Ghosting is now happening at the workplace too

Originally published at:


It’s not right as a matter of common courtesy but I will say that HR departments in the U.S. are notorious for ghosting applicants and interviewees in good economic times and bad ones. If we’re going to ask workers to behave properly we should demand the same of slow AIs and their minions.


What do you call it when you apply for 50 jobs in a week and perhaps 5 of the places ever get back to you to tell you that they’re not interested?

I call that getting ghosted by employers 45 times. Now multiply that by however many weeks your job hunt takes.

I say fuck them, I’m not wasting my time being courteous to a webapp script.


Asymmetric expectations of loyalty and courtesy can get bent.


If an employer does it to prospective applicants, it’s just business as usual. If an prospective employee does it, it’s “ghosting.” Good if an entity does it, bad if a meatsack does it. Got it. Just like bankruptcy and defaulting on bad debt.

Double-standards: It’s the American way.


My experience being jobless for half a year a decade ago in Ontario made it clear to me that corporate HR have made this behaviour a default setting in the workplace. I have zero sympathy if they are unhappy when it goes both ways.


I agree it really IS interesting that we never heard about this problem until it was workers doing it to employers. The other way around is just considered business as usual.


Those are fine for individuals too as long as you do it on a large enough scale.


Also based on the headline I thought it was going to cover intra-company ghosting, as in, “hey we were supposed to meet about the project? Hello?”


Poof! He just suddenly ended contact without explanation.

Going out on a limb here, he likely did you a huge favor.


You’re putting unrealistic expectations on companies.
People are obliged to be courteous and…oh shit, companies are people now, right?


I say tough shit to faceless corporate HR flacks - it’s a buyer’s market now.

When I was a hiring manager, I always took the time to at least acknowledge every application that came across my desk and write out a short note of thanks. It’s common courtesy for Christ sake.

Worst experience I had was several years ago I was contacted for an interview with a large web services company (rhymes with Shmamazon). Conversations went well enough that eventually arrangements were made for me to fly out for all day interviews, lunch with hiring manager, etc…

Let’s just say that not only did I not get the job, I never heard from anyone there ever again. No feedback on how the interviews went, no official rejection, and worse still, the HR person never responded to me about reimbursement of travel expenses so I got stuck paying for my incidentals like meals and Uber rides. Fuck those guys!



I’m reading this article, and I’m hearing, “Alien abductions are on the rise.”




Is this ghosting? I was under the impression that ghosting was more to do with personal relationships.


Once an interview is scheduled or a job accepted, you should show up or cancel the interview. Until then, there’s no obligation to respond and it isn’t ghosting on either party’s end. Filling out an application isn’t a promise of any kind, nor is giving someone an application to fill out. I’ve been on both sides. A hiring manager is not going to contact an applicant they think isn’t qualified just to tell them no dice. Now if a hiring manager invites a prospective employee for an interview, they ought to get back to them either way, even if it’s just a formal email. In reality they don’t always do so. An applicant who doesn’t respond to requests for an interview isn’t ghosting; there is no relationship yet to ghost on.

So yeah, not showing up for a job you’ve accepted is a major asshole move. Not showing up for an interview you’ve scheduled is a minor asshole move.

Not responding to a response to an application, or on the other end not responding to an application, is normal and has been for as long as there have been businesses and applicants.


Of course the important question is how can we blame this age-old practice on millennials. /s


How about when you do an interview and then the company doesn’t contact you for a week. Then ever?


That’s fucked up, and I’ve had it happen to me. When I was hiring people, I always got back to interviewees, but there are assholes in every walk of life.


Every state except Montana has an employment-at-will law. Ghosting is legal and it is perfectly permissible to cite that law on the application as your reason for leaving a job.

People know why they have been ghosted, and often it is for multiple violations of standards of common decency or honesty. Employers routinely violate these standards, i.e. organizing when employees are prohibited from collective action.

This isn’t dick behavior. Employers (and others) have taught us how they are to be treated. They chose the weapon and squall like babies when we use it.