3 Reasons Your Candidates Might Be Ghosting You

3 Reasons Your Candidates Might Be Ghosting You

QuestionsDefined as “the act of cutting off all communication unannounced,” candidate ‘ghosting’ often leaves recruiters without any explanations and lots of questions.

And the phenomenon is clearly on the rise! In a survey conducted by Clutch, more than 40% of participants noted that they believe it’s reasonable to ghost on a company; with 30% claiming they’ve done it because they accepted another job, and 19% reporting the job just wasn’t a good match.

While those reasons might be what you’d expect and ones you’ve probably heard from candidates who kept communication open with you, why then do some candidates opt to go quiet? The following points serve to shed some light on the reasons candidates might be ghosting you:


Reaction to Employer/Recruiter Ghosting

In the same Clutch survey, when asked why they ghosted, 23% of job seekers stated they do it when a company stops communicating with them. Additionally, more than a third of respondents stated that the last company that rejected them did not respond at all.

Given recruiters and employers are clearly not free from blame when it comes to the ghosting game, it’s understandable that job seekers would feel inclined to mimic their experience, or assume that ghosting is simply part of the industry status-quo. While you may not be guilty of ever ghosting a candidate, knowing where candidates are coming from and what experiences they bring to the table provides some insight into this phenomenon.

Avoiding Awkward Feelings

Human beings have a tendency to evade conversations or situations that make us feel uncomfortable. In an instance where a candidate doesn’t feel like moving forward with the recruitment process (be it the recruiter, the potential client, the job itself, etc.), giving bad news is never an easy thing to do.

As such, candidates may feel it’s easier to avoid pain than to suffer through all the questions you might ask about why they’re not interested in the job—especially if they don’t plan on maintaining a working relationship with you.

Impersonal, Time-Consuming Application Processes

With the acceptance of ghosting clearly on the rise, it might be easy to assume that its prevalence is simply a sign of the times. With technology changing the ways we communicate with other people, a lack of personal connection makes it easier to simply move on without a word.

While methods of communicating are in-part to blame, the standard application process doesn’t do anything to help bridge the void. Job seekers often feel they’re applying into a “black box,” where they submit their resume for a role, but never hear anything back from a recruiter or the employer. Additionally, applying to jobs takes a lot of time and energy, including finding jobs that meet the candidate’s qualifications, filling out the online forms, and updating resumes to reflect the appropriate experience.

The automated and impersonal nature of the job application process rarely gives candidates an opportunity to speak to a person, so it feels like no one is looking at their resume. Candidates firmly believe they could succeed on their own merits if they could just get noticed, but a lack of person-to-person contact likely wears down applicants—making them cynical and distrustful.
Interested in learning more about candidate ghosting, including ways to prevent candidates from going radio silent on you and how to handle candidate ghosting like a pro? Download People 2.0’s eBook, “’It’s Not You, It’s Me’: How to Prevent Candidate ‘Ghosting’.”