Maxwell Stephens

The ‘Ghosting’ Epidemic in Recruitment

When you hear about ‘ghosting’ you might think about the world of online dating and someone ignoring their prospective partners text messages after one awkward date in an Italian restaurant, until they eventually never text you again.

But recently in the recruitment world there has been a shocking behavioural shift that has seen the rise in people ignoring their potential employer.

What is meant by ‘ghosting’ in this context?

In this context it means when a candidate stops answering the phone or replying to emails and even does not show up to an arranged interview. Some people are not even showing up to their first day of work!

In essence ignoring, disregarding or avoiding their potential employer.

It has been revealed that 76% of Brits have ‘ghosted’ their prospective employers.

Shockingly 61% of job seekers say that they are comfortable with ‘ghosting’ an employer or prospective employer.

Recruiters and hiring managers have said they have seen an increase in being ghosted before the pandemic when the labor market was tight but now it is a candidates market there are still high levels of ‘ghosting’ happening. 

Is this candidates giving hiring managers a taste of their own medicine?

It has often been said that recruiters and hiring managers ‘ghosting’ candidates is incredibly unprofessional, and there were high levels of employers ‘ghosting’ candidates.  It is now increasing with candidates.


A third of Brits admitted that they would be angrier if a prospective employer ghosted them than if a date did… the question that is raised here is being annoyed at potential employers for ghosting then why are candidates doing it now?


Candidates who ghost their prospective employers tend to do so in the early stages of the recruitment process, after the first interview or initial phone call.


– Negative first impression of the employer

– Just not for them

– Receiving a more attractive offer

– Inaccurate job description


These reasons often led to a candidate cutting off communication. There have been several others that include the candidate been interviewed elsewhere or if they are unsure of where they are in the process and how long it will be.


These all seem like reasonable reasons to halt the recruitment process and not move forward. However, it still raises the issue of is it not a bit rude to completely ghost a potential employer?


What candidates are being asked to remember is you do not have to accept the job if it is offered to you!


Really as job seekers we should:


Show up and give it a change


Have the courtesy to email or call and explain we have had a change of mind.


This allows businesses to fill positions with someone who wants the role and stops everyone’s time being wasted.


Hiring managers and recruiters are being encouraged to do a few things in an attempt to stop candidates ‘ghosting’:


– Making interviews more of a comfortable process to stop candidates feeling intimidated by it. Maybe making it more of a conversation than a Q&A.


– During the process ensuring that the lines of communication are open. If you show your candidate you are not going to ghost them it makes it less likely that they’ll ghost you.


It is certainly showing that at the moment there is a concerning trend with candidates ‘ghosting’ employers instead of expressing their disinterest in a role. But we all need to remember that despite technology making it easy for us not to communicate and ignore a messages, it is just as quick to let someone know our thoughts too!

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