Over 50% of employers say that being “ghosted” by job seekers is their biggest frustration in the recruitment process.  Sometimes this simply means job seekers won’t return your calls – other times it means they, unbelievably, don’t show up for a scheduled interview.  While it can be frustrating, it’s essential to understand some of the underlying factors:

  1. Multiple Opportunities: In this competitive job market, candidates are typically applying to multiple positions simultaneously. They may receive multiple job offers or interviews, leading them to prioritize some opportunities over others. When they choose one position, they might not follow up or withdraw from the other interviews or offers, which can appear as ghosting.
  2. Poor Candidate Experience: Job seekers may ghost employers if they have a negative experience during the recruitment process. This can include long delays between interviews, lack of communication, unprofessional behavior, or a tedious application process.  In a tight job market, an efficient and expeditious hiring process is increasingly important.  When candidates have a bad experience, they can lose interest in the role and the organization.
  3. Communication Issues: Sometimes, the lack of communication can be unintentional. Emails or messages can get lost in the digital noise, or candidates might forget to respond amidst a busy job search.  Some candidates only use text while others rely on email and many don’t check their voice mail messages at all.  We recommend multiple methods of communication – calling, emailing and texting a candidate – after doing so twice, it is time to call it quits.
  4. Fear of Confrontation: Some individuals may find it uncomfortable to decline a job offer or an interview directly – even when they have a legitimate reason.  They might choose to ghost rather than face a potentially awkward or confrontational conversation.  This is where a recruiter can be helpful – often the job seeker is more comfortable having this conversation with a third party (like a recruiter) rather than the employer directly.

To reduce the likelihood of job seekers ghosting your organization, consider the following strategies:

  1. Maintain Clear Communication: Keep candidates informed about the status of their application and the progress of the recruitment process.  Interestingly, this is a common complaint amongst job seekers – one of their number one complaints is being ghosted by an employer when they do not receive responses or feedback on the job status.
  2. Streamline the Hiring Process: Minimize unnecessary delays and steps in the recruitment process to keep candidates engaged.
  3. Provide a Positive Candidate Experience: Ensure that interactions with your organization are professional and respectful, even if you don’t ultimately hire the candidate.
  4. Follow Up: If a candidate seems to be losing interest or not responding, reach out to inquire about their status and intentions.
  5. Have Realistic Expectations: Understand that not all job seekers will respond or accept offers. Be prepared for some level of ghosting and focus on making the process better for those who do engage with your organization.  While frustrating, we believe that true “ghosters” are really doing us a favor – this is not an attribute we want to see in our candidates.

While you can’t prevent candidates from ghosting you, following these tips can help minimize the frequency with which this happens.  And then, when it does happen, you can rest assured it is for the best.  Good luck out there!

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