Busting The Candidate Ghosting Trend in Recruitment

candidate turning into ghost

The candidate was excellent: qualified, glowing references, and a slam dunk when it came to culture fit. During the interview, they were eager to learn more about the role, your company, and the next steps.

But after leaving two voicemails, sending an email, and even texting them over the course of a week to invite them back for a final interview — they’ve gone radio silent.

You’ve just been ghosted.

When it comes to recruiting, a ghost candidate suddenly vanishes into thin air with no warning or explanation, ceasing all communication. It can happen at any stage of the recruiting process, even after accepting your job offer and not showing up for their first day.

You’re not alone: StaffingHub reports that getting candidates to respond and show up are top recruiting challenges. And if you’re filling industrial or clerical roles, it’s even harder.

Why Do Candidates Ghost?

Low unemployment rates and dynamic shifts in workforce preferences have created a highly competitive job seekers market. This landscape allows employees the luxury of choice, with a staggering 72% receiving multiple job offers every year.

Ultimately, the abundance of opportunities empowers individuals to be discerning in their career decisions — sometimes dismissing employers who don’t offer the best opportunity.

72% of all workers are approached multiple times a year with job offers.

Now, is it a smart move on their part? Of course not. But it’s important to recognize that the job ghosting phenomenon often stems from various factors.

Whether the candidate lacks professional work etiquette, is relatively new to the workforce, or is simply evading uncomfortable conversations, ghosting can be viewed as an inadvertent blessing in disguise.

And yet, as an employer — though you may have dodged a bullet by not hiring an unreliable employee, it still causes strain on your recruiting efforts. While you can’t control human behavior, you can control your organization’s efforts to help minimize ghosting instances.

Let’s take a look.

smiling female candidate sitting in front of laptop

How to Prevent Candidate Ghosting at Every Stage

It’s all about creating a positive candidate experience and maintaining clear communication at every stage of your recruiting and hiring process.

Attract the Right Candidates

  • Job Description: Craft accurate and engaging job descriptions, steering clear of lengthy boilerplate language. Shorter and clearer is better.
  • Pay Transparency Pays: 38% of job seekers consider salary range the most critical aspect in a job ad. It’s become increasingly common, even required in some states. Embrace listing the salary range in your job descriptions.

Did you know? Ads with pay information cost 35% less per click than those without.

  • Diversify Your Job Ads: Appcast reports that 40% of active job seekers use more than 11 channels to look for employment. Don’t just post your job ad on your website and assume it will be found; use paid media promotion, professional networks, online recruitment sites, and social media.
  • Easy Application Process: 40% of people would refuse a job if they had a negative experience during the recruitment process. Explain the application process upfront, keep it simple, make it accessibility-friendly, and optimize it for multiple devices.
interview reminder on cell phone

Streamline the Interview Process

  • Be Prepared: Hiring managers need to prepare for the interview just like candidates. Review the candidate’s resume beforehand, jot down notes and questions, and clarify the skills and experience required for the role.
  • Send Reminders: Call, email, and/or text each candidate interview reminders. Besides the basics (date, time, and location), consider sharing who they’ll be interviewing with, how long the interview should last, and where to go once they arrive.
  • Ask the Right Questions: In addition to asking about their job-related skills, ask candidates behavioral questions to assess their soft skills and have them describe their ideal company culture. This helps identify who aligns with both the job and your organization.
  • Candidate Nurturing: As frustrating as it is to be ghosted by a candidate, candidates get just as frustrated when they feel ghosted by recruiters. After the interview, have your recruiter reach out to ask them how it went, see if they are still interested in the role, if they have any follow-up questions, and reiterate what they can expect as the next step.

Onboarding & Beyond

  • Give A Memorable Welcome: First impressions count. Provide a welcome gift for all new hires, introduce them to people in their department and throughout the organization, provide a tour, and treat them to breakfast and lunch on their first day.
  • Nail Their Onboarding: Let them know what to expect as they are onboarded and trained. Review their duties and job expectations, include their team and peers, and fully immerse them into your company culture and processes. Make it fun, thorough, and engaging.
  • Be Available: Questions will be inevitable (and should be encouraged). Make yourself (or an assigned mentor) easily accessible to answer any questions or concerns candidates have as they learn.
  • Continuous Engagement: Don’t stop your employee support once they’ve settled into their new role. Employee engagement can help avoid having unhappy employees who ultimately leave your organization. Provide frequent feedback, recognition, and ongoing training and development.
two women at desk having relaxed meeting

Don’t Be Afraid of Ghost Candidates

The unique circumstances of a highly competitive job market and the myriad choices available to candidates contribute to a complex landscape where ghosting becomes a strategic — or sometimes unintentional — tool for managing multiple offers and navigating professional relationships.

Understanding this correlation allows your organization to adapt its recruitment strategies, emphasizing the importance of communication, a positive candidate experience, and engagement to stand out in a market where job seekers hold the upper hand.

Don’t let ghosting haunt your recruitment efforts. The scariest part is not doing everything in your power to avoid it! Instead, turn ghosting into an opportunity to build a stronger, more engaged team by attracting the right people in the first place.

Have You Been Ghosted and Need Candidates To Fill The Void Quickly?

Our skilled and vetted associates are ready to hit the ground running! Learn more about Bonney’s custom staffing and recruiting solutions that bust the candidate ghosting trend.

Most Popular Blogs:

Looking to hire?

Let’s talk about your hiring needs. Request an associate today!