Why your applicants are ghosting you and how to improve your recruitment strategy

Aug 5, 2022
min read

What is ghosting?

It’s every recruiters worst nightmare: you’ve gone through piles of resumes, spent countless hours in interviews, and you think you’ve found the perfect candidate for the role. So, you put effort into setting up an offer package – just to have them “ghost” you.

Ghosting is a term commonly used in recruitment to describe the behaviour of candidates that are a no-show for interviews or who abruptly cut off all interaction with a recruiter/hiring manager during the recruitment process.

Unfortunately, this behaviour is becoming more and more frequent, and it can be a very frustrating experience for recruiters. They’re left wondering what went wrong, and why their candidates are disappearing without a trace. 

In this blog, we’ll explore reasons your applicants may be ghosting you and what you can do to prevent them from doing so. 

Common reasons applicants ghost a recruiter

Ghosting is a huge disruption in the hiring process, and it wastes the time and efforts of recruiters and hiring managers. As the talent war continues, candidates often have so many options that they aren’t afraid to ghost one or two of them. 

If you’re a recruiter, or someone that struggles with ghosting in your hiring process, it’s important to understand the reasons applicants are turning to this behaviour. Here are a few common reasons your applicants may be ghosting you.

Your hiring process is too time-consuming

Talent is getting scooped up off the market quickly. If your hiring process is too long and/or time-consuming, you might be missing out on top candidates and are more likely to get ghosted. 

Candidates are keen to interview and move along with companies that respond to them sooner rather than later, as this shows that the company values them and isn’t looking to waste their time. Most candidates that are applying are looking at several job vacancies at once. So if you take too long to move candidates along in your hiring funnel, chances are they’re already far along in another company’s process, and will have no reason to respond to you. You can avoid this by always engaging with candidates as soon as possible, so you grab their attention before another company can.

Ineffective communication during the process 

The hiring process is a candidate’s first impression of your company. If you aren’t practicing clear and timely communication during your process, candidates are going to be hesitant in continuing to interview with you. Poor communication might tip candidates off to a number of things; for example, that the recruiter (and therefore, company) doesn’t respect their time, or that the work culture at the company is not the greatest. 

To avoid miscommunication or ignoring your candidates, try using an applicant tracking system (ATS) that makes it simple to stay on top of all your candidates. You’ll be able to handle multiple job postings and all the candidates that fall under each one, making it easy to manage communication. 

The candidate received another offer

Another reason candidates may ghost you during the recruitment process is because they’ve already accepted another offer. In some cases, candidates may be more willing to accept another offer because the compensation, role, or company culture is better. But in other cases, it comes down to timing. When provided with an offer, candidates are expected to respond within a certain amount of time; so, they may accept an offer from another company because it came first, leaving you in the dust. 

One way to combat this is to use an ATS to automate some of your hiring tasks, moving applicants along your hiring funnel more efficiently. An ATS, like Humi, will help you identify your best candidates faster, so you can be the first to send them an offer.

Job, salary, or culture is not what the applicant expected 

When applicants are interviewing, they may realize that the job responsibilities, salary range, or culture of the workplace is not exactly what they thought they were. This may be due to inconsistent messaging – whether it be on social media, job boards, or the company website, your messaging about the role and your company should remain consistent to ensure candidates know what they’re getting into. Too many discrepancies can cause candidates to feel uneasy, which might lead them to ghost you. 

Why building rapport with candidates is important 

Recruitment takes time, effort, and money. If you aren’t building rapport with your candidates from the beginning of the hiring process, you risk them ghosting you, meaning the money put into job board postings and advertisements and the time and effort put in by your recruiters has been wasted.

It’s important to build a rapport to save you from these losses, but it’s also important in building your company culture and reputation. If candidates know your company has a poor hiring process, they’re less likely to apply, making it difficult for you to fill roles and scale your business. But if you ensure that the process is a good experience for applicants, regardless of if they get the job or not, it encourages others to apply in the future. 

Creating a positive experience for all candidates 

One of the best ways to create a positive experience for all of your candidates during the hiring process is to use an applicant tracking system (ATS). This software streamlines your hiring by automating many of the tasks in the process, helping you find the best candidates faster. 

An ATS can help recruiters by:

  • Managing job ads both internally (i.e. company website) and externally (e.g. on a job board)
  • Keeping a database of new applicants 
  • Tracking information for all candidates, allowing recruiters to sort and rank them
  • Automating communication with candidates as they move along in the hiring funnel 
  • Maintaining collaboration between multiple recruiters/hiring managers so everyone gets a full picture of each candidate

ATS software is important in creating a positive candidate experience as it helps recruiters avoid miscommunication, and ensures that the application is smooth and efficient. 

Getting start with Humi

Humi’s applicant tracking system is here to help you find the best people for your team, with:

  • Custom hiring funnels that fit your hiring process
  • Email notifications to keep you aware of new applicants 
  • Automated emails to keep candidates updated throughout each stage of hiring 
  • Indeed integration, so you can post directly to the Indeed job board  
  • … and more!

Our all-in-one HRIS platform helps you connect your ATS with your core HR, payroll, benefits, and onboarding, so new employees can hit the ground running. 

To learn how we can help your business, speak with our team today. 

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