When it’s a job seeker’s market, candidates have a surprising amount of power. However, a side effect of shrinking labor pools and low unemployment has been the increased rate of candidates deciding to “ghost” potential employers.
For example, some job seekers are choosing to no-show to interviews, instead of canceling in advance. Others are deciding not to return messages from recruiters and hiring manages, providing no information prior to disappearing. In the worst scenarios, job seekers who recently accepted a role are just not showing up on their first day, leaving the employer hanging.
While many candidates may assume letting an opportunity fall by the wayside doesn’t come with repercussions, in some situations, that simply isn’t the case. Ghosting a prospective employer can damage your reputation or even make it practically impossible to secure an offer from the company in the future, including years down the line.
Even though it may be hard to tell a hiring manager you are no longer interested in a role, it’s the right thing to do if you want to safeguard your reputation. If you aren’t sure how to handle the conversation, here are some tips to get you started.
If You Don’t Yet Have an Offer
Before an offer has been extended, removing yourself from contention is actually fairly simple. As soon as you know that you no longer want the job, write a short email to let the hiring manager know.
Start off by thanking the hiring manager for the opportunity, including time spend reviewing your application or interviewing you, depending on where you were in the process. Next, simply inform them of your decision by telling them that the position isn’t a great fit for you at this time and you’d like to withdraw yourself from the process. Finally, state that you would like to keep in touch and look forward to potentially finding a new opportunity with them when the time is right.
Just make sure that you send this message as soon as possible, particularly if you have an upcoming interview. That way, the hiring manager isn’t put under any undue strain.
If You Have an Offer or Accepted the Job
If there is an offer on the table, then you need to act quickly. In cases where you are still well within your decision window, then you can craft an email similar to the one outlined above, that lets the hiring manager know that you are declining the offer. However, if your decision is due today or that deadline has passed, then a phone call is better.
When you have already accepted a job offer and have since changed your mind, then a phone call is really your only option. While the conversation will be awkward, it’s one you need to have if you want to salvage your reputation.
Let the hiring manager know that you are aware you were supposed to start soon, but that you can’t accept the position. Provide a basic reason for your decision, but feel free to keep it general.
However, don’t be surprised if the hiring manager is less than thrilled, especially if you are only giving them a couple of days’ notice. Your decision is making their lives harder, so they may not appreciate you choosing to decline after initially saying yes.
Additionally, this may harm your reputation with that company, though not as dramatically as no-showing on your first day. Over time, you can likely recover if you tell them you can’t take the job, while no-showing may burn that bridge permanently.
Ultimately, it’s a hard discussion to have, but it’s one you need to manage if you want to maintain your reputation. If you’d like to know more about how to handle the conversation, the professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you. Or search our open jobs immediately to find your next opportunity.