Candidate Ghosting: What Is It and How Can You Avoid It?

Woman leaving an interview, candidate ghosting

Combat the trend of bad etiquette with good processes and human touchpoints

More and more, candidates are disappearing during the recruitment process. For hiring managers struggling to fill positions, it is frustrating to realize that valuable time has been wasted, and they will need to find or focus on another qualified applicant.

Last year, Indeed reported that 76 percent of employers experienced candidate ghosting, and 77 percent of job-seekers were ghosted by their prospective employer. At any point in the interview process, communication can stop on either side or result in a no-show on the first scheduled workday.

Why is Ghosting a Problem?

By looking at the list of common reasons for candidate ghosting, one thing is sure; employers need to communicate more frequently and have a quick and consistent application process.

Don’t assume that a candidate understands your selection process either. When the hiring process is “clunky,” candidates can become restless and succumb to some of the most common reasons for candidates to ghost their potential employers:

  • Frustrated with impersonal automated processes that lack human contact
  • Lack of trust in the labor market
  • Disappointment at being ghosted by employers who fail to follow up
  • Lost interest leads to finding something better or changing plans during a lengthy process
  • Tired of COVID-related unemployment and hiring issues
  • Bad habits from increasingly digitized interactions that lack simple courtesy 

Societal norms have changed expectations of human connections and the volume of impersonal interactions is off-putting. When candidates can’t discuss their resume in person and can only offer details by phone or Zoom, they are losing opportunities to make their best impression before reaching the final interview, and it’s disheartening.

Ending Candidate Ghosting

A poor job market combined with frustrating human behavior and deteriorating emotional intelligence requires a different approach to filling an employment vacancy. Some strategies can discourage ghosting on both sides, including:

Build your employer brand. Employers need to be aware the candidates look at current reviews of their workplace and may come across negative company information. Consider updating employee reviews to offer a more diverse perspective. Also, adjust employee roles and benefits packages to make the opportunity more attractive than other companies in the area. Use original and authentic automatic reminders to leverage your brand voice and culture, letting candidates appreciate clever messages, videos, and recordings that build a connection. Set yourself apart from the competition with higher standards, quick responses, and good follow-up to take candidates to the next step. 

Over-communicate, combining automation with human contact. Candidates need a step-by-step process to know what happens next, adequate follow-up, and opportunities to decline moving forward at different stages during the process. Explain what applicants should expect, and respond to inquiries about progress or next steps. Communicate by multiple methods knowing that sometimes emails go to spam and phone calls or texts can be missed. Ask candidates about communication preferences, confirm their interest, and be clear about the start date. Be conscious of having the right balance of automation and in-person contact. Creating the right mix of automation and human interaction to avoid robotic responses and a lack of civility due to distance. 

Raise the application bar for better screening. To remove hiring manager frustration, ensure candidates have the interest and skills to fulfill the job requirements. That may mean a more extensive application than a “Quick” or “One-Click Apply” button. Use online assessments for additional screening. When more effort goes into filling out and submitting an application, the candidate is more invested in the outcome. Having to complete an assessment or task narrows the field to those who can demonstrate the necessary skills. 

Get back out there, in-person. Promote in-person career fairs, recruitment events, and learning events to reach candidates that demonstrate commitment to the job search and encourage more communication and engagement.

Work with a staffing agency that can rigorously screen applicants and ensure you have the best pool of resources. How do staffing agencies work? The right staffing agency can do all the heavy lifting to include personal touchpoints, build relationships, screen candidates, and other “ghostbusting” techniques to improve the recruitment process.

Changing Recruitment Strategies with CNS

Colorado Network Staffing (CNS) works with many employers and individuals across various industries to deliver consistent communication and service to our clients. Learn more about setting up hiring practices that reduce candidate ghosting. We help to build relationships and screen candidates for you!

CNS provides the necessary expertise to act as your human resource provider or support your human resources staff to save time, energy, and money. Contact us today to fill job vacancies in trades, utilities, education, engineering, transportation, IT, and more.

Candidates can find temp, temp to permanent, and direct hire positions. We match job seekers with employers to create solutions that meet or exceed goals on both sides.  

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