June 18, 2024

Ghosting & Corporate Knowledge Illusion


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

A fancy way of saying “cluelessness”

The interview chaos and ghosting stories I hear keep reaching new lows.

A long time contact of mine had the following scenario play out:

  • 5 interviews
  • Final interview with 24 hour to prepare a business plan (w/analysis and slide deck)
  • Positive feedback with detailed compensation conversation

Then nothing. And this isn’t a unique story, I’m sure everyone reading this has seen or experienced the same thing.

I’m long past the point of thinking ghosting at every step can be solved. (Kind of sad tbh.) But when it goes as far as actual work (e.g. putting together a business plan in short order), you’d think that baseline professionalism and reputation management would kick in.

👉But it doesn’t. Because of corporate Knowledge Illusion.

Tldr – People overestimate how much others know about them. And underestimate the knowledge and communication that happens outside their immediate sphere.

Which is a fancy way of saying everyone thinks they (and their company) are great and no one will ever find out otherwise. Which is laughable, but perfectly explains why no one worries about the downside of not treating interviewees with basic courtesy and respect.

I used to think that the primary reasons why internal recruiters ghost candidates were that they’re:

👉 Overworked 

👉 Stuck with poor technology

👉 Dealing with unresponsive internal stakeholders (i.e. hiring managers)

Those are all true but let’s be honest: if the C Suite said “you have to follow up with every candidate we interview within 24 hours” – it would happen. The process would be created. The metrics would be tracked. Urgency would be there.

It’s a soft hiring market. Not many places have big hiring plans. But that’s going to change, and when it does, companies will find out how much a good or bad reputation matters.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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