Candidate Ghosting - Not Just for Tinder....

Candidate Ghosting - Not Just for Tinder...
September 29, 2023



Set the scene: The jobseeker’s profile is perfect. When you meet with the candidate, the two of you click. Everything is rosy you’re confident in your next hire.


But since the interview, nothing, tumbleweed, you’re scratching your head for any clue what’s happened even though you’ve sent several messages and even tried calling.

Welcome to the frustrating world of candidate ghosting.


“Ghosting” is a term many are familiar with due to the world of online dating, however being on the receiving end of the silent treatment from candidates is also unfortunately becoming a situation more and more recruiters and hiring managers alike are finding themselves in.


According to a recent LinkedIn report:

·         95% of recruiters say they’ve experienced ghosting

·         76% of employers say they have been ghosted by candidates

·         40% (!!!) of candidates believe it’s reasonable to ghost an employer, with 28% having actually done it


So the first questions is WHY?  Ben Eubanks, Chief Research Officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory found:

·         40% wanted more flexibility than employers were willing to provide

·         35% indicated the company took too long to extend them an offer

·         33% stated they had a poor interview experience with an employer

·         29% noted they simply got a better job offer from another business

·         The company implemented a policy requiring employees to return to the office. 


 Eubanks also found that

·         46% of candidates have ghosted an interview

·         7% of candidates have failed to show up for their first day of work. 


Besides this list, the changes in the job market has no doubt had it’s part to play. Clients currently have 25% more open positions than 2019 with 25% few applications. This means if the candidate applying doesn’t have all of their expectations met, they have plenty of other options out there for them.


The good thing about these points is now that we know the causes of candidate ghosting, we can be proactive in the prevention.


Here are some action points:


Develop a Transparent Recruitment Strategy

Work with your team to clarify your business needs for each hire and be sure that you’re keeping the candidates and the agency in the loop from the get-go. In order to manage expectations, tell them your expected timeline and give them an overview of what the interview process will look like. In addition to increasing the success of your recruitment efforts, this type of strategy can also help you tell your employer brand story in an authentic way that will minimise turnover.


Keep Communication Open

When it comes to the interview process, everyone will agree: there’s nothing worse than being left in the dark. Touch base with your agency and candidates early and often, letting them know when they can expect to hear from you and delivering on your promise to reach out.


Focus on the Candidate and Their Experience

Many candidates are intimidated by the interview and recruitment process. To help them feel at ease, create a comfortable environment and have a conversation rather than firing questions, find out about who they are and their goals. It’s a great way to build a strong relationship from the beginning.


Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

Take into consideration salaries and benefits that are being offered by your competitors locally and nationally. In this market you don’t have the luxury of starting low and negotiating higher. Bonuses, hybrid working, annual leave, private health care, maternity and paternity leave to name a few make a big difference.


Use Alternative forms of Communication

Know candidates’ communications preferences and adjust your approach accordingly. Some candidates (mainly younger) don’t check email often, and they are unlikely to take a phone call from an unknown number. If you’re having trouble reaching interviewees, send them a text message instead.


Craft Messages that Encourage a Response

Win interviewees back with persuasive language. Personalise the communication by mentioning what you admire about their skill set and how they’d be a valuable addition to your team. There is nothing more off putting than a generic response, which makes the business look like they do not care. End the message with specific next steps, such as “I’d like to schedule a follow-up meeting for later this week to discuss the job offer and a possible start date.”


Be Flexible

Offer candidates flexible interview scheduling including evenings and weekend time slots. By accommodating candidates’ schedules, they may be more likely to move ahead in the process.

Virtual interviews are also a good option for busting some ghosts, even if your team has already returned to the office. 45% of job seekers say being able to interview from anywhere is appealing, and 37% say they feel less intimidated at the prospect of interviewing remotely.



Ultimately, it’s about putting yourself in a candidate’s shoes. What would you want from a recruiter and hiring manager right now? What would make a business stand out from the competition, and make you want to move toward an offer? These engagement tactics are good next steps to help curb ghosting.