The Long-Term Ramifications of Ghosting An Employer

My company recently attended the fall career fair for a local school with a strong academic program. We had several hundred people drop off their resumes for 2019 graduates. My team went through the resumes from candidates that expressed interest in the role we have to offer (currently we have one approved position for entry level for next year, and that is for one of the hottest jobs on the planet…Machine Learning Engineer.) We also offer potential work visa sponsorship, which is not something every company can offer.

I reached out to the ~25 candidates that had submitted a paper copy of their resume. I introduced myself, told them I was following up from their interest at the job fair, and asked them for a digital copy of their resume and for 3-4 times they would be available for a 60 minute functional screen with one of our engineers. I told them what to generally expect in the call, how to prepare, and that based on their availability they should look for a confirmation from our scheduling team.

We have already been through about 30% of the applicants (in terms of initial calls.) We increased the number of screeners and asked for dedicated times from them for phone screens. All of this to provide prompt response and a good candidate experience.

Imagine my surprise when our Coordinator sent me an email the day before a candidate was due to have a phone call, telling me she had reached out to this candidate twice to confirm, and had not received any response. I texted the candidate and asked if he was still available or needed to reschedule. I got no response either. We told the screener not to bother trying a second time if the candidate did not answer.

The candidate *did* answer the phone…but told the interviewer that he was "too busy with homework to take the call." He didn’t ask to reschedule. Keep in mind, the time was scheduled based on the candidate’s availability. He had three opportunities to request a reschedule, including one via text.

I have declined this candidate via email (politely), and noted this entire proceeding in our candidate database. The bottom line is that this candidate will probably never be considered for a job at our company again.

This sort of unprofessionalism is what can make or break an initial "first impression", and it can have LONG term implications. If you are a student and too busy to set up preliminary conversations, then don’t submit your resume until you ARE ready. Being ghosted is no fun for anyone, but in this case, it cost someone a valuable career opportunity.

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