I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosted Candidate

The term “ghosting” refers to when an individual stops responding to any communication and stops showing up, effectively disappearing (like a ghost). While this term is usually reserved for dating, hiring managers have been “ghosted” by both candidates and employees.

Why have I been ghosted?

Many reasons exist as to why a candidate might ghost a company during a hiring process. It is possible that they honestly forgot to respond; they may have other offers and honestly forgot to respond, or otherwise could not be bothered to respond. Perhaps one offer is undesirable to the point where they feel responding is not worth their time, or the offerer is undeserving of a response. Whatever the reason is, it can be prevented.

Ghosting does not only happen with candidates: employees have been known to abruptly disappear. A potential reason is that they find the work environment too toxic or because they feel unappreciated by the company that they do not think the company deserves a notice of intent to leave. Another possibility is that they simply do not care anymore; they may be unengaged with their work and find it not worth their time and effort to the point that staying for another two weeks is unfathomable. For both candidates and employees, ghosting is related to how the organization treats them as individuals, be it a lackluster offer package or overall climate.

How can I prevent ghosting?

There are steps that can be taken to prevent your candidates from disappearing. Communicate with your candidate before and during the interview process, including when they can expect to hear from you, tentative timelines, or whatever else you feel is necessary to communicate from the beginning. Using persuasive language is also a good strategy to keep their interest in your organization; specificity is key, whether for next steps or what you liked about them. Communicating often is also important to keep them updated and so they do not feel neglected.

Establishing a relationship with the candidate during the interview is also a good way to keep them interested in the position, company, and you; lack of interest is what can cause a candidate to ghost you. Be personable and friendly so they can feel they will be appreciated as an employee.

If you do not want your candidates to ghost you, do not ghost them. By the end of the interviewing process, you will likely have your list of top candidates. Do not only give your attention to them so they will want to work for you; end on good terms with all the other applicants.

Treating all candidates equally fair, cordial, and considerate from the very beginning will hopefully be reciprocated by them. Maintain a good reputation for your organization so that candidates will apply again and think well of it and you.