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Have you been ghosted by a candidate? Here’s what you can do about it

3 February 2022 at 4:48 pm
Maggie Coggan
We ask the experts how to stop excellent candidates from disappearing into thin air 

Maggie Coggan | 3 February 2022 at 4:48 pm


Have you been ghosted by a candidate? Here’s what you can do about it
3 February 2022 at 4:48 pm

We ask the experts how to stop excellent candidates from disappearing into thin air 

As a recruiter, you may have had a hard time as of late holding onto quality candidates. 

The jobs market bounce-back following year one of the pandemic has meant that it’s a candidate’s market, and as such, they can afford to be picky with the jobs they are taking (if they are even looking for jobs at all). 

While it’s not recommended behaviour that job seekers ghost their prospective employers, it can happen.

We sat down with Nina Mapson Bone to find out how you can avoid, or at best, lower the risk of it happening to you.  

What are some of the reasons a candidate might ghost a recruiter? 

There are three main reasons. First and foremost they have so much choice. With skills shortages biting across numerous industries and record recent lows in unemployment levels, it’s a candidate market. A good candidate will have multiple opportunities. 

Secondly, if recruiters haven’t shown courtesy, if they haven’t been responsive, and they haven’t taken the time to understand and listen to the candidate, especially in the past, then the candidate feels no obligation to treat the recruiter in a way they haven’t been treated themselves. 

Lastly – the speed of the market is very quick now. If the response to candidates is slow, they may have already been snapped up and therefore may not respond. 

Has it gotten worse now that the current job market is a jobseeker’s market? 

It can happen at any time in any market, but current market conditions are definitely contributing to the problem. The other aspect that has made the situation more challenging over time is the development of technology and ease of application process now, compared to say, even five years ago. 

A candidate can literally sit on their phone and click apply very easily to almost any job. Sometimes this is to the extent that they don’t even remember which jobs they’ve applied for – so this increases ghosting when they are at a point where they don’t need you and don’t even remember who you are.

How can recruiters avoid job seekers ghosting them? 

The key thing is relationship building – you need to take time with your candidates, respond to them, listen to them. It’s hard to do in a normal market, but even harder with how busy the market is now – and the mistake recruiters make in this market is to speed up, when you almost need to counterintuitively slow down. 

More quality interactions. You won’t prevent ghosting from happening completely, but you will reduce how often it happens. And it goes a long way to helping if you’ve always worked in a relationship focused way. Candidates have a long memory, and sometimes rightly so.

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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