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Are You Spooked by the Ghosting Trend? Easy, Simple Steps to Stop It

Halloween is next week. Ghosts are fun during Halloween but not during recruiting. Have you seen an increase in the number of ghosts?

Ghosting is a term originally associated with the dating world. Now, it’s prevalent in the professional domain, especially throughout the recruitment process. As job seekers trudge through job applications, interviews, and waiting periods, the sudden silence from a recruiter can be disheartening. Conversely, recruiters can also face unexpected silence from candidates. Let’s dissect this two-sided scenario. We’ll delve into its underlying reasons and provide strategies for both parties to prevent it.

Understanding Recruiter Ghosting

Recruitment ghosting is the sudden break in communication initiated by either the recruiter or the candidate. This unexpected silence can happen at any phase: post-application, after an initial interview, or even after multiple interviews and interactions. This can be a frustrating experience for both parties. However, understanding the potential reasons can offer some clarity.

Why Recruiters Might Ghost

There are a variety of reasons that lead to recruiters ghosting candidates. In industries with high demand, recruiters might be overwhelmed with applications. Many times, internal issues within a company, such as disagreements on a role's requirements or shifting priorities, can pause the recruitment process. Senior or specialized roles may have a longer hiring process. This lengthy process may result in communication gaps. Recruiters, like everyone else, have personal lives. They might be dealing with emergencies or unforeseen situations, causing delays or a complete halt in communication.

Why Candidates Might Ghost

There are a variety of reasons a candidate might ghost a recruiter. A candidate may have accepted a more enticing job offer elsewhere and decided not to inform other potential employers. Or, after a deeper look at the role, they decide that it’s not the right fit for them and fail to tell you. Another reason could be the job search process itself. Some candidates may find it overwhelming. The number of interviews or the wait times may feel daunting causing a candidate to take a step back. Also, just as with recruiters, personal emergencies or significant life events might deter a candidate from continuing with the application process.

So, how do you deal with or avoid being ghosted?

As a candidate, here are some steps to help keep the communication open.

  • If there's a sudden break in communication, try sending a follow-up message. Politely inquire about the hiring timeline or when you might receive feedback. Remember to be patient, after sending a follow-up, give it some time. Wait a week or so before another attempt and always maintain a polite and professional tone.

  • Remember to keep your options open and to continue your job search. Don't rely on one opportunity and apply to other roles to keep the momentum going.

For recruiters, it is important to remain transparent and set expectations.

  • Give candidates a breakdown of the interview process and any anticipated delays.

  • If there are unexpected interruptions or pauses, be sure to communicate this to the candidates. A simple update can prevent potential misunderstandings.

  • Building a trusting relationship with candidates from the outset can also make it easier for them to communicate any changes from their end.

  • If there is a pattern of candidates ghosting it may be due to a lengthy interview process or if candidates lose interest in the position. Consider adjusting the interview process if needed.

Ghosting in recruiting can be disheartening. However, it's a reality in today's job market. Understanding both perspectives can foster empathy and lead to better communication strategies. By embracing open dialogue and mutual respect, both recruiters and candidates can build a more transparent and effective recruitment process.

A trusted recruiting partner can help keep the ghosts away. Reach out to TalentRemedy and our team of experts. We’re ready to help you find the right candidates and we promise not to be spooky. Contact us at or 703-362-0175 to set up a time to discuss how our team can support your organization.


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