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  • Writer's pictureLouise Overend

Ghosting - when someone cuts off all communication without explanation.

It’s one of the biggest negative trends in the world. Once limited to dating apps and awkward social interactions, the dreaded ghosting seems to have crept into the professional world and into yachting, and it’s showing no signs of stopping! Have you ever been intentionally ghosted by someone and not noticed? Have you tried to call and it just rang out?

Have you seen the blue ticks but never got a reply or, even worse, the 2 grey ticks meaning they have been online but not even opened your message? Have you spent time and effort crafting the perfect email, only to wait nervously with no response?

We always notice when we are ghosted.

So, how does it make you feel?

Being ghosted can produce many emotions, for example feeling hurt, confused, or disrespected. It can also be worrying - has something happened to the person?

I hear this frustration every day from you, from yachting clients and candidates alike, and I experience it myself. So why do people ghost? Why shouldn’t we ghost and why does it make us feel so bad? Most importantly, how can we fix it?

There are always times when perhaps we are very busy and don’t have time to reply straightaway, or maybe we miss the message entirely. I know this has happened to me! It’s never too late to reply at a later time though, and it will be always be appreciated.

Why do we ghost?

The main reason is to avoid confrontation. Perhaps you have been offered a job you aren’t keen on or have been offered another position. Perhaps you have interviewed a candidate that may have not been the right fit, or you have a stronger choice. Maybe you have been in touch with a recruiter and feel awkward telling them you have secured a position from somewhere else.

It feels easier to just leave the situation and hope they forget. We might worry that we will hurt someone’s feelings. The service and hospitality industry is a natural draw for people who like to please, and I too can sometimes feel anxious saying no. It’s easy to understand why it may be more convenient to say nothing, rather than yes or no.

Why we shouldn’t ghost?

The main reason we should not ghost is that it is unprofessional and can have a very negative effect on our reputations. Yachting is a small industry, as we know, and things spread fast. The person we ghost today could be connected to or be the person we need tomorrow. It can leave a negative impression on potential employers and employees about how you could act professionally within your team, or with clients, suppliers etc.

They may not realise that you are trying to avoid potential confrontation or hurt, and instead may think you feel they are not worthy of your time or respect. They could see you as emotionally immature and that you can’t take responsibility. Everyone notices when they are ghosted. It can leave a poor impression, which may then be passed on to others in our word-of-mouth industry.

How can we fix it?

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Be kind. Practice 10 seconds of courage, and send even just a quick reply. Hiring the right candidate can be a long process for yachts. Interviews, second interviews, reference checks, management and owner approval - the process can be very time consuming. If you are no longer keen, thank the yacht for their time and make them aware you wish to be withdrawn at the earliest moment possible. This gives the yacht the chance to move on quickly with another candidate, and could leave the door open in the future for you.

As we all know, looking for work is a very stressful time. Knowing where in the process they stand, especially if they are no longer being considered, can eliminate anxiety for candidates. They can refocus their efforts on other positions and not lose confidence. Being ghosted can affect our self-esteem and make us question what we did wrong. The person will be grateful for being informed regardless of whether the news is positive or negative.

Recruiters will work with you for the life of your career, not just one job. It is therefore important to maintain that relationship. If you have secured a position, even if it’s via another source, we will be delighted and celebrate with you! Just let us know so that we can inform any clients we may have presented you to that you have withdrawn.

We can then stop searching for positions for you too. Some of our time each day is sometimes wasted chasing candidates we don’t know have taken jobs, checking their references, searching for jobs for them, etc. Think of the candidates that are looking for work and let us know so we focus on those candidates who need our time.

Have you been the Ghoster?

It’s never too late to reply to a message. You can always open with an apology for the delay. The response will be appreciated and will leave the person you are contacting feeling much better about the situation, as well as with a more professional opinion of you.

Even if you are super busy with guests on, even a quick ‘I’m busy with guests - I’ll message back in 3 days when we drop off’ can have a massive impact on how you are viewed.

So, take a deep breath, and simply reply!

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