Candidates are 'professionally ghosting' potential employers

As UK unemployment has hit its lowest level since 1975, the job market is becoming increasingly competitive with over a tenth of candidates admitting they have “professionally ghosted” a potential employer whilst applying for a job.

Robert Half UK research has found that 14 per cent of employees have “ghosted” prospective employers during the recruitment process.

‘Professional ghosting’ refers to a potential employee avoiding communication with a company during the application process. It is more common among younger workers, with a quarter (25 per cent) of under 35-year-olds admitting to the practice, compared to just 5 per cent of workers aged over 45.

The recruitment consultancy believes this is a symptom of employment levels reaching record highs in 2019. This can result in candidates juggling multiple offers, placing pressure on employers to “review their talent attraction strategies”.

Regarding perks, under a third (31 per cent) of employees would turn down a job offer if it did not offer flexible working hours. The next most important reward to an employee was a bonus at 14 per cent and then the ability to work from home at least once a week at 12 per cent.

Company culture is seen as an important factor, especially among younger employees. Under two-fifths, (38 per cent) of workers have said they believe company culture is more important than salary, with this increasing to 43 per cent for under 35-year-olds.

Matt Weston, managing director at Robert Half UK, said:

We are currently in a buyer’s market and business leaders are having to review their employee attraction strategies in order to secure the best talent. Where the recruitment process was once entirely driven by the employer’s timetable, the war for talent is seeing a powershift towards in-demand talent which is feeding the growing trends of professional ghosting.

As our 2020 Salary Guide has highlighted, skilled professionals today are looking for a comprehensive remuneration package, including benefits alongside a competitive salary. Flexible working is increasingly popular with many candidates refusing to accept a job offer which does not include this in some form. Aside from employee benefits, employers looking to attract and retain top talent should prioritise developing a clear employer brand. In-demand professionals increasingly want to work for companies with a strong identity and a well-defined culture and ethos, making it another key factor in improved employee retention.

In order to collate these results, Censuswide a survey consultant on behalf of Robert Half spoke to 2,000 full and part-time workers.






Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.