Ghosting Employers May Haunt Your Career

By | | Career Tips

Many professionals underestimate the impact of ghosting employers. While they usually understand it costs them a job – something that may actually be part of their plan – they don’t always see the wider ramifications. 

In reality, ghosting employers may haunt your career. If you’re wondering what kind of impact it can have, here’s what you need to know. 

What Is Ghosting? 

“Ghosting” is the act of ceasing all contact with a person or business without providing a reason for or announcing the disappearance. 

While the term “ghosting” was originally associated with the world of dating, it was soon applied more broadly. It’s used to describe professionals who no-call/no-showed to interviews or jobs, never to be heard from again. 

Additionally, it may be applicable to candidates that cut off contact with a temp-to-hire staffing agency after partnering with the job placement service, even if they hadn’t received an assignment yet. After connecting with a recruiter, a hiring process is essentially underway, making a sudden end to all contact effectively ghosting the temp agency. 

How Ghosting Employers May Haunt Your Career 

As mentioned above, it’s easy to underestimate the impact of ghosting employers. To make it easier to see, here’s a look at how the decision can haunt your career. 

1. Costing You the Job 

The most straightforward way that ghosting an employer negatively impacts your career is through a job loss. When you skipped out on an interview without so much as a peep, you’re essentially saying that you’re no longer interested in the job. As a result, most hiring managers will remove you from contention and move on to other candidates. 

If you were a no-call/no-show for your scheduled shifts, you’ve effectively abandoned your position. Since most companies have clear policies regarding attendance, ghosting is usually a reasonable justification for letting you go. 

While missing out on a single job may not seem like a big deal, that isn’t always the case. At a minimum, you’ll end up with a gap on your resume. Additionally, there may have been skill-building, reputation-boosting, or similar opportunities that came with the position that you now can’t capture. Depending on what they were, that could mean slower career growth, something that can haunt you well beyond the day you decided not to show up. 

2. No Unemployment Benefits 

Ghosting an employer typically leads to a termination. While there are situations where getting fired makes you eligible for unemployment benefits, no-call/no-show-related terminations usually don’t fall in that category. 

Typically, you only get unemployment after being fired if the termination was through no fault of your own. However, since ghosting commonly goes against formal policies and would qualify as just-cause, your odds of receiving unemployment benefits are likely pretty slim. 

While this may not seem to affect your career directly, it can have an impact. Since you won’t be able to rely on unemployment for income, you might have to accept a new job quickly. As a result, you could get stuck settling for a less-than-ideal position, stymying your long-term growth or earning potential. 

3. Burning Bridges with an Employer 

In many cases, ghosting an employer doesn’t cost you just one job; it can actually cost you several. It isn’t uncommon for hiring managers to note when they no-call/no-show to an interview in a candidate’s file. 

Not only will that serve as a reminder to that hiring manager that inviting you in for an interview may not turn out well, but it does the same for every hiring manager at the company. You may end up effectively blacklisted, causing the company to pass you by any time you apply for a position. 

If you ghost a job, a similar situation plays out. It isn’t uncommon for companies to make no-call/no-show employees ineligible for rehire. If that occurs, they won’t hire you for any job moving forward, regardless of how skilled you are or how much time passes. 

Finally, ghosting a temp agency has comparable consequences. If you no-call/no-show to a job placement, your odds of getting a new assignment drop dramatically. In some cases, the staffing partner may even eliminate you from their talent pool, potentially costing you dozens – if not hundreds – of job opportunities. 

Since you’re effectively removing yourself from contention for every position a company offers if you ghost them, the damage to your career is potentially substantial. You won’t be able to consider them for future employment at all, causing you to miss out on exceptional roles possibly. 

4. Harming Your Reputation 

While you might think that ghosting an employer isn’t something anyone outside of the company will learn about, that isn’t always true. Managers typically have robust professional networks, and there is always a chance that news about your actions will spread. 

Additionally, some industries or professions have relatively small communities. Even if the hiring manager or position supervisor doesn’t talk about your no-call/no-show, other people in the company might. 

For example, when you ghost a job, your teammates aren’t just aware of the incident; they’re negatively impacted by it. They may discuss their frustrations with members of their network and, as they do, incidentally let other people know that you ghosted the company. 

As word spreads, more companies and professionals learn about the incident. In turn, other employers may hesitate to hire you, worrying that you’ll do the same to them. 

Since the harm to your reputation can be far-reaching, the damage to your career is hard to measure. You may miss out on numerous opportunities because you ghosted one employer, making it difficult to move on to your next role. 

5. Hindering Future Interviews 

When you interview for a job, it’s common for the hiring manager to ask why you left your previous position. If you ghosted that employer, you’re in for a potentially awkward conversation. 

While you may assume that you can avoid discussing the details of the situation, that isn’t always the case. Many hiring managers will call to verify why your employment ended. If you’re dishonest, ambiguous, or deceitful about what happened, the odds of them finding out are fairly high. 

Often, you’ll have little choice but, to be honest about how you left. Once that happens, you’ll have to spend extra time reassuring the hiring manager that it isn’t something that will occur again, something that can be easier said than done. 

Essentially, by ghosting an employer, you’re making it harder to get your next position. That can have a significant impact on your career, potentially costing you exceptional opportunities and extending the length of your job search. 

6. A Lack of Positive References 

In a similar vein to the point above, hiring managers usually contact references when choosing between candidates. In most cases, they prefer references from recent positions, predominately because those individuals can speak about your current skillset more effectively. 

When you ghost an employer, the odds that anyone there will serve as a positive employment reference are slim. If you list someone from your last job, there’s a chance that person will focus on the impact of your no-call/no-show when speaking with the hiring manager. Even if the hiring manager knows you ghosted your last company, the conversation that ensues might present you in an even poorer light. 

Often, you’ll have little choice but to include less recent references, something that the hiring manager may not view favorably. If the hiring manager isn’t aware that you ghosted your last employer, a lack of recent references will seem suspicious. They’ll typically wonder why you didn’t include anyone from your last position, often assuming that the reason is that something went awry. 

In the end, a lack of positive, recent references does hurt your career. It decreases your odds of looking like a strong candidate, making it more likely that the hiring manager will pass you over for the job. 

Alternatives to Ghosting an Employer 

Ghosting an employer can haunt your career. As a result, it’s always best to let the company know about your intentions to skip an interview or leave your position. While the conversation can feel a bit awkward, it’s the professional and respectful thing to do. 

For an interview, call or email the hiring manager to let them know you’re not attending. Thank them for the opportunity, then provide them with a simple reason. For example, you can say that you’ve determined the role isn’t the best fit at this time or that you’ve chosen to pursue another opportunity. 

For a job, let the hiring manager know you’re quitting. If you can give two weeks’ notice, that’s ideal. However, if you can’t, simply saying that you’re not returning is better than saying nothing. 

Is Your Current Job Frightful? Give Yourself a Treat by Finding a New Job 

If your current job is more trick than treat, finding a new job is a smart move. At A.R. Mazzotta, we want to be your job placement partner. 

Our skilled team of recruiters can help you find new opportunities that will take your career from frightful to fantastic. Whether you’re looking for temp jobs to build new skills or permanent positions that take your career to the next level, let A.R. Mazzotta be your go-to staffing agency in CT. 

If you’re ready for your next job, the team at A.R. Mazzotta wants to hear from you. Contact us to learn more about our staffing services today.