Ghosted (Part 1): Candidates

By Kyra McCue on November 4th, 2021

If you are a recruiter or hiring manager in 2021, chances are that you are no stranger to being ghosted by candidates. In fact, 83% of employers reported being ghosted in 2019, and we can imagine this number has only increased after the pandemic! Originating from the rise in online dating, the term “ghosting” has been transferred to other walks of life, including the hiring process.

Ghosting occurs when candidates stop replying to emails, fail to show up to interviews, and even new hires who miss their first day of work. The current job market is unlike anything we’ve seen before, so you may not know how to respond after being ghosted. Check out our tips below to see the right way to handle and prevent being ghosted by candidates:

Follow Up With a Message That Requires a Response

The first thing you should do after not hearing back from a candidate is follow up through their preferred method of communication. If you have already done this a few times without success, be sure that the next message you send contains specific follow up details that require a response. For instance, you can say things such as “our next step is to schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss your offer. Does Wednesday at 1:00 PM work for you?”. Hopefully, this will elicit a response from the candidate, but if you still don’t hear from them, consider sending one final message. While you may not want to pester them too much, reaching out one last time can help you improve your recruiting process. The final follow-up message should reaffirm interest in working with them and encourage the candidate to reach out if any of your other positions look like a better fit. It can also be helpful to close the message with a link to a survey about your recruitment process so you can get a better understanding of what went wrong and improve these things for future candidates.

Review Your Recruitment Process

Are you checking in with candidates at each stage of the hiring process? Do you streamline interviews to eliminate downtime? According to CNBC, 49% of candidates in high demand industries turn down job offers due to a poor recruiting experiences. If your organization is struggling with frequent ghosting, then it may be time to look inward at your hiring process. A 2019 study found that some of the biggest deal breakers for candidates were inappropriate interview questions, an application process that took longer than a month, and lack of communication. Additionally, candidates were more likely to accept a job offer if the company highlighted growth opportunities, flexibility, and commitment to improving diversity and inclusion within the organization. While you may feel that your team is already doing an amazing job during the recruitment process, remember that there is always room for improvement. Choosing one of the factors listed above and brainstorming ways to refine this part of your process can have a major impact, and even potentially prevent future ghosting!

Improve Candidate’s Experience

Building relationships with your candidates is a great way to ensure that they communicate effectively with you throughout each stage of the hiring process. By taking a candidate-centric approach to hiring, you are showing applicants that you genuinely care about them and want to see them succeed. While this approach may seem difficult while you are juggling interviews and other positions, it really just comes down to “The Golden Rule of Recruiting”- treat others how you would like to be treated. Even if this specific candidate doesn’t end up moving forward with your company, they may be able to refer someone who could. By showing respect and going out of your way to be accommodating during the hiring process, candidates will develop a positive image of your organization which will help bring in more qualified applicants. While we may never know why some people choose to ghost, we can do our part to ensure that every candidate has a favorable recruiting process and candidate experience. These things will hopefully make it more difficult, and guilt-ridden, for the candidate to ghost you.

We hope these tips will help you improve your recruiting process and overcome the stress of being ghosted. If you need help finding qualified candidates in the telecommunications, IT, or engineering sectors, reach out to us at!