HR Tips

To be or not to be ghosted?

10 Tips to convince talent #4

Tip#4 – To be or not to be ghosted? 

Welcome to the nasty world of ‘job ghosting’!  

Job ghosting is when someone suddenly stops communicating during a recruitment process. This behavior started on the recruiter side. Over many years, it has been a pretty normal situation that candidates were rarely respected in a recruitment process.  Talk to any pool of candidates and 95% will have already experienced bad or non-existent communication from recruiters. This has never been “ok” but many companies and recruiters assumed they were in the driving position and that candidates were jumping over hurdles to work for them.   

But, big news!, lately candidates have started to do the same as they are now in the driving seat. They are (sometimes) treating recruiters in the way they have been previously “abused”.

So if you have experienced any of the following: 

  • Your ideal candidate has applied but then never answers phone or email
  • Your ideal candidate seems enthusiastic after the first interview and then goes silent
  • Your ideal candidate meets the HR and line manager – and then goes silent
  • Your ideal candidate verbally accepts a contract – then goes silent
  • Your ideal candidate actually signs a contract – and then does not turn up …  

 … then you have been ghosted!!

The real reasons behind Job ghosting 

Candidates may decide to cut the contact in the middle of a recruitment process for many various reasons. We talked about the reversal in the balance of power: with the decreasing number of workforce available on the market, candidates feel they have the power to treat companies as they desire. This is also a new generation where swiping is a common habit and people are getting more impatient. It can also be tempting to simply disappear to avoid discomfort.  

In the end, recruiters clearly have their responsibility in this phenomenon. There is still today a natural tendency for the recruiter to talk to the “top candidates” and “ghost” the less interesting CV’s. – radical examples even include recruitment adverts that clearly state they will only provide feedback for the candidates that interest them!Many recruiters do not take the time to give feedback to candidates.

The main reason is the potential huge number of resumes received for a job offer. It is sometimes quite impossible to contact all candidates whose CVs do not pass the first stage. Also the candidate may never be contacted again after interviews. This is where the shoe pinches. It may be due to a practical aspect: recruiters do not have the time resources to contact all participants. Or less ethically: they keep candidates under their arm in case their first choice drops them, or even worse, ghost them. Ironic, right?  

So how do stop this nasty ‘job ghosting’ trend?  

The recruitment world is small and ghosting leads to a risk of a backlash for future business. It is critical that everyone understands that, the end, recruitment should be about empathy and honesty, from both sides.  Here are some practical steps to help change our ways. 

As a candidate… 

  • Be patient and do not exert too much pressure
  • Don’t be shy to ask for information and follow-up
  • If you are no longer interested in the job offer, be honest and inform the company 

As a recruiter… 

  • Think about your recruitment process and how you treat all candidates 
  • Digitalize your recruitment to administrate your recruitment and automize feedback  to candidates 
  • Set acceptable deadlines for providing feedback 
  • Inform all applicants about the process and when they will get feedback
  • Provide a positive feedback to all candidates: a professional NO is crucial as this  candidate might be your future employee 


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