With Halloween just around the corner, let’s talk about ghosting — not in relationships or the usual horror stories you hear but ghosting in recruitment. Over the years, ghosting has become an inescapable reality for the younger generation, but it seems that it is not limited to modern dating or personal relationships. The phenomenon of candidate ghosting in 2022 has recently become a worrying trend in the recruitment industry. It’s becoming so common that its rise may be compared to another problem in the labor industry, the Great Resignation, the mass exodus of employees in search of better companies or opportunities.
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What is candidate ghosting?
Candidate ghosting or applicant ghosting is when employers are ghosted by candidates at any time during the hiring process by seemingly disappearing without a word of explanation. Job applicant ghosting can happen at any stage in the process, from the initial interview invite to the job offer.
Candidate Ghosting 2023 in Numbers
- 95% of recruiters have been ghosted by candidates after the first interview.
- 39% of employers say candidate ghosting has increased over the last 2 years.
- 84% of job seekers have ghosted employers in the last 18 months.
The numbers show that applicant ghosting is indeed a cause for concern among recruiters. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the worrying phenomenon — why candidate or job ghosting is on the rise, why getting ghosted by candidates is an issue for employers, and what recruiters and employers can do to prevent their candidate pool from ghosting them.
Why is candidate ghosting on the rise?
The topic of ghosting in recruitment has been discussed in the industry as early as 2018, but it seems that the practice gained traction around the start of the pandemic in 2020. So what has transpired to make job applicant ghosting such a common occurrence?
A variety of surveys reveal that for job candidates, it’s only payback. Ghosting in recruitment, the majority says, has been practiced by recruiters and employers for so much longer.
It’s a job candidate’s market
Now, as the world began to open up post-pandemic, it has become a job candidate’s market. The Great Resignation has opened up plenty of opportunities for many job seekers, who are now more empowered to switch to jobs with better pay, conditions, and terms. The remote hiring process makes career shifts much easier as it takes less effort compared to before when candidates had to physically show up to the workplace multiple times to apply for a job.
Dissatisfaction with the recruitment process
The labor market now being a job candidate’s market, candidates who are not satisfied with the hiring process can simply ghost the recruitment in search of a better hiring experience. Many occurrences of ghosting in recruitment happen when the process takes too long, or when employers seem to be asking too much, either for the actual application (too many interviews, too many grueling exams) or in the job description itself.
Why is candidate ghosting an issue?
Based on the sentiments of job-seekers worldwide, there’s no stopping a candidate from ghosting employers, especially when they have plenty of options and continue to be dissatisfied with the recruitment process. Why should you, as the recruiter or prospective employer, be concerned about job ghosting on the rise?
A waste of time and resources
The hiring process takes manpower hours and money. When you keep getting ghosted by candidates, all the work you’ve put into hiring is simply erased.
Decrease in the talent pool
When you’re ghosted by candidates, you can’t put them back into your pool of future candidates because you know that there’s a chance they might ghost you again or never even respond to you.
The very crux of a job applicant ghosting is when they stop responding to any form of communication. This means there’s no chance for you to identify where the hiring process went awry.
How to avoid candidate ghosting?
Candidate ghosting doesn’t have to be an inescapable part of the recruitment process. Here are five best practices you can adopt to give your job candidates a worthwhile hiring experience:
1. Streamline your hiring process
Job candidates are most likely to ghost an application when the hiring process seems overly complicated and time-consuming. A simple and straightforward process will allow your applicants to feel that they’re putting just the right amount of investment in an application, even without the certainty of getting a job offer.
2. Keep lines of communication open
Be sure to send regular updates on where the candidate stands. Full transparency during the hiring process will keep your applicant engaged because then, they won’t feel ghosted
3. Ensure full transparency and accuracy on the job post
Job candidates report ghosting an application when they find that the job post they’ve responded to does not match the actual job description during the initial interview. So make sure you’re advertising your job post correctly so applicants know exactly what they’re applying for.
4. Avoid low-balling
Offer above-average compensation right away. Candidates ghost a job application when they learn at any stage of the hiring process that the offer does not match their expectations.
5. Don’t ghost candidates
With many job review sites and forums, applicants can easily find out if you’re also in the habit of ghosting during recruitment.
Candidate ghosting is a huge concern but it can easily be addressed by making a few changes in the recruitment process. By understanding and empathizing with your candidates’ needs during the hiring process, you can avoid the pitfalls of candidate ghosting.
To avoid candidate ghosting and losing what could possibly be your top contender, make your recruitment process easy, efficient, and transparent by downloading the Joblu app.
Frequently Asked Questions About Candidate Ghosting
Q: What is candidate ghosting?
A: Candidate ghosting is a recruitment industry term referring to job candidates or applicants disappearing without explanation at any stage of the hiring process.
Q: Why do candidates ghost interviews?
A: Candidates ghost interviews for a range of reasons. Most of them ghost applications when they find the hiring process overly complicated. Salary and job descriptions also play a big part in their decision to ghost an application. Finding bad online reviews about the company can be a big factor as well.
Q: Is a quick hiring process a red flag?
A: The speed of the hiring process is not necessarily a red flag. Rather, the manner in which the hiring was conducted should be examined. If candidates feel that your interview was not as comprehensive as the job description requires, or if the entire process was sloppy or disorganized, they might find these qualities to be a reflection of your team or your company.
Q: Why do new hires not show up?
A: Like applicant ghosting, job ghosting is on the rise. Many job seekers admit to not showing up on their first days after receiving a better offer. Most of them do not bother letting the first employer know because they simply do not want to be asked to reconsider the post again.
Q: Why do recruiters ghost candidates?
A: Recruiters ghost candidates for a number of reasons. The most common reason is an internal shift in the hiring plans of the company. They may have chosen to go with an internal hire. They may have over-hired for the year and have decided to freeze hiring. Some recruiters also fail to communicate with their candidates before transferring to another post or another company. Others still are not able to keep up with the number of applicants for a single post, so much so that they can inadvertently neglect some applications.