same behaviour I hate. It is also about burning bridges, but mostly about my OWN feeling of integrity.

    1. F.M.*

      I think it’s worth noting that for a lot of people doing ghosting, though, it’s not a civility issue; it’s a business expectations issue.

      If ghosting is deliberate impoliteness, then your argument has merit. But for a lot of candidates, they’ve learned that ghosting is just how the hiring process works. People discuss whether or not they’ll form a business relationship, and at a certain point the matter is resolved by either starting the job or one side not following up further. So if that’s what people see as standard business interaction, they’re not going to be ghosting as a way to be “nasty” or display “bad behavior” or “punish” anyone; they’re just speaking the language of business interactions during job-hiring processes, as it’s been demonstrated.

      You can shame people out of behavior that they think is bad by default (but sometimes justified), but you can’t shame them out of doing something they think is normal and expected and what everyone does. Like the way I don’t worry about failing to hold the door open for the person behind me when I walk through an automatic door.

  76. Despachito*

    Please, do not do to others what you’d hate them do to you!

    Two wrongs do not equal one right.

    The ones who ghosted you are not necessarily the same ones you are ghosting. So you might be punishing an innocent person. I do not believe in collective guilt.

    It is not good to reinforce the feeling that “I have the right to harm others because I was harmed, too”. It does not lead to justice, and can be pretty dangerous.

    This absolutely does not mean you have to suck up bad behaviour of the employer. You have all the right to mentally blacklist them, tell them it was rude, put a review somewhere. Spreading the atmosphere that ghosting is bad and should not be tolerated is an amazing thing to do.

    I just do not think that the right way to counter unprofessional behaviour is to display the same unprofessional behaviour.

  77. LuckyClover*

    Not related to the issue at hand, which I totally agree with Allison about but- I had an interesting experience recently where I had an employee who ghosted me at the start of the pandemic, reapply. She came into contact with one of my colleagues at a job fair and told him that she used to work with us but due to hours being cut at the start of the pandemic she stopped working with us for a while.

    Reader- not true at all! I actually never cut staff hours. This person in particular had a lot of personal family issues and asked for time off to get adjusted and move into a new apartment. I told her to take her time and reached out multiple times to ask her if she was okay or ready to come back or if she needed more time. After 6 months of no contact, I had no choice but to consider her separated and completed separation paperwork (not without warning!).

    When her application came through I reached out to tell her I was so relieved to hear that she was okay. I think she thought that since she worked here prior she could just start again, but I explained she would have to interview since HR processed her separation a year ago. She never responded to my requests for the interview so that ended up being that.

    Just super weird to have me accommodate all of her requests only for her to tell my colleague that COVID shut down her department / hours.

    1. Mannequin*

      I have stress dreams where the plot is literally that I show up at some old job I haven’t had for years and suddenly realize that I actually still work there, and just forgot, so I try to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing before anyone notices. LOL.

  78. singlemaltgirl*

    this has happened for years in alberta – particularly for labour, construction, and similar trade type jobs. if you could provide labour, particularly skilled labour, you were in demand and employers paid bonuses, offered all kinds of incentives, and we expected no shows, ‘ghosting’ as you’re referring to here, and employees just leaving – no show, no phone call, nada b/c they would go to the next employer the next day if they got an offer for more money. the rest of canada couldn’t understand that (when you’re reporting to a corporate office in toronto, try getting more money or explaining this situation when they can hire off the street for min. wage).

    it’s just part of doing biz when the labour market is such. i don’t complain about it. i do try to find ways to problem solve with other employers. we can get creative. but there is no loyalty – and we’ve been part of that loss of loyalty. so we don’t have a leg to stand on to complain about it now.

    i think employers grumbling about filling positions is a common grumble when you’re looking for skilled labour. i’ve struggled to find skilled people for roles and focused on providing development to get people to the level we need them at. a little venting seems reasonable – just as employees grumbling about shitty employers :)

  79. singlemaltgirl*

    also, i have a memory like an elephant. i don’t ‘ghost’ anyone i’ve interviewed. i’m clear with timelines, compensation, and our recruitment process. i’ll also look at resumes of unlikely candidates who may have had a gap or who recently re-trained or something that doesn’t make sense in a work history. a cover letter that explains the quirkyness of your resume can get you an interview with me. i’m willing to look at candidates b/c i’ve had success in reading people and supporting development if there was a great attitude. by the same token, if you ghost me, i’ll remember. and i will never consider you for a role again.

  80. Spanokopita*

    I thought an employer ghosted me over 9 years ago, even after I tried emailing and phoning my HR contact to follow up. Eventually, after I’d written off the opportunity, one of my interviewers reached out to find out where I was in the process, and I responded that I heard nothing since interviewing over 2 months prior. Turns out, my HR contact sadly passed away after the team asked him to extend an offer, but before I actually received it.

  81. twocents*

    As someone who is interviewing for a position I really want right now, I sincerely hope all my competition is of the ghosting sort.

  82. Holy Grail*

    So a slap on the back and a good for you nudge huh? A company sends an offer letter…for the job YOU interviewed for….and crickets from you? Too bad potential employees don’t have Glassdoor so employers can warn others. How about being adult about this? No one wins here. All you do is continue the bad behavior which then leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. We interview tons of people every year. Each one gets a NTY or moves forward.

  83. Antisocialite*

    Would love to see a Venn diagram on companies also kvetching about “the labor shortage”.
    There isn’t a labor shortage, there’s just a decent pay, benefits, and treatment shortage.

  84. Still Laughing*

    Aww, what’s wrong, employers? Don’t you like the capitalist free market any more?

