• PTP Chicago

Who's to blame when a candidate "ghosts" the interview?

Updated: Apr 30, 2019



Mark Hanna, portrayed in "Wolf of Wall Street" by Matthew McConnaughey, gives a the most accurate description of market behavior I've ever heard;


Image Credit: Mandatory.com
“Nobody knows if a stock (market) is gonna go up, down, sideways or in circles... least of all the brokers.” - Matthew McConnaughey in Wolf of Wall Street


In the film he was referring to the stock market of course. In reality, though, it correctly describes the typical behavior of all markets. Stock markets, crypto markets, and even job markets, are unpredictable. The only thing we can be certain of is that they’re constantly changing.


The U.S. unemployment rate peaked at over 10% in October of 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. This created a massive swell of candidates and resumes flooding many employers desk. All of a sudden there were less jobs available and more qualified applicants to fill them.




The sudden increase in applications was just too large for many employers to handle. Those that could grew accustom to having more people to choose from. The result was, not surprisingly, a drastic breakdown in communication.


Applicants weren’t being contacted if they were passed on by the employer. Interviews were put off or delayed. The entire hiring pipeline, from start to finish, took longer and longer leaving more job seekers wondering where they stood.


The tides started to turn in 2014 when unemployement had dropped to nearly half. At only 5.6% the balance between jobs and job seekers was leveling out. Each year following 2014 unemployment has dropped even farther. In February, 2019 approximately 20,000 jobs were created and unemployment dipped to 3.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.



Now that the tides have turned more employers than ever are seeing the opposite end of the poor communication stick. Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals nationwide are reporting less applications, fewer qualified candidates, and a frustrating increase in interviewees not showing up.


The HR sector has grown so frustrated they’ve adopted the term “ghosting” to describe it. The term originally emerged in 2011 to describe ending a (usually intimate) relationship by unexpectedly ending all communication with the person. If you weren’t happy with someone, rather than go through the hassle of telling them, you just stopped answering calls or responding to messages. It’s become so common in recruiting, hiring and staffing, that a Wikipedia search of ghosting now gives to explanations; Ghosting (relationships) and Ghosting (employer).


While the tides may have turned the root problem remains the same… a tangible, communication breakdown. Neither the employers from 2011, nor today’s ghosting candidates, are in the right. The truth is we can all do better.


Effective communication is the key to all relationships including that of employer/candidate.

To learn 5 ways job-seekers can win in this new job market check out our previous article;

About the Company:

Peterson Technology Partners (PTP) has been Chicagoland's premiere I.T. staffing, consulting, and recruiting firm for over 20+ years. Named after Chicago's historic Peterson Avenue, PTP has built its reputation by developing lasting relationships, leading digital transformation, and inspiring technical innovation throughout Chicagoland.

Now based in Park Ridge, IL, PTP's 250+ employees have narrowed their focus to a single market (Chicago) and 4 core technical areas;

  • Application/mobile/web development and ecommerce

  • Data science/analytics/business intelligence/artificial intelligence

  • Information security/cybersecurity and

  • ERP SAP/Oracle and project management/BA/QA

PTP exists to ensure that all of our partners (clients and candidates alike) make the best hiring and career decisions.


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