Have you ever interviewed what you thought could be your next superstar only to have them ghost you? They sounded excited about the job when you spoke to them, but you can’t get a response now that you are ready to move forward. It happens sometimes but knowing why and how to avoid it is best. Here are a few reasons why they may have ghosted you.
Why candidates ghost employers
Frankly, there are several reasons why candidates just don’t have time to follow up with an employer. The highest likelihood is that they got a better offer from another company, and they don’t have the time or the need to let you know. There’s also a chance that your hiring process is too long. Maybe they didn’t hear from you for too long so they had to move on. Maybe your communication was ineffective, sporadic, or even too nagging or frequent. You need to be respectful of a candidate’s time and effort, just as you expect them to be respectful of you.
The worst-case scenario is that the offer or the interview was misaligned with what they expected from you. Misaligned expectations are often a red flag for candidates, especially those who are fielding multiple offers. So take these issues into account if you are getting ghosted more than you think you should. It’s possible your hiring process needs a refresher course to make sure you are delivering a competitive hiring experience. Because you can be sure that in a competitive hiring market, the companies who are willing to go the extra mile are the ones who will snag the best talent.
What you can do to avoid it
First, you should actively seek to understand candidates’ expectations. And communicate clearly and transparently with them throughout the process. One of the most common reasons a candidate will disappear in the middle of hiring conversations is around salary or benefit requirements. If a candidate learns that those requirements will not be met by an employer, it is simply not worth their time to continue speaking with a hiring manager directly.
From a manager’s perspective, that can be an awkward conversation. Working with a recruiter can be a good buffer for that reason. A recruiter acts as a convenient middleman and can walk the middle ground to keep a candidate interested while avoiding definitive conversations around salary and benefit expectations. If a candidate is outside of your budget range, a recruiter will know it and match you with a better candidate who would not be disinterested by an offer, and therefore less likely to ghost on you.
Another good way to avoid candidates going dark on you is to screen for commitment. When a job candidate is only partially interested in your job description, that’s a red flag. You don’t want to waste your time with candidates who are only looking for the first job they can get. You want a candidate who is committed to your company and to the role. While the screening process can be a complex one, knowing what the key indicators of commitment would be and looking for them early on in the process can help you weed out those candidates unlikely to follow through for you.