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Survey: 77% of Employers See Increase in Job Ghosting

U.S. job seekers and employers agree that job ghosting is a problem that’s here to stay, according to a recent survey from Indeed. The survey reveals a 77% increase in job seeker ghosting in 2022 compared to previous years. More than half (57%) of employers say it had never happened to them prior to the last 12 months, a notable increase from the 54% who said the same thing in Indeed’s 2022 survey and 45% in 2019.  

On the other end, 46% of job seekers think this behavior has become more common in the past 12 months, an increase from 39% who said the same in 2022. Both job seekers (75%) and employers (74%) say that ghosting has become entrenched in the hiring landscape.  

Around a third (32%) of job seekers surveyed in 2019 say they regretted their decision to ghost, while three in five in 2022 (58%) and 2023 (59%) said the same. A quarter (23%) of U.S. employers feel empowered when they ghost an employer, which is notably higher than the one in eight (12%) of job seekers in Canada and one in 10 (10%) of job seekers in the U.K. saying the same.  

Over three in five (62%) say they plan to ghost employers during future job searches, a dramatic increase from only 37% in 2019.  

Past employer ghosting may have primed job seekers to believe ghosting employers is fair play, the survey finds. Approximately 70% of job seekers say it’s “fair” to ghost employers, a slight uptick from 66% in 2022. That’s because one in three (35%) of job seekers claim an employer did not acknowledge their application in 2023 (a slight uptick from 32% in 2022).  

Even more job candidates report being ghosted after a second- or third-round interview: 40% in 2023, compared to 30% in 2022. Meanwhile, 85% of U.S.-based employers say that job seekers should never ghost an employer, despite more than a third (37%) admitting they personally ghosted an employer in the past while searching for a job.  

Employers’ beliefs for why they’re being ghosted differ from job seekers’ real reasons for ghosting, the survey finds. The top five reasons employers believe they’re ghosted include candidates receiving another job offer, candidates believing that it’s not the right job for them, candidates uncomfortable communicating their decision, candidates unsure how to pull out of the process, and low pay offers.  

Meanwhile, the top five reasons job seekers ghost include believing that the job is not right for them, believing that the company is not right for them, the pay offer was too low, the benefits weren’t good enough, and they received another job offer.  

Moreover, poor communication has gradually grown into a significant issue. In 2020, only 5% of job seekers cited poor communication by the recruiter as their reason for ghosting, but that jumped to 18% in 2022 and 25% in 2023.  

While better communication helps prevent ghosting, compensation is one of the most crucial factors, the survey finds. U.S. employers believe that improved transparency (54%), shorter hiring process (43%), and flexible schedule options (36%) will prevent ghosting. Meanwhile, job seekers believe that higher pay (42%), better pay transparency (41%), better benefits (38%), and better communication (34%) will prevent ghosting.  

In 2019, 2022 and 2023, higher pay and better benefits are consistently named in the top three changes that would have made job seekers more likely to continue with the hiring process. 

To navigate ghosting, Indeed’s survey suggests taking a people-first approach. Take a proactive stance that considers the needs of everyone involved in the hiring process. Allow candidates to express their priorities, including pay, location, and work hours, to achieve a better work-life balance. Employers should also adapt to work changes. Employers should acknowledge that people in different generations want different things at work, such as well-being, activism, and fulfillment. At the same time, employers should set clear expectations, revise job descriptions, and remove unnecessary barriers to foster inclusivity. Employers can also utilize technology to match job seekers’ preferences with employers’ requirements for efficient and effective hiring.  

“People are at the heart of hiring,” says Raj Mukherjee, executive vice president of employer at Indeed. “At Indeed, we emphasize the importance of employers being clear in their expectations for open roles, practicing inclusive hiring, and leveraging technology for meaningful job matches. By making better matches, we foster connections that significantly reduce the likelihood of job seekers feeling unheard or disconnected we aim to address and alleviate the prevalent issue of ghosting in the hiring process.” 

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