The labor market continues to be shaken with every rising economic problem. The pandemic fastened employees’ decision to leave their jobs due to more pressing health and personal demands. This then led to rethinking their current state and finding a better career that would work for them – even if that career is completely different from their former path. 

With the slew of choices that job seekers have, candidate ghosting has become more of a typical occurrence lately. While this seemingly harmless problem has happened even before the modern employment era, at least 67 percent of applicants have ghosted recruiters in 2021. However, why candidates frequently ghost employers may have something to say about the current application process. 

This article will discuss what candidate ghosting is, why applicants ghost, how you can prevent ghosting, and how you can continue even when candidates leave you hanging. We will dissect the underlying cause of this problem so you can understand how to cut it from its root. 

Why Are Candidates Ghosting? 

Before understanding why job seekers ghost, let’s first understand what it is. Ghosting is relationship slang, but applicant ghosting itself is an act when candidates leave their potential employers without any clues as to why they left. 

For other candidates, this is easier since once they find a reason to leave, they do not have to explain why they left and where they are going next. They do not have to show up in person or send emails as to why they cut off their ties. But what could really be the reasons candidates ghost employers? Let’s find out some of these reasons below. 

1. They are scared. 

For professionals starting their careers, shifting into a different discipline, or aiming to be a part of the workforce again after some rest, trying to work for the first time can be intimidating. This can be brought about by a new environment or new experience, but at its core is the fear of the unknown

Your requirement list and expectations may escalate this fear if you are not careful enough. Additionally, if you imply that employees’ well-being is second to your priority of reaching organizational goals, this would also stir their fear. As a result, their response may be to walk out the door without your knowing. 

2. They found a better offer. 

Professionals send their resumes to various organizations, hoping that one reaches out in reciprocation. If at least two employers reply, applicants will determine which has better pay in relation to the workload. They will also weigh which of the two will give more access to incentives, a diverse career path, and a sustainable work-life balance. 

Not only are you competing to meet employees’ standards, but you are also competing with offers from other organizations within the job market. If candidates realize that offers from other organizations are more reasonable, they will continue the interview process with the latter and leave you without prior notice. 

How To Prevent Candidate Ghosting 

Preventing ghosting revolves around the idea of knowing what your employees want and extending your hand to provide it for them. This way, you reduce costs and increase the return on investments from recruitment

1. Practice constant and empathic communication. 

Like any form of relationship, professional bonds work effectively with good communication. When you schedule periodic emails to check up on your candidates’ emotions and progress during the process, you can adjust the whole procedure to what suits them best. Telling them about your expectations but keeping in at an attainable level will also dissolve intimidation within your applicants’ minds. 

On the other hand, when you take the time to read your candidates’ letters of intent, you will understand what they are looking for. When you proactively listen to them during interviews, you will know their former experiences and create a new candidate experience that they will feel comfortable with. Let applicants know that your organization is willing to cater to their needs. 

2. Keep candidates engaged. 

Learn what drives these applicants to work. Once you do, show them that you and your organization can and will help them achieve their personal goals. You should also keep candidates on their feet. Prove to them that the recruitment process they go through with you can be exciting and that the work itself will be equally, if not more, exciting. 

However, there are dangers to being overly attached. While finding ways to keep candidates engaged, applicants should also be given the opportunity to think for themselves. Give them every reason to continue, but remind them that the choice is still theirs. Again, a sense of control empowers candidates to choose better and work better. 

How to Handle Candidate Ghosting 

You may have given your all to prevent candidates from ghosting you. Even so, they still leave. What does it mean for you and your applicants? Do you chalk it up to applicants who find ghosting justifiable? Or do you change everything you have done so far and create a new hiring process from scratch? The following points will show you some ways to handle candidate ghosting. 

1. Give candidates time to adjust. 

Whether candidates may be scared or have another job offer, you should give them time to think. The first few days of no contact don’t necessarily mean that they have fully tagged themselves out from applying to your company. They may be weighing various offer letters and deciding their next move. 

You can opt to send emails until the second day to ensure this. When you do not receive any replies after then, it is safe to say that they have lost interest. There may be instances when candidates reply after a long time. But whatever the situation is, keep communication lines, as well as the job offer, open. 

2. Identify and address gaps on your end. 

If this is a frequent occurrence in your application process, then it is wise to look inside first. One of the ways to do this is to ask your employees for feedback. They were once your candidates and have experienced the same process before. Ask them if there is anything off with your approach, then ask them how you could improve yourself as an employer. 

You do not need to start over. You only need to elevate your employment process. Be proactive in reaching out to candidates. Remove what you (and other trusted sources) think is unnecessary or excessive and increase areas that you think are lacking.


Be a Voice That Candidates Would Listen To 

You can never ensure applicant ghosting does not happen. A candidate can choose to leave, after all. However, you can decrease their chances of doing it.  

In an era when applicants are quick to look for better options, your best weapon is an employer brand that balances meeting candidates’ goals without compromising the institution’s objectives. Be a reassuring voice that accommodates their needs instead of a demanding one that requires them to do more than they are capable of. 


By implementing a robust recruitment process, you can show your candidates that you give only the best job offers to the best candidates. Agile Workplace Staffing can provide you with the best recruitment options – from better methods to better professionals. Contact us today, and we can start improving your employment process.