Candidate Experience Story: Going Ghost

In our series of “Candidate Experience Stories”, we speak to current and past job applicants and ask them what is something that they wish HR would take into consideration during the recruitment process. Today, we’re going to be talking about a rising occurrence in the hiring process: getting ghosted. If you’re interested in checking out the last instalment, read here 

“Ghosted” is a term you’ve probably heard of when it comes to dating apps. Urban Dictionary defines it as “when a person cuts off all communication with zero warning or notice before hand.” But now, it’s happening in professional interactions too. Indeed, the large job aggregation site, confirmed in a survey what we’ve all suspected — ghosting is now a widespread commonplace practice among job seekers and employers all around.  

The Disappearing Act  

“I was scheduled to have a Zoom interview to which I prepared for thoroughly. I dressed up and showed up 10 minutes earlier only to have waited 45 minutes for the recruiter (also the founder) to never log on. I triple checked everything, but they didn’t show up.  

When I wrote to ask them if we could reschedule, they never replied to me. Why would they schedule to meet with me and then ghost me completely? They seemed like a nice company; their LinkedIn looked promising. Even when I was communicating with them via email, everything seemed to be going the right way.” 

What’s Happening?  

Ghosting has grown in popularity and occurrence on both sides of the hiring table and there are statistics to prove it. On the job seekers’ side, 77% say they’ve been ghosted by a prospective employer since the onset of the pandemic, while 10% report that an employer has ghosted them even after a verbal job offer was made. Employers aren’t faring much better either as 25% report new hires for “no-showing” on their first day of work.  

All of these are signs that ghosting has become a standard practice in the hiring process, but the crux of the problem is ultimately the failure to communicate. For some, it may be hard to tell someone “no” as a rejection; others may want to avoid conflict, or they’re just too busy. For any workplace, especially in HR, it’s always best to communicate and be clear about each step so we can set expectations. Given how easy any experience can spread via word-of-mouth these days, not only will ghosting create poor candidate experience, it can also threaten a company’s brand and reputation. Being transparent, empathetic and authentic can help you build comfort and trust into your relationship with your candidates and future hires. 

It might be a good idea to review your hiring process to minimize the impact of ghosting and eliminate the source of this behavior altogether. We hope we’ve given you some insights to help you foster more successful candidate interactions. After all, we don’t want those going ghost!