‘Just say yes or no,’ say candidates to companies ‘ghosting’ them after interviews

Several million people have lost their jobs across India are vying for better opportunities aggressively. But ghosting by potential employers is becoming a common problem.

August 01, 2020 / 09:14 AM IST

A slew of posts on social media platform Twitter and online publishing platform Medium have pointed out how prospective employers have been ‘ghosting’ candidates after the interview process especially since the lockdown.

Bengaluru’s 34-year-old Cassandra Lobo elaborated how the consulting firm she interviewed for not only conducted two rounds of interviews but also an elaborate assessment test where her results showed that she exceeded the recruiter’s expectations. Lobo said that her interviewers were also visibly impressed.

But, two months later, Lobo has no clue as to what happened to the job position. The position still seems to be ‘open’ as the job role still reflects on recruitment platforms.

“The company should have the basic decency to inform candidates whether they were selected or not. Why keep us hanging? I could have given at least a few more interviews,” said Lobo who lost her job in a retail firm in April 2020.

Several million people have lost their jobs across India and are interviewing aggressively even as very few are recruiting. But ghosting has become a common problem faced.


Ghosting is typically used in the world of dating for a potential partner who abruptly stops communicating with the other person. This includes blocking the number, unfollowing on social media as well as no calls, messages made to clarify their position. Ghosting is an indication that the other person is no longer interested in you.

In the hiring world, Ghosting, a phenomenon where either the prospective employer or candidate suddenly cuts off all communications with the other party during the last stage of negotiation in the recruitment process.

In fact, employers had taken ghosting seriously and had also begun to ‘name and shame’ candidates who had stopped responding to communication post interviews.

Amidst the coronavirus lockdown, the tables seem to have turned. Thousands of candidates are out on the job market seeking relevant opportunities and companies are spoilt for choice. Instead of openly stating whether the candidate was shortlisted for the post, several organisations choose to ignore.

Your repeated calls would not be answered nor will there be any formal communication. Even if there is a third-party recruitment consultant involved in the process whose responsibility is to communicate the company’s decision, these entities also go incommunicado.

Delhi’s Anna Vashum was contacted by a healthcare research firm through an HR consultant. Vashum who is a biochemistry graduate was told that she would be the best fit for the job. After an extensive three-round interview, her salary expectations were sought and Vashum was told the company will ‘get back’.

“This was May. Now it is the end of July. I was told in the interview that I was the perfect fit at this company. The company’s human resource team also negotiated the pay package that I would be offered which made it clear that they were interested in offering me a job. When I contacted the HR consultant two weeks later he said that he had no information. I tried to contact the recruiter’s hiring manager who hasn’t responded even after two months,” said Vashum.

Data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed that against an average employment of 404 million in FY20, employment in June 2020 was 374 million. This meant that 30 million jobs had been lost ever since the lockdown was imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Now imagine the number of people looking for alternate employment opportunities after a job loss. Isn’t it a part of standard employment practices to not keep the candidate in the dark?

Recruitment heads in companies told Moneycontrol that sometimes there is genuinely more time taken to finalise a candidate.

“There have been cases where we have liked more than one candidate. Budgets are constrained now so we have to be very sure of who we hire. This takes time. Hence sometimes we find it tough to inform the candidate about the final selection and these conversations also get awkward,” said the head of HR at a mid-sized financial services firm.

However, he also admitted that on some occasions if too many people apply for one position, the HR managers could also ‘forget’ to inform those who did not make the cut.

If employers complain about candidates not being responsive after an interview, the same principle applies to recruiters as well. Rather than delaying future job prospects of a candidate, the best would be to inform those interviewed for the position that they were not chosen for the position.

Even if the process is taking time, it is best to keep the communication open and transparent. Considering the tough employment market, more companies a candidate interviews for, the better are his/her chances of securing a job.
M Saraswathy
first published: Aug 1, 2020 09:14 am

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