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What to Do When a Job Candidate Ghosts You

The job applicant’s resume impressed you. You were equally wowed by the candidate during the video interview. They had solid answers to your questions and appeared to show sincere interest in the company. You ended that first interview thinking, “This person may be the one for the job!” You decide to set up a second interview — waiting just a few days to follow up but then the candidate doesn’t get back to you. You send a few more messages by email and phone — even a text. Nothing. You’ve been ghosted.

What is ghosting?

“Ghosting” is a word used to describe when a person abruptly cuts off all contact with no explanation. In a recent survey, 39% of hiring managers in the United States said that ghosting by job candidates is more common now than it was two years ago. It’s happening across industries, but our survey findings suggest that those hiring for roles are most likely to report it’s a growing problem.

Why is ghosting on the rise?

Workers simply have more choices today and in the current hiring market, managers are struggling to fill vacancies while skilled candidates are often fielding multiple job offers. Some job seekers aren’t worried about burning a few bridges along the way toward finding a position they really want. Specific reasons that professionals have recently ghosted a prospective employer:

  • The interview process was poor (33%)

  • They received another job offer (29%)

  • The job wasn’t what they expected (23%)

  • A mandatory return-to-office policy was implemented (16%)

Many of today’s job seekers would rather avoid confrontation and awkwardness than deliver bad news.

How can you avoid ghosting?

Here are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing ghosting:

Streamline your hiring process.

Other employers are likely courting your dream applicants, so you need to be prepared to move fast. More than one-third of employers say they’d missed out on a potential hire in the last year pointed to taking too long to make an offer as the reason for the failure. So, make a point to interview top candidates right away.

Play by the Golden Rule.

Ghosting works both ways. You don’t like it, and neither do job seekers. Communicate promptly with all job candidates — not just those you’d like to hire. When you treat job seekers with respect, your company will gain a reputation for being considerate and professional.

Make an offer they can’t refuse.

In this fiercely competitive hiring market, you can’t take a risk on lowballing compensation. Avoid turning off your top picks by extending above-average compensation right away. A sign-on bonus and in-demand perks, like flexible or remote work options, are also great leverage.

Craft messages that encourage a response.

Keep candidates engaged after the interview with follow-up correspondence that is friendly, persuasive and specific. For example, personalize messages by mentioning to the candidate what you admire about their skill set and how they’d be a valuable addition to your team. End messages with details about next steps, such as “I’d like to schedule a follow-up meeting for later this week to discuss the job offer and a possible start date.”

Ghosting is a risk for employers in a hiring market where skilled candidates have many avenues and options to consider. The secret to minimizing the chances of being ghosted is to treat all job seekers fairly and with respect, to move as swiftly as possible to meet with them, and present compelling offers to standout potential hires. Reach out to use today to learn how we can help you!

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