What to Do if Candidates are Ghosting You

Posted by

Have you ever been ghosted? Before you pull up a screenshot of a text chain, let me specify. As an employer, have you ever been ghosted by a candidate? It’s a frustrating experience, and it can seriously impact your hiring process. So why does it happen? More importantly, how do you prevent it? And lastly, who you gonna call? (Sorry, it had to be said). If you haven’t heard back from a potential employee, send a follow-up referring to your last communication. If this second message doesn’t receive a response, the candidate may be ghosting you. A sudden or unexplained drop-off in communication usually implies just that. The same goes if the candidate is a no-show for an interview and provides no explanation. I’m sorry to say, but in these situations it’s time to move on.

So why do candidates do this? There are a number of reasons for why potential employees can appear to drop off the face of the Earth.

1. They received a better offer:
When searching for jobs, job seekers often cast a wide net. Candidates may simply accept another position without informing you of their decision.

2. Personal Issues or Crisis:
Sometimes, the infamous “it’s not you, it’s me,” line can actually be valid. Something could come up in the candidate’s personal life that prevents them from contacting you, or else pushes the responsibility from their mind. 

3. Negative Experience:
And sometimes, it really is you. Well, maybe not you specifically, but a poor experience during the hiring process can be to blame. If the candidate faces anything from unprofessional behavior to issues in communication, they may decide to go ghost. 

4. Decreased Interest:
If your recruiting process is lengthy, or if you have left a candidate waiting for a response, they may think it’s best to move on with their life. They may have received a better offer, or maybe they’re looking to start right away. Regardless, they won’t wait around forever.

5. Unprofessional Behavior:
Some people hate conflict, and others simply don’t care to be courteous. If you have been ghosted, it really boils down to unprofessional behavior from the candidate for not simply telling you they’re no longer interested in the role (with the obvious exception of an emergency situation). Any of the reasons listed above may be valid enough for not wanting to your company, but if it’s not communicated, it’s largely due to a lack of professionalism.

In order to avoid this issue, it is important to be direct, speedy, and friendly with your candidates. Don’t leave them hanging! Make sure to properly communicate with them, and keep them in the loop. Present your company differently than your competitors; show potential employees why they should work for you, and make them feel important. Don’t go spouting lies, of course, but add a human element and really make them feel seen. Doing so can help prevent you from being ghosted.


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch