Ghosting is an insidious problem in this country. It’s so rude to walk away from the interview process without a word. Candidate ghosting is a big deal; one survey showed 83% of companies say they’ve been ghosted by a job seeker. But here’s the reality; ghosting is a two-way street and recruiters ghost candidates, too. In fact, the data shows that being ghosted by a potential employer is actually increasing. What is going on?
How Do Recruiters Ghost Candidates?
Recruiters spend all day surfing job boards like LinkedIn. They target passive job candidates who are “open to work. The recruiter may reach out to dozens of candidates in a day. But when a candidate responds does the recruiter just walk away or otherwise fail to respond. Why would this happen?
Often, it’s simply an oversight. Most recruiters end up reaching out to 50 people in a day. Then they get overwhelmed by the response so they only email back to the first 10 people or so who respond. This can be misconstrued as ghosting when the reality is the recruiter is having difficulty keeping up or they’re disorganized and don’t realize they’re missing people.
That’s kind of the first stage of ghosting. But candidates can easily feel ignored by recruiters after a phone screen or interview. When this happens, it’s very frustrating for the job seeker. They may find out the job has been reposted or perhaps the job disappears, which may mean the company made the hire. But if you never hear back from the recruiter, how can you even know what happened.
What can candidates do to alleviate ghosting and keep the lines of communication flowing?
What to Do if You Think You’re Being Ghosted by a Recruiter?
The big problem here is communication or a lack of it. Some recruiters, especially new ones may hate the idea of breaking the news to a candidate that they didn’t get the job. That may make them avoid calling you. You can alleviate this by texting the recruiter, hopefully. By using text it’s a little more impersonal, allowing the recruiter the space to actually break the bad news.
You can also improve the recruiter-candidate relationship by asking them up front if there are other candidates, how long the process will take, and how they will let you know if you didn’t make the cut. Generally, you want to take the initiative and ask what’s going on. If a recruiter reaches out to you on LinkedIn, then never responds, you can do two things: Ping the recruiter to see if the job is still open. Or, go ahead and find the position on the company website and apply to it. Take the bull by the horns and make things happen.
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At ADD STAFF, we work closely with employers and potential new employees to create a better, more humane hiring experience. Even when we let candidates down, we do it in a way that reinforces the cultural values of the company and supports their mission and values.