Applicant Ghosting

Applicant Ghosting: Navigating the Silent Rejection in Recruitment

Applicant ghosting is an increasingly prevalent issue in the recruitment landscape, where jobseekers apply for positions but then go silent, failing to respond to further communication from the employer. This phenomenon can be frustrating for hiring teams, leading to elongated recruitment cycles and wasted resources.

Defining Applicant Ghosting

Applicant ghosting is the act of a jobseeker applying for a role and then, despite multiple attempts by the employer to establish contact, failing to respond. This can occur at various stages of the recruitment process, from initial application to post-interview follow-ups.

Why Does Applicant Ghosting Happen?

Several factors contribute to the occurrence of applicant ghosting:

  • Multiple Opportunities: In a job-rich market, applicants may have several options and may not feel the need to formally decline other opportunities.
  • Avoiding Unpleasant Conversations: Some applicants may find it uncomfortable to reject a job offer or withdraw from the recruitment process.
  • Lack of Urgency: Applicants may not understand the time-sensitive nature of recruitment and the impact their silence has on the hiring process.
  • No Emotional Investment: Unlike employees, applicants have not yet invested in the company and may feel less obligation to respond.

Strategies to Minimise Applicant Ghosting

While it's challenging to eliminate applicant ghosting entirely, there are ways to minimise its frequency:

  • Clear Communication: Be transparent about the recruitment process and timelines, setting the expectation for prompt communication.
  • Follow-Up Reminders: Automated reminders can prompt applicants to respond, reducing the likelihood of ghosting.
  • Streamlined Recruitment: A swift and efficient recruitment process can hold the applicant's interest, making them less likely to ghost.

How to Respond to Applicant Ghosting

When faced with a ghosting applicant, here are some steps to consider:

  • Move On Quickly: If an applicant fails to respond within a reasonable time frame, proceed with other candidates.
  • Review Communication Channels: Ensure that your methods of communication are effective and not contributing to the issue.
  • Feedback Loop: Consider sending out a brief survey to applicants who complete the process, asking for feedback on the recruitment experience. This could provide insights into why some may choose to ghost.