Candidates Ghosting You? You’re Not Alone. Here’s How To Prevent It

Feb 4, 2022

It’s no secret that we’re in a job seekers market. Employers are at a disadvantage with so many open positions, and candidates are demanding higher wages, better perks, and flexible work options. This market dynamic, plus technological advancements and a crumbling sense of civility, has led to a dramatic rise in ghosting.

Ghosting (aka disappearing without a word) has become a common burden for hiring managers in all industries. Though the term began in the context of dating, the business world is now very familiar with candidates who stop responding to recruiters or simply don’t show up for an interview (or even a job). Over the past year, 28% of job seekers have ghosted an employer, up from only 18% in 2019.

Why Is Ghosting So Prevalent?

The short answer: people often are not comfortable saying no or giving people what they think is bad news. It’s the easy way out to stop contact altogether.

Candidates have leverage over employers in the current market, often receiving multiple offers from various companies. It could be that some are just overwhelmed and forget to contact all their prospective employers. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, this group only counts for a small percentage of ghosters.

The most common reasons people ghost employers, according to an Indeed survey, are:

  • Poor communication from the company. When candidates don’t feel important, they are more likely to throw in the towel without letting you know.
  • Long hiring processes. Candidates lose interest if the company takes too long to make a decision. This is true no matter the market, but especially hits during this seeker-driven period.
  • A bad job fit. If there is a perceived disconnect between the candidate’s skills and the position they are offered, they’ll likely hit the road.
  • A change of heart. Technology makes it so easy to apply with one click that some applicants may have regrets after the fact.
  • A better offer comes along. Indeed reports that 40% of candidates ghost when they are offered another job, especially if there are higher salary and better perks involved.
  • Ghosting is a vicious cycle. Companies can ghost too, and if a candidate has been ghosted before, it suggests the practice is acceptable.

Strategies To Prevent Candidate Ghosting 

The number one strategy to prevent candidate ghosting during the hiring process is to create an outstanding candidate experience. Create a sense of belonging and connection to your candidates, and make them feel their importance to your company.

  • Communicate well, and often. Staying in close communication with your candidates will help them succeed. It will also help prevent ghosting because they will feel more connected to you and your company. Provide as much information as possible at each stage of the hiring process, and give an approximate timeline for next steps.
  • Speed up the hiring process. The faster you can get a candidate can get through the interview process, the less likely you are to lose them to your competitors. Expedite the time to receive an offer, and you’ll snap up the best prospects.
  • Describe the company culture. Let a candidate know if they would be a good fit into your current culture. Describe the ways you see them fitting in and make them feel like they are already a part of the team. This increases the feeling of connection and will keep your candidates engaged.
  • Encourage candidate feedback. Give each candidate a voice and encourage them to share their concerns and questions at any time during the hiring process. Giving off an approachable vibe will allow the candidate to bring up delicate topics more easily.
  • Details, details, details. Provide as much description of the job, salary, benefits, and other perks as possible. Let the candidate know exactly what they will be getting if they were to accept an offer from your company.
  • Stay in touch after the offer. It’s realistic that a new hire will need to provide notice to their current employer. Keep in touch over those two weeks and provide them with appropriate information for their first day. Providing parking instructions, security processes, and anything else they should expect to encounter will help.
  • Continuously pipeline. You should be recruiting constantly to combat ghosting and turnover. Don’t stop when you think you’ve found enough candidates–you never know when you might find your next superstar.

Unfortunately, none of these tips will prevent 100% of ghosting. You can, however, mitigate the effects of ghosting and do your best to ensure that each candidate has an exceptional experience with your company. This will help not only those candidates who might be on the fence, but also those who are truly excited about the prospect of working with you!

Written by: Sarah Perlman

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