Why Candidates Might be Ghosting You

Why Candidates Might be Ghosting You

For hiring managers, it can be a letdown when a candidate you are excited about suddenly stops responding about a role within your organization. However, if you are experiencing ghosting, you are not alone. A survey conducted by Indeed found that 83% of employers have experienced ghosting by candidates. High numbers of ghosting over time can have a negative impact on businesses’ bottom line. So how can you mitigate candidate ghosting and gain better response rates with top talent? Check out our take on why candidates might be ghosting you and how you can implement strategies to minimize ghosting.

Why Candidates Are Ghosting You

While there is no way to know for sure why candidates are ghosting you, there are some common reasons why individuals will leave companies without a response. Here are some reasons why candidates are ghosting you.

1. Poor Candidate Experience

A common reason for candidate ghosting is that the candidate is having a negative experience throughout the hiring process. A poor candidate experience can occur when an organization’s hiring process is overly complicated, taking too much time or requires too many steps. It can also occur when the candidate does not have a favorable experience with a company representative or forms a negative opinion of the organization. Any combination of these issues or experiences can impact the candidate’s overall experience with a company and can ultimately cause them to not respond to company outreach.

2. Misaligned Compensation or Benefit Offerings

Another reason why a candidate may drop out of the hiring process with an organization is due to misaligned compensation or benefit offerings. Once a candidate has time to consider what the organization is offering in comparison to what others are offering or what they might currently have in their role, they may no longer be interested in the position and the organization. This can influence a candidate’s decision to not respond to messages from the potential employer.

3. Fear of Conflict

Some candidates may fear having a difficult conversation with a recruiter or hiring manager and may use ghosting to avoid it altogether. This can occur when a candidate receives another job offer or is no longer interested in the role. Instead of informing the recruiter that they would like to be removed from consideration, candidates may fear having that conversation and not respond to company outreach.

4. Change in Circumstances

Things happen, and when a candidate has a change in circumstances, they may not want to deal with another life change, such as changing jobs. Personal or professional changes, such as family, health or professional changes, may cause candidates to freeze in their current role and no longer consider a new opportunity. When this happens, they may ghost a recruiter or hiring manager that they are in contact with about a potential job opening.

5. Lack of Excitement About the Position

When a candidate lacks excitement about a role, they may become uninterested in the opportunity entirely. If compensation, benefits or growth opportunities aren’t much of an upgrade from their current position, they may become unresponsive and ghost the potential employer during the hiring process.

How You Can Prevent Ghosting

There are many reasons why candidates ghost recruiters. Fortunately, there are strategies that employers can take to prevent candidate ghosting. Here are some areas of opportunity that we’ve identified.

1. Simplify Your Hiring Process

Oftentimes, when candidates lose interest about the role or have a poor candidate experience, it can be due to a long and complicated hiring process. Employers who simplify and streamline their hiring process can create a better candidate experience for potential employees and reduce candidate fall-off during the hiring process. A simplified hiring process may include consolidating interviews, reducing time between hiring process steps, and communicating clearly to the candidate what they can expect next in the process. Consider surveying recent hires about their experience interviewing with your organization or putting yourself in the shoes of candidates. By making strategic efforts to improve your hiring process, you may see an improvement with candidate responsiveness and interest.

2. Provide Feedback

For many candidates, going through the hiring process with an organization is a big deal. A new job can be a big life change. Because of this, they’d likely appreciate being updated throughout the hiring process. Consider providing updates throughout each stage to the candidate regarding their status and how interviews went. Additionally, provide updates to the candidate such as when they can expect to hear back, if things are taking longer than expected, and what the next stage in the hiring process is. Keeping the candidate informed and engaged throughout this process should contribute to candidate interest and overall excitement with your organization and the role.

3. Utilize Customer Service Skills

With any customer-facing role, it is important to utilize proper customer service skills. Though candidates aren’t necessarily customers in the traditional sense, they are important, as they contribute to your employer reputation, can be active in your talent network and could be joining your organization as an employee one day. For this reason, it is important to treat each candidate with respect and transparency. Consider ways to improve candidate communication, such as personalizing outreach, reaching candidates at the method that works best for them and ensuring that frequent updates are provided throughout the hiring process. By taking a customer service approach to hiring, you can improve candidate experience and in turn, increase candidate response rates.

4. Build Relationships & Rapport

Along with utilizing proper customer service skills with candidates, it is important to also build relationships with candidates and those in your talent network. Consider ways to engage candidates that may have applied with your organization in the past. Utilize newsletters, hiring events and networking opportunities to reach candidates on a deeper level. Creating a relationship and rapport with candidates can increase their connection to your organization and overall reduce the chances of them ghosting you in the future.

5. Create Engaging Onboarding

After a candidate has accepted an offer and they are in the limbo of onboarding and starting in their new position with your organization, it is important to continue to create a positive and engaging experience for them. Sometimes this timeframe can range between a few weeks to multiple months depending on the situation. During this time, it is essential to have frequent check-ins with the candidate, providing them information and updates about what they can expect. This is essential to ensuring that the candidate starts in their role as planned and can help avoid candidate fall-off in this critical last stage.

In conclusion, there are a number of reasons that can cause a candidate to ghost a potential employer. While it is not completely preventable, there are strategies and tactics that an employer can take to mitigate ghosting in the hiring process and improve candidate response rates. These actions all contribute to creating an informative, engaging, and streamlined hiring process built on transparency and trust with candidates.


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