Okay, okay… we realize what the title says.
And we realize that you might've clicked in because you feel a range of emotions towards us, including but not limited to, confusion, shock, anger, and outright disappointment.
If you're feeling those things, all we ask is that you take a beat and give us a chance to explain.
In any relationship, communication is paramount for success. That extends to family, friends and certainly colleagues. And it's always a two-way street.
In fact, the two-way interactions between recruiters and candidates is one that's been heavily scrutinized and has been monitored with terms like “positive candidate experience,” “effective candidate engagement,” and at times, “ghosting.”
So, if communication is a two-way street then there has to be some responsibility placed on recruiters for why ghosting is happening, right?
Yes and no.
We realize there are certain moments where you can do everything “right” and a candidate just won't respond. That's completely unprofessional and at no fault of the recruiter.
But what about the other moments? That's what we want to explore where recruiters might be the problem. Bear with us.
What is Ghosting?
Chances are you know what it is, but before we can get into the reasons it happens it's important to know what it is.
In August 2023, hireEZ hosted it's second-ever Outbound RecruitCon event. On Day 3, Founder of TRAP Recruiter LLC, Keirsten Greggs, broke down what ghosting is.
In a hireEZ TA Survey of over 135 recruiters, 73% of professionals claimed to have been ghosting. As Keirsten emphasizes, if you've never contacted a person or been contacted, that does not count as ghosting.
So why does it happen?
So why do candidates ghost?
Keirsten later listed the reasons why ghosting might occur.
Potential reasons candidates ghost recruiters
The recruiting process is taking too long
The position wasn't what was advertised
Been ghosted before and recognize the lack of communication signs
They took another job
Now, all of these are not all the recruiters fault… but some of them definitely can be traced back to communication on the recruiters end.
In fact, 63% of candidates claimed that employers did not adequately communicate with them during the recruiting process, according to Talent Board.
So, as you reflect back on the moments you've been ghosted, it's worth trying to discern where there may be accountability to take on your end. Did your process take a while? Did you check in enough with talent? Were you potentially uninviting or dismissive in your emails?
These may be areas you've never considered before. Again, there are absolutely candidates who ghost despite your best efforts. But it's worth checking if those efforts are truly your best.
Communicating with Empathy
There's plenty of advice we could give that we've collected from the recruitment community on effectively engaging with talent.
Here are a few of our favorites:
- Experimental and Effective Candidate Engagement
- Personalizing Candidate Engagement
- Effectively Engaging Like a Hostage Negotiator
But there's one throughline through all of it - engaging with empathy.
When you're writing to someone's inbox, it can be easy to forget there's a person reading those emails.
Always put yourself in another person's shoes and think of how a person would read your email.
You may find yourself feeling frustrated during the outreach process. And that's completely understandable.
In the same sense, you may not be aware of what a candidate might be going through personally or professionally.
Therefore, remaining respectful and empathetic can help you forge stronger relationships that extend beyond connecting your job to a person. And it can potentially help you avoid getting ghosted.
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