Ghosting Candidates Are A Growing Problem In Hiring

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July 30, 2018


What Is Ghosting?

Ghosting is an increasing problem in the application and hiring process as candidates are "disappearing" during the hiring process. This is happening more and more on platforms like LinkedIn where managers and companies set someone up to begin either remote work or work that requires relocation. They are sure they have someone qualified and ready to start the job, only to be "ghosted" by the candidate who never arrives or begins the job.

In short, the company was duped by a "ghosting" candidate who was actually never seriously looking for a job in the first place.

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Why Do People "Ghost" Employers?

There are a number of reasons that prospective employees might "ghost" a prospective employer during the hiring process. The hard part is that many of these reasons may have little, if anything to do with you as an employer.

This can make it a challenge for the employer to avoid being "ghosted" in all situations, however, understanding some of the reasons why prospective employees might "ghost" the interview process part-way through can help make the entire situation a little more bearable. The following are some of the reasons why prospective employees may end up just turning into "ghosts" during the interview process:

  • The employee might have decided that the job is not a good fit for them since they have completed the application process.
  • Another job offer might have come up that they find more appealing than the one they were entertaining before (your company's offer).
  • The employee might be fed up with the hiring process and decide they don't wish to pursue it any further.
  • The employee is not happy with the compensation/benefits/wages they are going to be offered for the job they are going to perform.
  • They might decide the hours or the location of the job are not going to work for them and their family.
  • Life events or changing circumstances might stop them from taking the job (i.e. finding out about pregnancy, death in the family, illness, etc.).

These are just a few of the reasons employees decide to "ghost" an employer and decide not to further pursue the option of getting hired by that company. These are not always reason the companies are aware of or can control. Moreover, oftentimes, the employer will never have an idea why they were ghosted in the first place.

Remember, In These Cases The Prospective Employee Lacks Respect:

While it can really hurt a company who thought a prospective employee had potential to make their company a better place to work (especially smaller companies looking for a key employee to help run their company). However, despite how bad the rejection hurts and stings, remember that in these cases it's the employee who didn't have the respect to communicate with you that they have moved on to different options or were no longer interested in that specific job opportunity. Sadly, however, people oftentimes just think of themselves and figure "I am no longer interested" and may not even think to notify the company of their disinterest before they bother to move on in their job search. This leaves the company wondering what is going on with the prospective employee.

What Can A Company Do To Cut Down On These Incidents?

While no company can completely avoid getting "ghosted" by potential job candidates, there are things that companies can do to help ensure that the company can do to discourage them from getting "ghosted" in the future. There are some reasons that several people say they have "ghosted" an interview or the hiring process due to behaviors of the company while setting up the interview.

The following are some of those reasons and how a company can avoid getting "ghosted" by their prospective employees1 in the future:

  • Respond To Emails/Questions/Inquiries In A Timely Manner: One reason prospective employees have sited "ghosting" the interview process is because when you emailed or asked a question of the employer, they never got a response. This led employees themselves to thinking that the company did not have time for them, so they decided the interview or continuing in the hiring process was no longer worth their valuable time. Respect the time of the prospective employee when they reach out to you and they are likely to respect your time by not "disappearing" during the hiring process.
  • Stay In Touch With Your Prospective Hires: Clear and regular communication with your prospective hires helps them understand the time-table that you are on and the status of the position you have offered them. Respecting your prospective hires enough to keep in touch with and communicate with them will help them reciprocate the same behaviors with your company. It also shows your company is honest and forthcoming and has nothing to hide from prospective employees.
  • Provide Honest Job Descriptions: When providing descriptions for jobs be open and honest about what the position entails. Even the pieces of the job that are not so "glamorous". Prospective employees are more likely to respond to they job if they know exactly what it entails rather than just being told about the "nice parts" of the job. This way, there is no shock to the employee if they get the job when they have to do tasks they may not be the most fond of.
  • Fulfill Your Company's Duties In The Hiring Process: If you said you would provide certain information by a certain date or that you would interview a prospective employee at a certain time, be sure to follow up on your company's word to just that. This can help you avoid being "ghosted" later in the hiring process. Being on time and professional shows that you value your prospective employees and their time and effort to apply for your company's position. If they feel you respect them they are much more likely to respect you.

These are just a few of the ways that companies can help ensure that they are able to do their part to be able to keep the hiring process honest as possible. While no company can prevent being "ghosted" all together, keeping the hiring process easily as possible and allow prospective employees to apply accordingly.

For more information on how to get many "ghosting" situations under control as possible, please feel free to contact us.


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