Why Candidate Ghosting Happens and How to Avoid It

avoid candidate ghosting with these tips

Have you ever been ghosted by a candidate? You go through the entire hiring process with an applicant, interview them, and they are ticking all the right boxes. Finally, you send them an offer.

And then you wait… No response.

Candidate ghosting can be one of the most frustrating parts of recruitment. It results in wasted time and resources, as well as increased costs associated with recruiting and hiring. It can also lead to delays in filling critical roles, which can impact business operations and productivity.

But what can you do to minimise the chances of it happening again?

In this blog, we will explore the phenomenon of candidate ghosting and its impact on employers and job seekers. We’ll also delve into the reasons why a candidate may ghost you and offer our 5 best practices for managing the hiring process to reduce the risk of being ghosted.

What Exactly is Candidate Ghosting?

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the job market known as “candidate ghosting.” This term refers to a situation in which job candidates suddenly stop communicating with recruiters or potential employers during the hiring process. Essentially, it is a form of unexplained silence on the part of the candidate, which can leave employers feeling frustrated, confused, and uncertain about whether to continue pursuing the candidate for the role.

This behaviour can occur at any stage of the hiring process, from initial contact to the final offer, and it can happen to companies of all sizes, in any industry.

Why Does Candidate Ghosting Happen?

Candidate ghosting can be a frustrating experience for employers, and there are several reasons why candidates may engage in this behaviour. According to a survey by Forbes, some of the most common reasons for candidate ghosting include receiving another job offer (40% of respondents), a salary offer that was not up to par (22%), dissatisfaction with the benefits package (15%), and poor communication with the recruiter (13%).

Receiving another job offer was the most commonly cited reason for candidate ghosting, and highlights the need for employers to move quickly and efficiently during the recruitment process. Salary and benefits packages were also important, and resulted in a candidate ghosting once they were revealed. Poor communication with recruiters was also a significant factor in causing candidates to disengage.

The reasons for candidate ghosting are complex and multifaceted, and employers need to be aware of these factors to prevent and address this behaviour. By taking steps to improve communication, being transparent about salary and benefits, and moving quickly during the recruitment process, employers can reduce the risk of candidate ghosting and improve their chances of attracting and retaining top talent.

So, based on these insights, here’s how you can minimise candidate ghosting in your hiring process.

5 Tips to Avoid Candidate Ghosting

Streamline the Hiring Process

Long and complicated recruitment processes can be overwhelming for candidates. As mentioned above, the top reason candidates ghost employers is that they have received another job offer. Many candidates are applying and interviewing for multiple jobs at once, and while it’s not exactly first-come first-serve, they can only delay an offer acceptance for so long. 

Streamline your hiring process as much as possible to ensure it is more accessible and less time-consuming, while minimising the chance that your candidate will be hired by a competitor. You can do this by automating certain parts of the process, such as resume screening or interview scheduling, to free up your time and create a more efficient process. Take a look at our recruitment process guide and see if there any other ways you can refine yours.

Offer a Competitive Salary

Salary is an important consideration for most candidates. While there might be some wriggle room if your organisation has some helpful benefits or a great culture, that can only get you so much. Ensuring that your salary offer is competitive is the best way to keep candidates interested in working with you. Research industry benchmarks and adjust your offer accordingly to avoid losing candidates to competing job offers.

If you’re working with an expert recruiter, they will be well-versed in salary and benefits standards within the industry you’re hiring. They can provide you with insight into how realistic your compensation package is, and whether you may need to raise it.

Ensure Transparency in the Job Post

Candidates are likely to drop out of the recruitment process when they realise their expectations aren’t met. When writing the job description, be completely transparent about the organisation, responsibilities, company culture and compensation package.

This will help candidates make an informed decision about whether the role is a good fit for them. It can also reduce the risk of candidates dropping out of the recruitment process because of misaligned expectations.

Communicate Frequently

Communication is key when it comes to building relationships with candidates. Keep them informed of how the recruitment process is progressing, including what to expect and when to expect it. Regular communication shows the candidate that you value them and their time, and it can also help you identify any concerns or potential issues early on.

If working with a recruiter, they will often take care of this aspect, continuing to nurture and engage the candidate while you get on with the hiring.

Encourage Engagement

Candidates are more likely to respond if they feel engaged and excited about the opportunity. Write messages that are personal, friendly, and encouraging while getting them keen to joining the team. Show them that you’re interested in them as a candidate, and highlight the unique aspects of your company and the role.

You can ensure that they stay engaged in communication by asking questions and offering prompts that encourage a reply. If they’re still talking to you, they’re still thinking about the role which helps reduce the chance they’ll disengage.

Final Thoughts

In the end, there are times when a candidate who ghosts you just isn’t worth the hassle. However, it’s crucial to understand that candidates, like yourself, want to be treated with respect and transparency. This means that you should be upfront about your expectations with them, particularly if your hiring or offer process tends to take longer. 

Additionally, when there are periods of downtime in the hiring process, it’s essential to keep the candidates engaged with regular communication and updates. Although it may seem time-consuming, it’s always preferable than to have the candidate disappear and need to start from scratch.

By investing time in building a strong relationship with candidates right from the beginning of their journey, you’ll be better equipped to avoid unpleasant situations such as candidate ghosting.

Recruiter of the Month, February 2023 - Donna BlissHow to Give a Positive Candidate Experience

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