Candidate Ghosting: What, Why & How to Prevent It

candidate ghosting

Ghosting — a colloquial dating term that refers to abruptly cutting off contact with someone — has made its way to the world of recruiting. The term for it? Candidate ghosting.

What is candidate ghosting exactly? As a recruiter, have you ever interviewed a candidate, passed them along to a hiring manager, and then sent an offer letter, only to get radio silence from the other end? If you answered yes, congratulations! You’ve officially been ghosted.

Getting ghosted is never fun — especially when it’s a top candidate you were excited about hiring. Fortunately, by understanding the causes, our current hiring environment, and best practices for prevention, you can effectively deal with this phenomenon in 2022 and beyond.

Candidates Are Ghosting Recruiters: The Stats to Prove It

A 2021 survey from Indeed found that 77% of workers surveyed had been ghosted by a potential employer. But the ghosting goes both ways. Another survey by Visier, found that 84% of candidates have ghosted a potential employer. For that report, Visier defined ghosting as “abruptly ending communication without explanation in association with the workplace anywhere from the recruitment stage to starting a new role.”

Why Are Candidates Ghosting Recruiters?

Times Are Changing

2021 and 2022 have been a wild ride for employers. The Great Resignation, the pandemic, and low unemployment rates have made it difficult to fill positions, whether it’s finding baristas for a coffee shop or sales professionals for a booming startup. Candidates hold more power than they ever have before, and candidates are ghosting recruiters and employers who don’t fit what they’re looking for.

Better Benefits Somewhere Else

A survey by CareerBuilder found that two-thirds of candidates ghost potential employers because they found another job with a better salary or more robust benefits. In a candidate’s market, job seekers expect more than basic health insurance and a mediocre salary.

Poor Candidate Experiences

A subpar candidate experience isn’t going to cut it in 2022. Candidates expect quick responses from recruiters — they don’t want to wait more than 24 to 48 hours for a reply to their application. They’ll just move on to your competitors. And even worse than slow communication? A time-consuming, extensive, and disorganized hiring process.

What Can You Do to Prevent Candidate Ghosting in the Future?

Adapt, Adapt, Adapt

The employers that find success during a candidate’s market are those that adapt quickly. What employees expect in 2022 isn’t the same as what they wanted in 2020 or even 2021. The ability to work remotely? That’s no longer a benefit. It’s an expectation.

recent study on over 1,000 workers found that more than anything, employees want autonomy at their jobs. As they say: Give the people what they want.

Recruiters should be educating hiring managers and c-suite executives on how to adapt to what candidates are after. For example, today’s job seekers want:

Sell Your Organization More Effectively

Selling your organization during interviews is all about knowing each candidate’s motivators and needs. Figure out what they’re looking for and highlight how your organization fits the bill. Are they fresh out of college? Tell them about your company’s student loan repayment assistance program. Maybe they’re looking for career growth? Highlight your company’s mentorship programming and learning opportunities.

Give Candidates a Better Recruitment Experience

The best way to stand out from your competitors is to give candidates an ideal recruitment experience. How do you do that? Implement virtual hiring events into your talent acquisition strategy. In addition to reducing the time commitment and eliminating the need for travel, they enable candidates to sign up and speak directly to a recruiter rather than having to submit a resume into a black box.

You should also brush up on best practices for interviewing candidates. Making sure everything you ask is legal will protect your reputation and prevent you from losing good candidates.

Wrapping Up: Dealing With Candidate Ghosting in 2022 & Beyond

Job candidate ghosting is an increasingly common problem for recruiters. While it can’t be avoided completely, there are steps you can take to prevent the issue, such as adapting your employee benefits, selling your organization more effectively, and providing a better candidate experience.

With Live Recruit, we’ve largely solved the candidate ghosting issue. Our virtual hiring event platform eliminates the need to schedule interviews, allows you to connect candidates to hiring managers within the platform, and lets you make on-the-spot job offers. Hiring top talent has never been easier.

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