Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
What Candidates Ghosting Says About Your Hiring Process

What Candidates Ghosting Says About Your Hiring Process

You’ve been communicating with a candidate — no, your next top hire — and, poof, they’re gone. You, unfortunately, have been ‘ghosted.’  

An increasing number of job candidates are disappearing from the hiring process without a trace. What was a term mostly used in the dating scene, has now crept into the hiring process.

With unemployment at a low 3.6 percent, it’s not shocking that it’s a candidates market. These job seekers have the upper hand to demand more of future employers and in turn, the entire candidate experience. 

If you’ve been getting ghosted, you must take a look at what it’s saying your hiring process: 

Less than stellar company reviews

If you think candidates aren’t paying attention to your company reviews, think again. 

Reviews and referrals matter to job seekers just as much, if not more than they do to consumers. According to a 2019 study by Randstad US and Future Workplace, 57 percent of employees say they won’t even apply to a company with negative reviews. If a candidate comes upon these negative reviews, they may ghost your calls, emails, and even an interview.

What’s already been posted on review sites is out of your hands. But you have control over how you treat your current employees and the candidates in your hiring process. Know what review sites say, get feedback from employees and candidates, and ensure you’re doing everything to create a positive candidate experience.

Poor job descriptions

The job description is the first true touch point for most applicants to decide if they want to pursue your open position. We live in a digital age, so if interested, they’ll quickly check out your company’s social media, mission, and career page. If they fall in love with it all, but then start learning more about the role that wasn’t very clear up front… they’re going to ghost. 

To fix this, you need to know what aspects of the position are essential to your target candidates. The best place to start is looking internally. Ask your most recent hires to tell you what they love about their role, what they spend the most time doing, what skill they wish they had before starting. Then, make sure that information is in the job description and on your career site. 

Candidates who are well-informed during the hiring process are 35 percent more likely to have a satisfying experience, which ultimately improves the chances of candidates returning your calls. 

Failure to communicate

It’s easy to get caught in the loop of sporadic, short and straightforward candidate reply emails. But well-crafted, authentic communication helps prevent ghosting. 

With so many ways to reach candidates and maintain contact, there’s little excuse for failed communication. A 2018 Recruiter Nation study found 43 percent of recruiters have used texting to reach candidates. 

The impact of a text message to thank the candidate, providing follow-up details for the next step, keeps the conversation open. And these individualized, thoughtful interactions show your commitment to candidates. 

Lack of face-time 

When you don’t really know someone, it’s a bit easier to ghost them. When you add a human element earlier in your hiring process, you let candidates know they’re not just going into the abyss. 

To add face-time with candidates, utilize video — both live and recorded. Send a short video message to candidates you want to bring in for an interview welcoming them and telling them you look forward to meeting them. Also, have managers record a video message of their own to introduce themselves and the team before a candidate arrives in person. 

Asking the wrong questions

Awkward screening questions are certain to leave candidates unsettled and your communication unread.

Reevaluate and ensure your interview questions properly highlight the role, work environment, team needs, and hone in on the candidate’s experience and potential. Showing candidates you have done your homework and want to get to know them better secures a connection to top talent. 


Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 5,000+ customers in over 100 countries.