How can your company minimize candidate ghosting?

Halloween brings creepy ghouls and ghosts to our doorsteps, but a different kind of ghost is haunting corporate hallways. Just as in the dating world, workplace ghosting is when someone vanishes without a trace. It is important to learn strategies to minimize candidate ghosting.

During the Great Recession, ghosting was standard behavior for recruiters and hiring managers. The unemployment rate was high, candidates were easy to find, and many had to be turned away. Candidates often heard nothing from recruiters or hiring managers, even after multiple positive interviews. For busy HR professionals, ignoring the large number of turn-downs was smart time management.

Oh, how the tables have turned! Now, the unemployment rate is at all-time lows, and candidates are doing the ghosting. Some examples:

  • Failing to show up to interviews.
  • Accepting a job but never appearing.
  • Abandoning a job with zero notice instead of formally quitting.
  • Ignoring calls and emails from recruiters and hiring managers.

HR professionals lament that candidate ghosting is rampant. Not only is it time-consuming and annoying, but it is also a financial drain on recruiting budgets. Here are some things you can do to minimize this workplace terror.


Keep the lines of communication open with all job candidates. Give them a timeline and the steps involved in your hiring process. They may be more likely to ghost if they do not know where they are in the pipeline. Encourage candidates to contact you with questions or concerns. Even if a candidate is not a fit, provide them with feedback. Keep them in mind for future openings.

Work One-on-One

Personalize the recruiting process as much as possible. Interviews should be face-to-face; it is harder to ghost a person with whom you have a good rapport. Try to learn the candidate’s goals beyond securing the job. Knowing your candidate’s goals may avoid crossed wires later down the line.

Polish Your Brand and Culture

Candidates want a positive workplace culture. Most will use social media to gather an initial picture before stepping foot inside the building. If they find negative posts, they may decide to skip the interview. Regularly check your company’s social media platforms. Do they accurately reflect the best qualities of the organization?

Don’t Lowball

What are your competitors offering? Assume that every candidate knows the answer to this question. Numerous websites will tell them what salary and benefits to expect. Don’t try to lowball with the intent to negotiate later – you can’t haggle with a ghost!

Watch for Danger Signs

You can usually tell when someone is turning into a ghost. Is the candidate delaying the start date? Are your calls and emails suddenly going unanswered? Has their enthusiasm suddenly waned? These are warning signs that someone is about to ghost. You need to decide whether to spend more time and energy pursuing this candidate.

The professionals at The Daniel Group will help you find solutions to your most frightening staffing challenges! We are committed to finding and qualifying the best candidates to fill your company’s needs. The Daniel Group stands behind our work with a One-Year Replacement Guarantee.

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