    As my toxic ex-boss said to me recently when I told him he needed to pay me correctly and on time, “Suck it up, Princess”.

    The look on his face when I quit the next week was great. The look on his face when I launch the action to recover my stolen wages will be even better.

  85. K*

    From what I’ve heard, at the same time, companies are **still** ghosting applicants. The business community is in no way helping its case here!

  86. Why did I go to library school?*

    “Treat others as you’d like to be treated” is a great rule and one that I think more people could stand to live by.


    I can’t help but feel like those who are pulling that out of their pocket in response to this article aren’t looking at “job seekers ghosting employers” in its context as part of a larger backlash against an endemic mistreatment of workers. If we could change things at a societal level by being polite and asking nicely (or by leaving Glassdoor reviews, or simply relying on corporations to be held accountable for their actions), then… change would have already occurred!

  87. Bethie*

    I read a comment on the article about the Florida Man who applied for 60+ jobs with only 1 interview, that many people are just choosing to retire or not return to the workfoce, due to the reasons outlines by everyone. And I agree. My Dad took the buyout from his job to retire (he’s 65) and my husband decided to go back to school online full time and be a stay at home dad, since we have a kiddo in elementary school. Which has been great, because kiddo was sent home for 10 days already this year due to contact tracing. With my job, even though I work from home, I cant do all the school stuff and meetings. I mean, we arent rolling in it, but we can get by and that makes it worth my husband not taking on a job with potential exposure to COVID.

  88. Michelle*

    You know, my 19yo, 18yo and 16yo are all looking for jobs. My 19yo is particularly desperate for a new job, since his employer suddenly and without explanation cut his hours in half right after he signed a lease on a new apartment. And I keep hearing about how employers are having such a hard time hiring, and how nobody wants to work the low-wage retail jobs anymore, and candidates keep ghosting job interviews — yet all three of my kids have been experiencing the exact opposite. Nobody responds to their applications. My daughter has been told several times to expect an email from one job, and a phone call from another, and nothing. When she follows up, they just say, “We’re going to contact you soon.”

    My son had a video interview scheduled, and he waited for an hour but nobody showed up. Nobody reached out to him, and he wasn’t provided with any contact info. He called the company and was routed to their national headquarters, who told him there was no direct line to the store and no way for him to call the hiring manager. He actually had to go into the store several times to get a hold of the hiring manager, who told him that their system constantly messes up and schedules video interviews when they are supposed to be in-person, and no one is doing anything to fix it or reach out to the candidates who are then waiting around for an interview that isn’t going to happen.

    If the current trend of candidates ghosting employers is a response to the way companies have treated them for years, I don’t think the companies are learning a damned thing.

  89. Nancy Drew*

    I am the HR paper-shuffler for hiring in my state institution’s department. The hiring process takes FOREVER, and I totally understand the frustration that applicants experience. But we do reach out to each and every applicant at some point with a phone call or emailed “so sorry” statement. Every time we’re ghosted, it’s time we’ve wasted pushing that applicant through our convoluted onboarding process. We’re a small, rural state not known for vast quantities of employment opportunities. If I see a ghoster’s name reappear as an applicant on another one of our ads, they receive zero consideration for future employment in our department.

  90. BurnOutCandidate*

    Here’s an employer ghosting tale that happened to me today.

    In early September, a company I do business with frequently — they know me by sight if not name — announced they were hiring for a sales director position. I was interested, fine-tuned the resume, wrote a cover letter that showed I understood some of the issues the business faces and had given them some thought plus highlighting past experience, and submitted the materials the next day. It would have been an industry change, but it was also something I would have loved to do and a work environment I would have loved every single day. I really wanted this job.

    Today, in the mail I received a letter from said company, from the person hired for the position I had applied for, asking me to stick with them and patronize them in the future. Other than some fun Twitter chatter three weeks ago, this was the first contact I’d had with them since applying. Did the hire know that I’d applied for his position? Almost certainly not. I did know who he was; he was an intern that I’d interacted with one or two times a few months ago, and they probably already knew they were going to hire him but still had to go through the motions, partly because you don’t know what you’ll turn up if you open it.

    The kicker is that I have to reply to the letter, so I have to reply to the person who has a job that I really wanted. I’m going to congratulate him, maybe mention that I’m mildly envious and I know the challenges he faces, and go from there.

  91. SnappinTerrapin*

    A couple of jobs back, I had hiring and firing authority. I usually went to the State Employment Service website and pulled up a dozen or so candidates to invite for interviews. I called or emailed to invite them in.

    Honestly, it didn’t bother me if someone failed to show for an interview. I interviewed those who showed up. If necessary, I would call in more candidates. If I didn’t hire an individual out of that group, I called and told them, and asked whether they would be interested in being called back when the next vacancy arose. That just seemed to be the courteous thing to do.

    To be honest, the wages were low, and benefits were nil, but at least the wages were competitive for the market. I found quite a few good people, with solid work ethics.

    I will admit, however, that I was annoyed a couple of times when I hired new people, scheduled a seasoned worker to work with them and ensure they understood the job before working solo, and they simply failed to show for their first shift. I’d call them to see what happened. They said they had found another job in the meantime.

    I told them I didn’t begrudge them taking a job they saw as a better fit, but that I certainly would have appreciated a courtesy call, so I wouldn’t have run the risk of having a gap in my schedule that might have necessitated calling someone in for overtime.

    Thinking back, I can’t remember many employers showing me the courtesy of telling me someone else had been selected. No matter how badly I wanted a particular job, I learned early not to count the chicken before it hatched.

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