It can be alarming when candidates suddenly ghost you, especially if their credentials show high potential because they’ve been high-performing employees in other organizations. Unfortunately, the culture of candidate ghosting has skyrocketed far more recently, where employers have reported at least 67 percent of applicants have ghosted them in 2021 alone. This has thus become a concerning job market trend that needs to be addressed soon. 

It may be confusing and alarming to see how candidate ghosting is slowly becoming normalized at a time when having a job must be important for candidates. However, identifying why they do such may give you a better perspective on the problem and how to deal with it. 

What is Candidate Ghosting

Before we uncover the reasons behind candidate ghosting, let’s first have a common understanding of it. The term “ghosting” was initially and more widely used in dating when potential love interests spontaneously cut off all communication with another party. Now, the term has been adopted in the job market to refer to scenarios when candidates no longer respond to calls or email invitations and even interviews unexpectedly. 

Although candidate ghosting isn’t new, it has become more rampant and obvious since the pandemic’s onset. This may be due to the sudden shift in means of communication and the rising expectations of constant communication since all channels have shifted to digital. 

It’s imperative to always ensure that the lines are open for both the employer or hiring manager and the candidate. However, it has been harder to open up and discuss complex topics with the new platforms for correspondence involving informal means, such as SMS, Viber, Telegram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. The digital setup also makes it easier for the candidate to ditch the whole recruitment and interview process. Such a scenario is just one of the many reasons behind applicant ghosting, which will be discussed in the next section. 

Why Do Candidates Ghost 

Candidate ghosting can happen anytime during the recruitment process and may leave you concerned, most specifically if the candidate is perfect for the job. A survey by Indeed in 2020 stated three major reasons candidates ghost. Below are brief overviews of each. 

  • Receiving Another Offer. It’s likely that if your prospective job applicant already received another offer with a better salary or perks, particularly if you took a lot of time to confirm your desire to hire them. 

  • Dissatisfaction with the Salary Offer. Lowballing pay to a lower rate shows a lack of respect for an applicant’s ability, which could leave a bad impression on them. 

  • Wrong Job Fit. Instead of informing their potential employer, candidates opt to ghost because they feel like the open post wasn’t the right job for them. 

6 Things To Do to Prevent Candidate Ghosting 

Whether ghosting occurs due to a long recruitment process or certain expectations not being met, it definitely doesn’t bode well for your organization and could delay your entire recruitment process. Listed below are some ways to prevent candidates from ghosting you: 

  1. Don’t Ghost or Be Ghosted 

A survey from Harvard Business Review stated that 77 percent of job applicants ghost because they have also experienced employer ghosting. While this may be a common occurrence on both ends of the spectrum, it could prevent a job applicant from responding to any of your messages. 

  2. Avoid Poor Initial Interaction 

First impressions and interactions make all the difference and can quickly make potential applicants lose interest if the recruiter comes across as demanding or negative. Failing to communicate and comprehend each other can lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities. This poor candidate experience could let you miss out on top talent acquisition. 

  3. Compose a Message that Elicits Responses 

More often than not, candidates are applying to a lot of organizations to fast-track their job search process, so keeping the communication with you engaging can do wonders. Keeping potential candidates engaged in the entire recruitment process can make them feel wanted and welcomed. This in turn would keep things interactive, so it’s easier to elicit responses from prospective job applicants. 

  4. Streamline the Process 

Some studies show that it takes an average of 42 days to complete the recruitment process. For most, that could be too long of a wait time, especially if they’re looking for immediate work. Job seeking is arguably just as stressful as the hiring process, not to mention how nerve-wracking it is. Thus, streamlining it and ultimately making the process as easy and efficient as possible can go a long way for both your human resources team and prospective hires. 

  5. Get Compensation Out of the Way 

Let’s face it, the compensation package is usually the first thing on a job applicant’s mind. In a fiercely competitive market, a surefire way to lose out on your top prospective job candidate is to lowball them. Clearing out the compensation package early can save both you and the prospective employee a lot of time, energy, and resources. 

  6. Make Quick Decisions 

You’re picking one of two options: go or no-go. Prolonging the screening and decision-making process can deter a potential job applicant. The process could just be too lengthy for them to go through with. Therefore, letting them know your decision to onboard them or not as soon as possible would make a huge difference in how they respond to you. 


Ghosting is a problem that nobody wants to deal with, be it in the dating scene or the recruitment process. And we understand how it can hinder achieving your short and long-term organizational goals. 

At ACS Professional Staffing, we help you assess the right candidates for the job. Our talent sourcing capabilities will empower you to be confident in the connections we create. We have an incredible retention rate of 7.7 years across the board. Our candidates are our pride. And as they say, time is gold. We help build bridges that can connect you to candidates who are qualified, vetted, and pre-screened… so you won’t have to! 

You can be assured that prospective job candidates will deliver only professionalism, so you won’t experience ghosting again. Across many industries we serve, we can be your premier staffing partner in streamlining your manpower processes, such as professional placement, payroll, and contingent staffing. Contact ACS Professional Staffing now for your recruitment needs.