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Ghosting, is this the new business approach?



I don’t know if you have ever had the experience of being ghosted. The verb is ghosting I believe and it crops up often in business these days.

People have complained on dating sites how they strike up friendships chat for ages and then the trail goes stone cold. It’s an odd sensation and makes one feel as if you are easily dispensable and of little value. In fact, friends have said, one might believe you were only interesting until someone better turns up.


Therefore I read with interest an article written by Bob McIntosh, CPRW.


He works helping people find rewarding careers in a competitive job market. Inevitably I was interested to read what a fellow professional had to say about this relatively recent concept. You can read Bob's article right here.


In this context it’s not dating that affected us but people who say they will contact and never bother. In fact it seems to happen all too often and seems acceptable to some. Perhaps our reliance on technology means we no longer value human contact and maybe good manners and professionalism is becoming a thing of the past. I sincerely hope not.


As a professional recruiter I do my utmost to be where I need to be while doing what I’ve promised to do.


For me reputation and trust is everything (you don’t survive for more than 20 years in the recruitment industry without both!). After all when people are looking for roles or companies are desperately seeking the right person to fill an exacting position they want to know it is going to happen. These life decisions are important and it’s not helpful to ghost potential candidates or promise things that cannot be fulfilled.


Not only this we all know that people are extraordinarily busy.


Every day we do our best to fit in so many commitments. So, when someone wastes our time it can be more than a little frustrating. If there’s one thing we are all extraordinarily short of is time. As Bob said in his article:


Clients prepared for the call; had their documents ready, prepared their talking points, cleared the house so there would be silence. This was a job that was a perfect match for them. They met all the requirements and had heard great things about the company.



The thing is they have fallen victim to what is termed ghosting. You have to ask, is this really the way people should be doing business with one another? Yes it’s dead easy to contact people using automation and social media but behind every message there’s a real person. Real people like to do business with people they trust. Real people like to do business with people who put the client needs first. The old fashioned rules of business still do stand up when it comes to respect, politeness and care.


One of the things I do is always follow up. I do it regularly and I undertake it with sincerity. I have lost count of the number of times that people have said, “Ah yes, actually we do need your solution now.”


In fact, a new client contact recently took me 4 or 5 points of contact to finally win the recruitment business. I kept contacting him every three months as we had agreed and I feel strongly that part of my business routine is to follow up when I have said I will follow up. Ironically the contact said that he wished his sales team were as persistent. We then managed to successfully fill the vacancy for them. The thing is, when someone calls up to check on progress you develop a relationship. Ghosting is never going to achieve that and if anything it simply breeds resentment and mistrust.


I suppose my approach underscores my confidence that I do have the skills, experience and knowledge to fulfil a specific need. I am not fishing for work. I really believe that I can give a professional and thoughtful service. Perhaps that’s why I never want ghosting to be a part of my business approach. What do you think about this practice? I'd love to know.


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