Recruitment Nightmares – Ghosting Candidates

In honour of Halloween this week I wanted to share some tips on “Ghosting Candidates” for our consultants internally. I thought they could be useful for you hiring managers out there who do not currently use a recruitment agency. If this doesn’t apply to you don’t worry, I have some great content lined up for you in the upcoming weeks!

Ghosting: the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Forget about the spooky monsters and gory vampires you might encounter this Halloween instead watch out for ghosts because they exist, in the recruitment world that is. Ghosting in recruitment is a growing candidate trend and it’s a real nightmare, here are three signs your candidate is going to ghost you.

Lack of communication and interest

Candidates who are serious about their job search are very prompt and professional when communicating with their hiring consultant. You should receive well-written emails, your phone calls returned and lots of questions. Be wary if your candidate takes longer than others to respond to you. You can also identify someone’s lack of interest when you’re setting up the first interview. Now it’s not uncommon for this step to take a few goes as you can’t expect candidates to put their current jobs at risk. However, if it is difficult scheduling the first initial meeting and your candidate is showering you with excuses it is evident, they don’t care about the opportunity.


Legitimate candidates will always be eager and pleased to start should an acceptable offer come their way. You can suss these candidates out by asking when they can start, they should give you a positive answer. However candidates who are apprehensive about accepting an opportunity will most likely not be there for the long run. They could simply be more interested in information gathering other than a new position and that can cost you a lot of time and effort.

Failure to prepare

Interested candidates will willingly research the company, opportunity and hiring manager.  For someone to make a change in their current position, they will naturally want to know as much as possible about the new opportunity. Expect an interested candidate to conduct their own research and clearly display in conversation that this has been done in interviews.  When your candidate has no interest in researching the company or position, then they may not be as interested as originally thought.

How can you prevent candidate ghosting?

Don’t ghost them – Treat candidates the way you would like to be treated. If you say you will send an email, call or text make sure you do it. This shows your commitment to the candidate and in turn they will show the same amount of commitment.

Find out what your candidate requirements – Ask them to voice their concerns. You would rather a candidate explain what they don’t like about the business rather than not returning your call.

Create an accurate job description – Describe the job accurately and honestly in your advertisement. If you don’t, you’ll less likely attract candidates with the qualities and abilities that you’re looking for. A good job description is more than a simple list of duties; it should describe the role in terms of its overall purpose and identify key areas of responsibility. Don’t oversell the position or lead applicants to believe that it offers more opportunities than it actually does.

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