What to Do If a Candidate Ghosts You

Getting ghosted is supposed to happen in the online dating world, not your hiring process. Yet, with today’s worker shortage, more and more employers are reporting being ghosted by candidates.

This can be especially frustrating when it happens with a candidate you’re excited about. You were impressed by their resume and interview skills and then – right before you extend an offer – they suddenly disappear. They’re not answering your calls, emails or even texts. What gives?

According to reports, not only is this becoming more common, but it happens across industries. No company or industry is immune to ghosting.

The main reason it’s more widespread is the fact that it’s a candidate’s market. There are so many job openings and not enough workers to go around. Rather than simply telling you that they found another position or are looking elsewhere for a job, some candidates will just cut off contact with you completely.

Some reasons ghosting happens include:

  • A poor interview process.
  • A long hiring process.
  • A job offer that doesn’t meet expectations, like no options for telecommuting or a hybrid or flex schedule.

Unfortunately, rather than reaching out and politely declining your offer, some candidates would rather just avoid the awkward conversation altogether.

So, if this happens to you, what should you do? First, follow up one more time with a phone call if you haven’t already. A text or email is easy to ignore. Instead, call and if they don’t answer, leave a message that you’re just checking in.

During it, give them an easy way to respond, such as “I know things come up, so if you’re no longer interested, can you just shoot me a quick email? I’d really appreciate it.” Perhaps they got busy, something happened in their personal life, or a past email ended up in their spam filter.

Beyond that, there’s not much you can do once the candidate has cut off contact and is avoiding you. However, there are ways to prevent ghosting from happening to you again. These include:

Make your hiring process easier.

If your hiring process is cumbersome, complicated, or long, then candidates are going to jump ship and move onto other opportunities. You need to recognize that it’s a tight labor market and make it as easy as possible to hire. This means removing unnecessary steps – like third interviews – and streamlining the process.

Stay in contact with each candidate.

Another important step is to stay in contact with candidates during the hiring process. Set their expectations at the start, so they’re not left wondering or waiting. Check in with them routinely too and inform them of any progress or next steps. The more you build a relationship with them, the less likely you are to be ghosted.

Improve your offers.

If you’re not offering a competitive salary or your benefits could use a boost, then you’re going to get ghosted again. Instead, evaluate what you’re offering and improve it as much as you can.

Even if you can’t offer more money, enhance perks, such as more vacation days, free gym memberships, or the ability to telecommute or work from home on Fridays. Other options include a sign-on bonus or tuition reimbursement. These can all entice candidates to your opening and to accept the offer.

Give candidates an out.

When you’re communicating to candidates, be clear about what you expect from them. If they accept another offer, or simply aren’t interested in the one you extend, let them know you would appreciate their honesty. Explain that if, at any time, they realize they’re no longer interested or they accept another job, then just shoot you an email. Make it easy for them to move on, so you at least know what happened and don’t get ghosted.

Treat candidates fairly and with respect.

One of the biggest complaints from candidates over the years has been being ghosted by employers. Now that the tables are turned, it’s especially important to ensure you’re treating all candidates with respect, as well as moving as quickly as possible through the hiring process and providing a compelling offer. When you handle candidates with care, you will stand out as an employer, which can help in future hiring efforts.

Need more help hiring for your team – and avoiding ghosting?

At Murray Resources, we’ve worked with some of the leading companies in the Houston area and can connect you to smart, dependable and hard-working candidates. Whatever you’re looking for, whether temporary, part-time, or full-time employees, we’ll make the hiring process easier for you. Simply contact us today to get started.