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What To Do If a Candidate Ghosts You

In a well-lit room, a man wearing a tan shirt and white t-shirt sits on a beige couch while looking at his phone.

Ghosting — an unexplained and abrupt end to communication — can happen whether you’re texting, on social media or trying to fill a vacant job position.

A candidate driven labor market has created plenty of job opportunities for workers. More opportunities has led to an increase in candidates ghosting employers, and hiring managers can expect to continue to deal with unresponsive applicants if they aren’t adapting to job seeker demands.

Aerotek Delivery Executive Kristen Demirdjian has helped companies find the right people for over 23 years. She provided three ways employers can keep applicants engaged.

Examine your onboarding process

Applicants have the market on their side now. There are more jobs on the market, so they can afford to be choosy. To adapt to current labor trends, companies should consider shortening their interview process.

“When a company has too long of an interview process, we do lose candidates. If the process can’t be changed, try to conduct the interview in one visit. Make sure everyone the candidate needs to meet is there on the day of their visit,” says Demirdjian.

Review your hiring process. Are your job descriptions inaccurate? Are there certain hiring requirements that can be eliminated? The ability to get candidates to work quicker than your competitors may be seen as a benefit for applicants.

“Sometimes candidates prefer choosing the companies that can hire quickly and offer adequate compensation rather than pursuing a better opportunity or a more reputable company,” says Demirdjian. 


Work on communication

Ghosting tends to happen when there’s a breakdown in communication. Someone’s email gets lost, or you forget to notify an applicant of the next step in the process. Like in any relationship – professional or personal – communication is key.

Candidates like to be kept in the loop with what’s going on. Working with a staffing agency can open the lines of communication since recruiters have a relationship with the candidate.

“Most human resource teams rarely have the ability to maintain constant communication with a candidate. Aerotek recruiters have the responsibility to know every step of the hiring process and can check in with candidates daily to let them know where they are in the process,” says Demirdjian.

This constant communication also allows the company to get more information about the candidate. This information can be used to improve an offer or to identify the companies you’re competing with for workers.

“We’re communicating with candidates every step of the way. We also can ask: ‘Have you interviewed any place else?” “Do you have any other interviews pending?” says Demirdjian.

Keeping in contact doesn’t always mean making a phone call. Send an email briefly explaining the status of the candidate’s application. Be sure to ask them if they have any questions or updates to add. Use steady communication to keep people interested in your job opening.

“Most human resources departments can’t communicate as often as they’d like. That’s where candidates start ghosting you because they haven’t heard from you and they’ve accepted another offer,” says Demirdjian. 

Make competitive offers

Employers are aggressively competing for talent so offering competitive wages and benefits is essential for attracting and retaining workers.

Top candidates want a compelling offer. They have little incentive — aside from courtesy — to respond if there are better opportunities available.

Money may be the primary motivator for many job seekers. However, Demirdjian recommends employers get creative with the other benefits they can offer candidates.

“Companies need to understand not just what the candidate is looking for financially, but what are some of the other benefits they’re seeking. What other jobs are candidates interviewing for and what do those opportunities offer? Knowing what the candidate wants isn’t just about compensation. They may want flexibility around something they need like scheduling,” says Demirdjian.

Companies are limited in what they can do to prevent applicants from abandoning the hiring process. Demirdjian recommends employers provide candidates as much information as possible to keep them interested.

“Employers need to set expectations with their candidates. Give them the details on how long the process will take. Being upfront about the process can prevent candidates from ghosting you because they’ll be better informed,” says Demirdjian.

If your company is struggling to convert applicants into team members, contact us today.