5 Things to do when a candidate ghosts you

Girl holding ghost biscuit

Five easy things to do when a candidate ghosts you to change the narrative and ignite excitement

Have you ever found the perfect candidate and gotten really excited about hiring them only to have them ghost you mid-way through your process?

When candidates ghost employers and recruiters it can feel so frustrating. They applied to the role in the first place! Don’t they want the job?

Ghosting in recruitment happens far too often on both sides. A massive 53% of candidates say that they’ve been ghosted during the hiring process and 95% of recruiters say the same.

Even though it can be frustrating and confusing, it often happens for a reason.

5 Reasons why your top candidate is ghosting you

When a candidate ghosts you, it’s usually for a reason.

1 – They’re not getting notified

If you’ve hired for a junior role in the last few years, you might have realised that email and Gen Z don’t mix.

Whether it’s because they don’t have their notifications turned on or because they’re not signed in on their phones, this can really put the brakes on your hiring process.

If you struggle to get a reply to your emails, it’s always a good idea to ask your candidates for their phone numbers. You’re far more likely to get a quick reply on a phone call or even over text!

2 – They’re not interested

Sometimes when you don’t hear back from job hunters, it just means that they’re not all that into you.

But they were interested once upon a time, so it’s still worth putting some thought into what makes your applicants lose interest.

Did you take over a week to make first contact after they applied? Has there been a large gap between communications? Has the role changed in any way since they applied for it?

Something as small as a poorly worded email can put job hunters off your company’s role and cause them to ghost you.

3 – You ticked them off

In this oversaturated job market you have to be careful that you don’t irritate your top candidates.

You can easily irritate candidates with poor communication and too many hoops to jump through. Sometimes simply asking them to fill in their information on your site is enough to make them close the tab.

It’s best to streamline your process and get it running well before you trial it on job hunters. You don’t want to annoy your ideal applicants!

4 – Personal issues

Sometimes when a candidate ghosts you it’s not on purpose.

So don’t always think the worst of your candidates when they take a few days to respond or need a little nudge.

Personal issues or even just a busy schedule can make even the top candidates forget to respond to emails.

5 – They got a job

But often when a candidate ghosts you it’s because they just accepted another role.

Sometimes candidates would rather ignore your messages than tell you the truth. It’s a shame that this happens as a little communication could save you a lot of time, but I doubt we’ll see a change!

Ghosting takes a lot less effort, so it’s always the preferred choice.

What do you do when a candidate ghosts you?

There is little that you can do when you get ghosted. You can either keep persevering until you get a response or give up and move on to the next candidate.

Usually it’s difficult to reignite someone’s excitement after it goes cold.

But there are things that you can do to get your candidates to like and respect you. The more they like you, the less likely that they’ll ghost you!

Happy candidate replying to a recruiter instead of ghosting

1 – Get their number

As I mentioned earlier, young job hunters are far more likely to respond when you contact them directly. Email just doesn’t cut it for the younger generations!

Most job hunters will have their phone number on their CV which makes this step a lot easier for you.

2 – Communicate well

Set the standard by communicating really well with your applicants.

If you show them respect you’re far more likely to get it in return.

We recommend that you:

  • Give your candidates that are in the running updates about the role every week at the very least.
  • Let your candidates know when to hear back from you next and what the next steps are.
  • Give fast feedback and confirm that you receive anything they send over.

3 – Get to know your top applicants

We don’t recommend that you spend hours getting to know all of your job hunters, but we do recommend leaving plenty of time in your calendar for interviews.

Spend some time with each of your interviewees getting to know them and talking about things unrelated to the role. This won’t just give you a feel for their personality, it will help you and your candidate get to know each other a little better.

Then keep things off email. Give your applicants a phone call if you’re inviting them to another interview, offering them the role or even rejecting them if you have the time!

4 – Move fast

If you take your sweet time replying to your candidates, they will take their time responding to you in return.

Let’s look at it from their point of view. So they apply to multiple jobs a day, getting excited about them and spending time editing their CV for each role.

They do the same thing day in, day out. Days pass and they forget the name of your company and even the role title.

They then get a response from you weeks after they applied. They can’t remember applying to your role, so they probably won’t remember to reply to you either.

They’re off chasing newer, shinier jobs!

Try to move quickly when it comes to hiring and communications. Don’t rush the process, but don’t leave you applicants hanging for weeks.

5 – Give them your details

You have all of these different ways to contact your applicants, but do they have any way to contact you?

Simply giving your candidates an email address to use if they have any queries will help you keep them engaged in the process.

Your engaged candidates will likely have questions about the role, process and might request updates so that they stay fresh in your mind. This is a good thing and I think it should be encouraged!

Only the candidates that are truly enthusiastic about the role will take the time to request an update or ask a question.

If you give your applicants a way to communicate with you, they will stay engaged and open to replying for far longer.

If you need any help communicating with candidates and finding your ideal applicant, we can help. Let us handle all of the communications so that you can get on with hiring!

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
Posted in Hiring Graduates