8 tips to stop candidates ghosting you

8 tips to stop candidates ghosting youNatacha M
September 26, 2022

Candidate ghosting and how recruiters can avoid it

We've all been there: You've found the perfect candidate, interviews are going smoothly, and suddenly, your candidate is nowhere to be found.

So yep, you've been ghosted. But what exactly is ghosting in a recruitment context?

Here are 8 tips to minimise candidate ghosting:

  1. Screen your candidates well
  2. Offer a personalised service and be patient
  3. Outline each step of the process
  4. Keep your candidates in the loop
  5. Encourage honest feedback
  6. Keep an organised overview of your candidates
  7. Reuse past candidates for new roles
  8. Keep refining your recruitment process

Key Takeaways

Create an environment where candidates feel comfortable voicing their honest concerns and opinions.

Show them you care about their career and wishes, and take their feedback seriously.

Communication is vital, and as long as you keep your candidate informed and in the loop, they will be much more likely to see the process through.

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Ghosted by a candidate.

Ghosting is when your candidate suddenly vanishes, stops answering phone calls and ignores all your messages.

Ghosting is highly frustrating and can happen at any stage in the recruitment process.

It happens more frequently than we recruiters would like to admit, making our job much more difficult.

While you won't be able to eliminate it, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the chance of your candidates dropping off the grid and ghosting you:

1. Screen your candidates well

Your first phone or video call with a potential candidate is crucial.

Use the time to get to know them, learning about their skillset, motivations and career goals.

If you take a little extra time on this step, you'll quickly discover just how serious the candidate is about finding a new job.

What's more, you'll start to notice red flags in candidates that are perhaps more likely to drop out of a process.

If they're serious about finding a new job, they won't mind spending a little longer on the phone with you to clarify precisely what they're looking for in their career.

This way, you don't waste valuable time trying to pitch their roles they don't want, making them feel more understood and heard.

2. Offer a personalised service and be patient

To the candidate, you're just another recruiter trying to fulfil a quota or reach a target.

It's your job to make the candidate feel like their career is your absolute priority - and that you're their helping hand, guiding them through the entire process.

Listen to them, and make them feel comfortable enough to voice their opinions and preferences.

The better you know your candidate, the easier it is to match jobs to their profile and preferences.

Please don't force them into interviewing for a role they're not confident or qualified to get.

Instead, take your time to evaluate why they're uncertain and try to remove any doubts.

It's all about building a relationship with the candidate.

3. Outline each step of the process

Recruiting processes can often be long, drawn-out affairs.

Round after round of interviews can get tiring and is one of the top reasons candidates drop out.

Unfortunately, as a recruiter, you don't usually have the power to shorten the process, so the next best thing is to give the candidate as much information as possible.

Tell them exactly how the process is going to look, explain each step in detail and let them ask as many questions as they want.

It puts things in perspective, and the candidate knows where they are in the process at all times, making them feel secure.

4. Keep your candidates in the loop

Keeping your candidates updated is vital.

As a candidate, there's nothing worse than radio silence after an interview, and to them, it can feel like the recruiter has ghosted them.

So Check-in before and after interviews, ensure they're still secure in the process and remind them of the next steps.

Let them know they're not alone and can always ask questions or reach out to you.

These quick check-ins also give you an updated overview of the candidate's mindset and opinions and let you assist should they need it.

guide to remote team

5. Encourage honest feedback

Whenever possible, encourage the candidate to give you honest feedback about their process and feelings about the company they're interviewing to join.

If your candidate doesn't feel comfortable sharing their doubts with you, they're more likely to disappear and ghost you quietly.

So instead, ask them routinely if they feel comfortable at this stage of the recruitment process, and answer their questions transparently and honestly.

Often, you'll manage to clear away worries and doubts and make them feel comfortable.

6. Keep an organised overview of your candidates

You're likely chatting to multiple candidates for various roles as a recruiter.

To keep a good overview of who your candidates are, create a document where you keep track of them all.

Note where they are in their respective recruitment processes, and add personal and professional details worth remembering, such as notes from previous conversations.

This way, you avoid asking the candidate the same questions multiple times, and you'll come across as more professional.

In addition, write down the last time you spoke to them; this way, you also avoid forgetting to update candidates.

7. Reuse past candidates for new roles

Every recruiter has those candidates that change their mind halfway through a process, get rejected, or are a close second choice.

But that doesn't mean they're a lost cause. These candidates are still open to future opportunities.

They already trust you, and you know them well from the first time you went through a process together.

So keep a neat list, and contact past candidates if anything of interest pops up.

You know what they're looking for, salary range, and expertise, and you can contact them for suitable roles.

Try to avoid bombarding them with job ads; instead, send them ones you think would match them.

It feels good to finally reach a potential candidate!

8. Keep refining your recruitment process

Even if you follow all the steps above to a tee, you'll still get candidates that suddenly drop out and vanish without a trace.

But instead of getting too frustrated about it, try to look at it as a learning experience.

Keep a log of behaviours and red flags that you noted in candidates that ghosted you, so you'll be able to spot them sooner next time.

Refining your recruitment process is a never-ending learning experience.

Final words

Don`t let candidate ghosting take your motivation away.

With each candidate that ghosts you, you'll gain valuable experience that will help you perfect your recruitment style.