Ghosting, a term that has emerged in the digital age, refers to the sudden interruption of all communication with a person, without notice, and ignoring their attempts to contact them.

While commonly associated with romantic relationships, ghosting can occur in various types of relationships, including the professional context, specifically between a candidate and an employer.

In a professional setting, ghosting typically happens when an individual seeks to avoid the inconvenience or discomfort of rejecting the other party.

This behavior can arise at any stage of the application process and often stems from ineffective talent management practices.

Candidates may disengage from recruiters after submitting their initial application, during the interview process, or even after receiving a job offer.

Employers often ponder what went wrong when candidates choose to ignore them. What missteps do they make in such instances, and how can they prevent them?

Two woman sitting in restaurant having a converstation, looking at laptop, smiling.
Two woman sitting in restaurant having a converstation, looking at laptop, smiling.

why do candidates ghost recruiters?

1. you waited too long to hire a candidate.

Did you know that the average time it takes to hire a candidate, from application to job offer, is 44 days? This is equivalent to over a month. However, certain industries have even longer hiring times. For example:

  • Energy and defense industries have the longest hiring times, averaging 67+ days.
  • In investment banking, the range varies from 21 days to over 60 days.
  • Professional services also exceed the average, with an average hiring time of 47 days.
  • On the other hand, the tech and media industries have relatively shorter hire rates, typically around 20 days.

In Canada, the recruitment process is considered relatively speedy, but it's important to remember that these numbers represent averages. However, the current recruitment system is flawed and is only deteriorating. 

That's why Randstad Canada is here to provide assistance.

The existing recruitment paradigm assumes that employers hold all the power and have the authority to choose who is deserving of a job. 

However, in today's job market, where the number of job openings far exceeds the number of qualified candidates, this outdated approach no longer works. Companies must prioritize effective talent management to avoid being ghosted by candidates.

We can help you find the most specialized talent with effective sourcing strategies and help you with your talent acquisition strategy.

2. you didn’t keep candidates update-to-date.

In any relationship, two-way communication is crucial, and this applies to the employer-candidate relationship as well.

However, it is often expected that candidates take the initiative to follow up after a job interview, whether it's by sending a thank-you note or patiently awaiting a decision in the following days.

This responsibility primarily falls on the candidates, relieving employers of the burden of maintaining regular contact.

Recruiters and hiring managers frequently find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of applicants they have to handle, which can result in neglected or unanswered responses.

This lack of communication can create the impression among candidates that their interests are being disregarded, leading them to seek other opportunities and potentially having a negative experience.

It underscores the significance of employers improving their recruitment process to ensure efficient and timely communication, while also streamlining candidate management.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by follow-up emails or seeking to prevent candidates from disregarding you due to inadequate follow-up, don't hesitate to leverage our services. Let us become an extension of your team!

3. you weren’t 100% honest with job applicants.

One common mistake is not being completely honest with job applicants. Stretching the truth about the role or exaggerating the perks and growth opportunities can lead to disappointment and result in candidates ghosting the company.

It's understandable that hiring managers aim to generate interest from job applicants by making the job offer sound appealing. However, it is essential to back up these promises with actions. Over-promising and under-delivering will only create a negative candidate experience.

During the interviewing process, it is generally best to be truthful and authentic, even when discussing the less glamorous aspects of the role.

It is preferable to find a candidate who is genuinely excited about the position rather than someone who reluctantly accepts a role that doesn't match their expectations. By remaining open and honest with job applicants, you can avoid candidates ghosting the company.

Maintaining transparency and authenticity in job postings and interviews helps establish a strong company culture and attracts candidates who are genuinely interested in the role.

Want to know which words to avoid and which to use in your job posting? Discover the list of dos and don'ts!

4. the offer wasn’t up to par in today’s job market.

Ensure that your job offer meets the expectations of today's job market. As a recruiter or hiring manager, it's crucial to be well-informed about fair salaries and benefits that align with the current market standards.

Using the salary of the previous employee as a benchmark can be risky, especially if they were underpaid or had been in the role for an extended period.

Market rates vary significantly and change frequently, depending on the required skills and the location of the job. To avoid this issue, here are some tips on effectively utilizing our salary guide.

By taking these steps, you can prevent the unfortunate situation of a candidate ghosting you at the last minute. For assistance in benchmarking salaries in Canada, we recommend referring to our comprehensive salary guide.

make a difference by paying the appropriate salary rates

Want to know more about salary ranges or discover what drives talent away?

get the salary guide

5. you asked too much of job applicants.

We’ve all been to an overly complex job interview where the employer seems to think you need a Mensa membership and three Ph.Ds. to qualify for the incredible honour of working for them. Some companies ask candidates to work before they’re even hired. 

If your expectations are unrealistic or you’re asking candidates to jump through hoops to work for you, such as: 

  • taking multiple tests
  • requiring personality screenings
  • creating take-home assignments without compensation
  • organizing numerous interviews to meet multiple team members

It can leave a sour taste, and job candidates might decide you’re not worth their time and ghost your company. After all, if this is how you treat them now when you’re trying to entice them to work for you, how will you treat them when they’re on your payroll?

6. candidates are ghosting because you don’t seem to care.

There’s a difference between playing it cool and being indifferent. Treating every candidate who enters your doors respectfully and warmly will go a long way. If you treat job applicants as if they are nothing special or just another application, it’s an immediate red flag that they won’t matter in your workplace, either. 

In today’s job market, most talented candidates have a wealth of opportunities laid out before them. Job applicants want to work for an employer who cares about them and their success. 

Millennials and Gen Z candidates, in particular, are attuned to what employers have to offer on a cultural and social level. If it’s clear that they’ll be nothing more than a number in a giant machine, they will probably ghost you during the interview process. 

Ensure that any candidates you interview feel engaged with you as a person and, consequently, with the business. It's crucial to have effective talent management to build a nurturing talent pipeline so that you don’t get ghosted during the recruitment process.

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