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Have You Been "Ghosted" By An Employer?

yechielk profile image Yechiel Kalmenson ใƒป1 min read

A recent Washington Post article claims that millennials are increasingly ghosting their employers. Meaning, they just leave for a new job without telling anyone in advance and not showing up to work.

While I have never seen it actually happen, I can totally imagine it. And while walking out on your employer may not be the most professional way to leave, let's get real here; I've been "ghosted" by more companies than I can count.

I've had one company where they had me take a full day off work (unpaid), so I could come to their office for an interview, only to never hear back and get no replies to my emails.

I've had a friend who was ghosted after getting an offer!

I don't condone just walking out without saying goodbye, but if I worked somewhere where I didn't feel safe to bring up negative feedback, I would probably do the exact same thing.

I know most companies wouldn't hesitate to treat me the same way if it suited them.

Have you ever experienced being ghosted by an employer? Have you felt the need to ghost a place you were working at?

At the oposite end, have you experienced a company that went out of their way to be transparent and open with you, even when they didn't have the best of news to share?

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Yechiel Kalmenson


He/Him/His I'm a Software Engineer and a teacher. There's no feeling quite like the one you get when you watch someone's eyes light up learning something they didn't know.


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I have been ghosted after interviews many times when I was a junior but luckily in my country when they make you an offer to be hired it goes with a signed document stating when are you starting and the salary you will receive and you can sue them if they don't make good on that.

And in the topic of employees ghosting the company... I only saw one kinda ghosting once, It was more than 10 years ago working as a helpdesk and a guy took 2 weeks of vacations, then the 2 weeks passed and he didn't came back, the company tried to contact him to no avail and after another week they just fired him. Then, after a month have passed without any news that guy came and sat in what used to be his desktop acting like nothing had happened, obviously we all were quite surprised and he was surprised that he wasn't able to login into the computer, then HHRR called him and he came back saying "you guys ain't gonna believe what happened! they fired me!". It was a wild day.


he came back saying "you guys ain't gonna believe what happened! they fired me!". It was a wild day.

AHHAHAHAHAHA I would have started laughing so hard if I were one of his colleagues.


For many months after that his name was used as a synonymous for messing up in a weird manner.

And yes, we laughed to the point that even the boss, who was an extremely serious person, was laughing like a kid.


As a freelancer got ghosted by a client that didnt want to pay for the desktop app, good that It had a hidden trial period.

As a applicant at jobs I did not hear anything from most companies I applied.

At our company we got ghosted by only one employee (from a total hundreds over the years), he moved in a different country, got a job and left with the company laptop, without any sign or notice ๐Ÿ˜น


I was working a job in Liverpool, which was basically a pyramid scheme that involved me peddling charity to people. After 3 weeks of waking up at 5am, spending money train there and back and get back home about 9pm every night, and making very little money, I message my boss there saying that I couldn't come into work because I was ill, exhausted and my feet were killing (sometimes walking 20,000 steps a day). And the response I got was being removed from the whatsapp group. So I just never showed up again.


I've been ghosted after getting an offer. I accepted it verbally, and they kept putting me off about when my start date would be, but I stopped applying for other positions (obviously). After about three weeks, the recruitment company called me to say they couldn't get the company to answer their calls either but had been left a message saying they didn't want me after all.


Oh gosh! That's terrible!

Were you working somewhere else at the time? Did you give notice to that employer yet?


This was a few years ago, and I was looking for work because my previous company had gone bust.


I've been ghosted by clients before (multiple times), but I've also done my fair share of ghosting.

For me anyway, The times I've ghosted has been from me postponing replying to a contractor until some external circumstances have resolved (boss giving the go ahead, funding being provided etc).

By the time it's clear these issues won't be resolved, days and potentially weeks have already passed and then it's just easier to ghost.


This is sobering reading, Yechiel ๐Ÿ˜ข

Have you (or anyone commenting) written an 'Interview' review on the company's Glassdoor profile or Indeed or Comparably etc?

Candidate experience is "supposed" to be incredibly important to companies so it could be a way to let them know how to improve. It's anonymous too.


Yes, I generally try to remember to leave a Glassdoor reviews about my interviews.

Not always easy when the company ghosts you, because for a few weeks you're still hoping that they'll get back to you.


Good! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Think it's the only way to get them to improve. I am writing a book, The Robot-Proof Recruiter, hoping to inspire recruiters to use tech to treat people better instead of hiding behind it and delivering this kind of BS experience. Are you ok if I reference this post (properly credited etc) in it?


