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Why job applicants are being ghosted despite high demand for workers

Scott Blumsack, Monster SVP of Research and Insights, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the challenges in job searching as applicants experience being ghosted when applying for open positions.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: I want to switch gears now and take a look at the job market because if you've applied for a job recently and you never heard back from the recruiter, you've got plenty of company. A new Monster poll finds a whopping 90% of job seekers were ghosted by their would be employer. And it is making them lose faith in the system.

Here to talk about it is Scott Blumsack, Monster's SVP of Research and Insights. Scott, good to see you. You know, I was a little bit surprised to hear this because we keep talking about how companies are having a tough time filling open positions. So any idea why these would be employers are ignoring these applicants?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah, no, and first of all, thanks so much for having me again. It's great to be here. And we had the same reaction that you did when we first saw the output of our report in terms of seeing a real dramatic uptick in terms of this trend and this feeling of frustration amongst candidates. And I think it really has to do with a couple of things.

On the candidate side, we've talked for a while around how the current environment is giving them a lot of confidence. And in many cases, that's causing them to perhaps look for jobs that may not be the right fit. So it's really important for candidates to focus on those jobs where they really have sort of the skills and the experience to be able to stand out to employers.

And then also, on the employer side, I think what we're hearing from employers is a high degree of sort of stress around having to manage the inflow of candidates, as they're oftentimes doing more with less. And I think in certain cases, there are a lot of candidates that are sort of slipping through the cracks and aren't being followed up upon. And it's really important for employers to acknowledge that, because based on our research, we found that almost a third of candidates who do get ghosted by employers will not look for another job with that employer again.

KARINA MITCHELL: And I'm glad you touched on the stress factor because you also say that there is a degree of application fatigue that sets in. Can you explain what that is? And you say it's emotional and physical, right?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah, no, no, absolutely. You know, as candidates are applying to more and more jobs, and in some cases, kind of falling into this black hole where they're not hearing back from candidates, that can be very distressing for candidates. We found that almost half of candidates experience a high degree of frustration with the process. 30% were feeling-- really feeling exhausted. And really, 3/4 were feeling levels of sort of anxiety and stress over the process. And even in the best of times, you know, the job process is often one that's not without stress.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: And talking about stress, I understand that most of the respondents say that being ghosted after a first date is not nearly as bad as being ghosted after a job interview. Tell us about that.

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah, exactly. So when we talked to and heard from candidates, you know, 90% responded that they had been ghosted. And in those cases, almost a third said that they would no longer look for another job with that particular employer. 2/3 said that actually being ghosted was more-- you know, they'd rather be ghosted on a first date versus be ghosted by an employer. So it really just signals how personal and impactful this can be to candidates.

KARINA MITCHELL: I want to jump in with this. I get emails every day from various companies and job posters offering me a job. And, you know, some of them are the most ludicrous things that I'm clearly not fit to do, like, you know, drive a truck for Amazon. And I'm not knocking that job. We need a lot more truck drivers at the moment, right? But something I'm clearly not qualified for. So what is wrong with the system right now in the way that employers and employees are matched through many of these boards that are available and job recruiters?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah, no, I mean, I think it really comes down to being able to clearly articulate the skills and experiences that you're looking for on the employer side, and as a candidate, really taking that into account and really being able to showcase that you have those skills and experiences to do the job well and really stand out. It's really on both sides to make sure that they're going after the right fit for that particular job.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Any advice, words of wisdom you can give folks who are feeling that application fatigue and saying, you know what? I just can't take the rejection, because being ghosted is sort of a form of rejection, sort of the worst kind, right? You don't even get a response because you don't know if your application went into the great dark abyss. Did they see it? How should an applicant follow up and how many times before they start feeling like, you know, they're becoming a pain?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Yeah, now, certainly, persistence and perseverance kind of through some of these difficulties is, first and foremost, what a candidate needs to do. They shouldn't take these types of things personally. And they should really focus, again, on coming back to, what are the skills that I have? What are the experiences that I have? How does that relate to this specific opportunity? And really try and demonstrate that throughout the application process.

KARINA MITCHELL: I was going to ask you really quickly, as we enter the holiday period, what are you seeing as far as the number of applications? And is there a sort of match going forward into next year as far as the number of openings and the number of people applying? What are you seeing in numbers there?

SCOTT BLUMSACK: Mm-hmm, yeah, so there still is this supply-demand imbalance that exists in the marketplace where there's more employers looking to fill jobs than there are candidates looking for jobs. And we expect that trend to continue, but improve upon over the next several months. I think going into the holiday season, one of the things that we're seeing is, on the candidate side, more of an interest in pursuing part-time and seasonal work.

So we do think there will be demand there on the candidate side to help with some of the shortfalls that we're seeing. So we see the situation starting to improve over the next several months, but we don't see sort of this magic bullet where, all of a sudden, supply and demand come back into alignment in the immediate term.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, I like your advice about not taking it personally. Scott Blumsack, Monster SVP of Research and Insights, thanks so much for being with us.