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Are Job Candidates Ghosting You?

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As record low unemployment stretches into another year of economic expansion, job candidates in 2020 enjoy an overabundance of opportunities. However, that same labor environment is causing real headaches for hiring companies. One example? To borrow a term from the dating world: Ghosting.

What is ghosting?

“Ghosting occurs when a potential job candidate going through the hiring process skips an interview, doesn’t show for the first day of the job or stops responding to communications,” says Justin Dragoo, a strategic account executive for Aerotek who follows employment and market trends.

An Indeed survey found that 83% of employers had experienced ghosting, with 69% saying the trend started within the past two years. It may happen for any number of reasons — the candidate might have gotten a better offer or had second thoughts. And they decide it’s easier to just not respond instead of having to make a difficult phone call.


It can happen at different times throughout the hiring process. Half of candidates surveyed said they failed to attend a scheduled job interview, while 46% stopped replying to their recruiter or hiring managers. 

ghosting by the numbers infographic 

Reduce the risk of ghosting

Just because the power balance has shifted doesn’t mean that employers are helpless, Dragoo says. He offers the following three tips to reduce the risk:

  1. Move quickly
    Over 70% of job seekers turn to their second-choice job offer if a company takes too long to respond. If you haven’t done so already, streamline your hiring process to ensure you’re not losing out on your first-choice candidates.
  2. Stay in touch
    If you’re not communicating consistently with your candidates, they’ll wonder where they stand and move on to one of their other options. Even if it’s just a brief email, hearing from you with a status update will quell any uncertainty they may feel during the process.
  3. Play the numbers
    Establish a pipeline by holding more interviews than you think you need so you’re not thrown off course by any no-shows.  Most candidates have multiple interviewing going on right now, so make sure your team is prepared with options.

At the end of the day, your recruitment process is only as successful as the candidates it brings on board. Employers need to be open, strategic and responsive to labor market changes if you want to lure top talent away from your hiring competitors. Even if some candidates are doing a disappearing act.

Want to know more about how to recruit reliable candidates? Contact Aerotek now.