Prior to switching careers into full time development, I got offered a position in government. Long term, stable, would do good for my City, but would be long hours. I initially verbally accepted the position and was told the offer letter was on its way within the hour.

I emailed the admin who was sending it, and never heard anything back. After about a week, I got offered my first full time development position, was promptly sent an offer letter and accepted. I called the gov't official to let him know I never heard anything back about the position and accepted another position.

He called me in five minutes asking what happened. I explained that I was ghosted by the admin. He basically said that she would call me immediately, but I said I had already accepted the other position. The admin called me immediately after I hung up with him and asked me to reconsider. I believe the admin got in considerable hot water for it all.


A friend of mine had a similar story.

He wasn't ghosted, but the HR person had voted against hiring him. At the end of the day it wasn't her decision and she was told to make him an offer.

She wasn't excited about it so she was dragging her feet and stalling for time and in the meantime my friend got a much better offer at the company that was his first choice.

That HR woman got into serious hot water over the affair.


I find it weird that someone could simply leave workplace to another without saying nothing, at least in EU. There are working contracts often, employee can be prosecuted, and even lose some money in the process. Regarding employers, during a job search can become rather expensive accepting such invitations. I fell on such invitations sometimes, often they promote themselves, a few interviews, and manifest high possibilities, later nothing. Can be a lack of a certain skill that can turn down or someone better appeared or the budget was canceled. Some cases, I see where I failed, they usually say that will keep in touch. I rather try to enjoy at least the trip.


In the US most jobs are "at will", meaning that the employer can fire you at any time, but as they're learning now apparently, that also means employees can leave at any time.


Strange story. I applied at a few companies. One in particular, I never heard anything at all. Many months later they called saying they were interested in my application. I was already well into a new job, so of course I declined. After a couple of years, I changed jobs. My replacement ended up coming from that slow-to-respond company. In fact, she thought the original job listing was to find a replacement for her. I might have replaced her, but she ended up replacing me. Weird!


I was ghosted by a popular game developer/publisher, for a game design position. They have an initial round of applicants, which is basically just everyone who applied. They get a second round of applicants just from evaluating resumes/portfolios, which I was accepted to.

Then, they had everyone in that group fill out a questionnaire that had a few game design-related questions. The last of these questions was basically a "design an in-game item for this situation with these requirements".

I filled that out and submitted it, and then they completely stopped responding, including the HR person who originally sent me the questionnaire. Then, about a year later, I noticed a new item in-game conspicuously similar to the one I designed, lol.


I could go on for hours about the weird crap I've experienced with employers, recruiters and contracts. I don't advocate ghosting an employer, even if they have treated you poorly. Why? Because taking the high road is the earmark of a good person - and the benefits of that are ten fold. There can be people in the job you are leaving that you will meet again and they will remember that you were responsible, considerate and did not display bad behavior in spite of what the employer did to you. My Grammy used to say, "the best revenge is a good life". So far she's been right!


I was also ghosted after I got an offer! Granted it was not the most assuring situation to begin with, but... I interviewed for an entry front-end dev role. They had a new client that they were building a team out for and needed people quickly. Did a 45 minute phone call and received an offer 2 hours afterwards. Salary came in low, so I told them I needed time to think. They then called me without even having negotiated telling me they were reworking the contract for a higher salary. Didn't hear from them for 3 weeks and when I did they told me they needed someone more senior.

Fast-forward another 2 weeks and (I kid you not) I was in the middle of signing an offer for another company when they call to offer me again.

And that, folks, was my introduction to tech!


Yeah, companies have been ghosting (treating badly) employees or potential employees far longer than employees ghosting them. Can be very general -- something as simple after an interview when they say they'll contact you to something more complicated. Goes both ways. Usually people only treat companies that way after they've been treated that way by companies, or some people are just rude and ignorant. We're educated and trained all our lives to be "perfect" for that company or to be a potential candidate -- and to have an immaculate resume and interview skills -- only for them to treat people that way? No thanks! That's quite the one-sided relationship it seems to me!


Never ghosted an employer, but I have been ghosted by the company's recruitment team after my application was being 'transferred' from one branch to another.


Iโ€™m not familiar with the term โ€ghostedโ€, what does it mean?


From urban dictionary:

When a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they're dating, with zero warning or notice before hand. You'll mostly see them avoiding friend's phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public.

Basically you disappear without explanation and never answer to future inquiries