Job Search & Interview

Ghosted After Salary Negotiation – What Went Wrong and What to Do About It

Picture this: You’ve gone through the interview process. You got a job offer. You negotiate the salary. It’s all going well. UNTIL! You never received another word from the HR. 

Being ghosted is never a pleasant experience. This is especially true if you were expecting to get a written offer and a contract to sign. Or at least a counter offer letter to your salary negotiation

But you might be left wondering, “I was ghosted after salary negotiation. What went wrong and what should I do about it?” I’m here to answer those questions for you. So let’s dive right into it!

Read More: Ghosted After Being Hired – What To Do Next?

Why Was I Ghosted After Salary Negotiation?

OK, I’m going to put it out there now. Ghosting is very unprofessional. That says a lot more about the company than you. So don’t beat yourself up for trying to negotiate the salary offer (In fact, a whopping 84% of potential employers expect candidates to negotiate salary before they accept the offer). 

Still, you might want to have some ideas as to why you were ghosted after salary negotiation. Well, here are the top reasons…

The company can’t afford your negotiated salary

If you got an offer with a salary range, chances are that’s the company’s final budget for the role you’re applying for. If you ask for higher, that’s already over their base salary. Because of this, they decide to not push through with the offer. 

If that’s the case, the recruiter or hiring manager should tell you that they rescinded the offer. To give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were just too busy they forgot. But unfortunately, some people just don’t care.

Read More: How to Negotiate Salary When Given a Range: 6 Helpful Tips 

They chose another candidate 

Here’s a quick stat: Out of all the job seekers who get interviewed for a position, around 31% receive a written or verbal offer. You’re not the only prospect in talks for the role. 

So another good reason why you probably didn’t hear back from the HR representative is that they chose someone else to fill the role. Maybe that person accepted the salary range. Maybe they had a better skillset than you. Or, maybe they had a better negotiation strategy. 

You’re part of a minority group

Yes, as unfair as it is, people in minority groups are more often ghosted during salary negotiation. A study by Greenhouse showed that 25% of underrepresented candidates have a higher chance of being ghosted after salary negotiation

It’s OK if you weren’t the best candidate. What’s not OK is that the recruiter or hiring manager didn’t bother to forward the news to you simply because, say, you’re female or black. 

Read More: Know When NOT to Negotiate Salary to Avoid Job Offer Rescind

You didn’t meet the conditional job offer

If you’re given a conditional job offer, one reason there is no response after salary negotiation is that you failed to meet the conditions. 

Side note: A conditional offer is a job offer subject to specific conditions, like background checks or medical exams. It becomes final only after the candidate fulfills these requirements.

Being ghosted by a recruiter because of this is very trashy. This is especially true as you know the results can take a while to process. You could wait many months before you realize that you’ve been ghosted. 

The recruiter doesn’t like confrontation 

For whatever reason your salary negotiation didn’t push through, some recruiters may find it uncomfortable or awkward to directly decline an offer or provide detailed reasons for rejecting it.

Their solution? Ghosting. This will make it easier to avoid confrontation, even though it lacks professionalism.

The recruiter doesn’t want to waste their time

Kurt Guntheroth, an Independent Consultant and Author, puts it best:

Recruiters ghost you because they don’t make any money from talking to candidates who didn’t get hired. Recruiting is a numbers game. You have to forward a lot of candidates to get one accepted, and you only get paid for the candidates who get accepted.

Once they know you’re not getting hired, they don’t bother wasting any more time with you. Not even to send you a short thank you note or a job offer rescind notice. 

What Should I Do If I Was Ghosted After Salary Negotiation? 

Let’s say you were really excited about the job. And now that you’re ghosted after salary negotiation, you don’t know what to do. Well, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Wait it out a bit longer
  2. Continue your job search
  3. Follow up with the recruiter
  4. Follow up with HR
  5. Spread the news 

1. Wait it out a bit longer 

Again, let’s give the company the benefit of the doubt. Remember, the recruiter, hiring manager, HR, and employer are probably super busy. Maybe they didn’t have the time yet to get back to you. 

Here’s what Adriana Herrera, the Founder of PayDestiny, says:

On average successful salary negotiations take one to two weeks. Salary negotiations that last longer than two weeks can indicate that the candidate is asking for too much based on their skills and experience, the company doesn’t have the budget, the company doesn’t have the budget but is developing creative non-monetary alternatives, and/or the company has realized that the person does not fit the profile of an employee they would like to hire.

So I suggest that you wait a bit longer than that before you give up. I’d say give them 1 month before you can conclude that you were ghosted after receiving an offer. 

2. Continue your job search

While you hope and wait for a response, don’t just sit around. No, you need to continue your job search. If it’s already more than 2 weeks, there’s little chance you’ll be given a contract. 

To help make the hiring process quicker and grab another job offer sooner, here are a few job search strategies you can follow:

  • Customize your resume and cover letter to match the job description.
  • Highlight your skills and experience.
  • Show your achievements and accomplishments instead of just listing your daily tasks.
  • Research the company to learn its culture, values, etc…
  • Follow the application instructions to show you carefully read the job posting. 
  • Prepare for the interview if you’re shortlisted
  • Show enthusiasm and professionalism
  • Ask questions

3. Follow up with the recruiter

Once 2 weeks have gone by, you can send a follow-up email to the recruiter. Ask them what the potential employer thought about your salary negotiation. You can even state that you’re open to discussing the salary range if they can’t afford your counter-offer. 

Here is an email sample template you can follow:

Subject: Follow-up on Salary Negotiation Discussion 

Dear [Recruiter’s Name], 

I wanted to follow up on the salary negotiation request I sent last week regarding the [Position Title] role at [Company Name].

I understand that you are likely quite busy, but I wanted to reiterate my enthusiasm for the opportunity and my eagerness to discuss the negotiation further. I believe that we can find a mutually beneficial arrangement that aligns with the value I can bring to the team.

Please feel free to reach out to me at your earliest convenience to discuss the next steps. I’m available at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address].

Thank you once again for your time and consideration.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

4. Follow up with HR

If you’re ghosted by the recruiter, you can try reaching out to the HR representative. Maybe the recruiter was not able to get word from HR if your salary negotiation is OK with them. This is why they haven’t been getting back to you. 

The longer it gets, the better it is to reach out to the higher-ups. However, make sure that you explain to them exactly your situation. Here’s an email sample:

Subject: Follow-Up: Salary Negotiation Status

Dear [HR Representative’s Name],

I hope you’re well. I’m writing to follow up on my recent salary negotiation for the [Position Title] role. I’ve not received a response from [Recruiter’s Name] after negotiating. I’m eager to finalize the details and start contributing. Could you please provide an update on the negotiation status and if the offer has been accepted? Your prompt response would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Best regards,

[Your Full Name]

5. Spread the news

If after a month and still nothing, then you know that you’ve been officially ghosted. Ouch! I can tell you right now, you won’t feel happy about it at all. 

If you don’t want anybody to experience what you’ve gone through, you can spread the news about the unprofessionalism of the company. If you found the job application on job boards, such as Indeed or Glassdoor, you can bring the issue to them. 

This is important because, according to Creative Marketing Professional Robert Goodman “Typically a recruiter that ghosted before is going to do it again.”

Final Words

Before you can conclude that you’ve been ghosted after salary negotiation, you should first follow the 4 steps I’ve outlined here. If you still hear nothing, then step #5 is how you can help other job seekers not experience the same thing. 

Whatever the reason for ghosting you is, it’s still highly unprofessional on the company’s part. So you should make it known so that it doesn’t continue. 

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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