We tend to think of “ghosting” as it relates to online dating and social media. The term refers to the act of severing all ties and communication with someone suddenly, and without any warning. And while this certainly happens between people texting and in the world of sites like Tinder, it also happens in the staffing and recruiting field.  

It’s entirely possible for candidates to ghost your recruiters, dropping all communication and simply vanishing. And a recent study by Indeed shows that it happens more often than you might think – 28 percent of candidates ghosted recruiters in 2021, up from 19% back in 2019. Recruiters and human resources professionals are reporting increased occurrences of candidate ghosting throughout the recruitment process, in some cases even after an offer has been accepted.  

Why the uptick in candidate ghosting? And more importantly, what can your staffing company do about it? Here’s a hint: recruiting agency software designed to improve the candidate experience and keep candidates engaged is a big part of the answer. (We’ll learn more about the power of software for staffing agencies as it relates to ghosting shortly.) 

Let’s take a closer look at the phenomenon of candidate ghosting and how the right software can help you solve the problem – and, hopefully, avoid it in the first place. 

Candidate Ghosting vs. Recruiter Ghosting 

First, let’s make something clear. Ghosting isn’t necessarily reserved for candidates. Recruiters, too, can ghost candidates – ceasing all contact and stopping the recruitment process in its tracks. Plenty of job seekers have complained about not hearing back from a recruiter after a phone screening or, in rarer cases, a face-to-face conversation.  

If your recruiters are doing this to candidates, you’ll want to address the issue. And it’s possible that your recruiters are overwhelmed with their candidate load and aren’t ghosting candidates on purpose, but simply don’t have the time to follow up. Take steps to ensure this isn’t happening so that your candidates don’t experience the same ghosting that you’re worried about your candidates doing to you. 

Why Do Candidates Ghost Recruiters? 

Why do candidates ghost recruiters in the first place? Of course, one possibility is that they’ve accepted another job offer. In their minds, there simply isn’t a reason for them to stay in touch with the recruiter because they’ve secured employment elsewhere. Besides accepting another job, though, why do candidates ghost? 

A Complicated Application or Hiring Process 

When candidates run into roadblocks in the application or hiring process, they may decide it’s simply too complicated to continue moving forward. Whether it’s a multi-page application or repetitive questions throughout the hiring process, some candidates will decide to sever contact if things get too complex.  

Hiring Process Takes Too Long 

Top candidates are not willing to wait around for weeks or months on end to get through the hiring process. In fact, the best candidates out there are probably fielding multiple offers – it’s likely they’ll accept another offer before they wait around for your hiring process to conclude. 

Lack of Communication 

One thing that will derail your candidates’ experience with your firm is a lack of communication. If a candidate feels they’re not updated regularly enough on their status, or if they simply can’t get ahold of their recruiter or your company, they may decide to turn to another agency and ghost you.  

Types of Recruiting Agency Software That Will Reduce Candidate Ghosting 

You might not think of technology as the first weapon in your arsenal when it comes to combating candidate ghosting. But the truth is that staffing agency software is designed to do just that. Using recruiting agency software the right way puts you in the best position to keep candidates engaged in your process and avoid having them fall off the ledge, never to be heard from again. 

ATS Staffing Software 

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a common piece of technology used by almost every modern staffing firm. ATS staffing software is used by staffing firms to track candidates throughout the entire hiring process – from initial sourcing through to candidate screening, interviews, and hiring. It serves as a database to store candidate information and access it quickly and effectively. It also automates many parts of the recruitment process in order to save your recruiters time and keep candidates engaged with your company.  

Candidate Nurturing: Software for CRM 

A CRM for recruiting (candidate relationship management) is a tool that allows recruiters to build and maintain relationships with job seekers. CRM systems help you to manage and control the entire recruitment process from one centralized place – you can automate workflows including scheduling interviews, extending job offers, and checking in with candidates, and measure your team’s performance through analytics and reporting.  

How Staffing Agency Software Can Reduce Candidate and Recruiter Ghosting 

We’ve learned that crucial pieces of software for staffing agencies – your ATS and CRM software, in particular – can help to reduce the issue of candidate ghosting. But how, exactly? What is that these kinds of technology do to help solve the problem? 

Having the right software in place helps to reduce candidate ghosting – and recruiter ghosting, for that matter – in the following ways: 

Recruiting Agency Software Will Increase Communication 

When it comes to communicating with job candidates, communicating too much is almost never a problem. Recruiters should, if anything, over-communicate with their candidates in order to keep your staffing agency top-of-mind. Strive to be in touch with candidates as much as possible throughout the hiring process, including updating them on their employment status, scheduling next steps like interviews, and emailing them about other applicable opportunities. Some software tools can even answer job seekers’ FAQs on behalf of your recruiters. Since staffing agency software helps you to automate so much of this communication, it’s a great way to engage with candidates and ramp up that communication level – without a ton of extra work on your recruiters’ part.  

Hire Candidates Faster with Interview Scheduling Software 

Remember: candidates don’t like to wait around for a long time as they slog through the interview process. If the hiring process takes multiple weeks or months, you have a problem on your hands – and it’s probably contributing to candidate ghosting. One of the great benefits of recruitment agency software is that it speeds up the hiring process dramatically thanks to automation and efficiency. You can start scheduling interviews faster and get the candidates through the hiring funnel quickly, reducing the chance they’ll seek out a competitor. And many ATS platforms allow candidates to schedule their interviews themselves with tools like calendar integration; giving candidates control in this way is another great method for improving the candidate experience and reducing the chance of ghosting. 

Simplify Hiring Process with Mobile-Friendly Job Applications 

Today, many job seekers aren’t sitting down at a desktop to apply for jobs. They’re often doing it from their mobile devices while on the move. That’s why having mobile-friendly job applications is so important. If a candidate can’t complete an application from their phone, they might just decide to move on and find an application that they can fill out. And remember: Lengthy or complex application materials tend to turn candidates off, but your recruiting software makes applying simple and easy. With the power of recruiting software, you can rest assured your job applications are mobile-responsive and user-friendly across any device a candidate might be using to apply.  

Reduce Candidate and Recruiter Ghosting with Recruiting Agency Software from Exelare 

Why do candidates ghost recruiters? Either because they’ve found another job, or because you’ve fallen short – perhaps your application process is too complicated or takes too long, or you don’t maintain enough communication with your candidates throughout the process. And it’s important to remember that ghosting can go both ways. Recruiters can ghost candidates, too, whether it’s accidental or on purpose.  

Recruiting agency software is your first line of defense against the problem of ghosting. Because of the way that software for staffing agencies like your ATS and CRM program are designed to keep candidates engaged and happy, and because of the variety of automation built into these platforms, you’re much more likely to see a lower ghosting rate when you use these pieces of software to their full potential.  

Are you looking for software that can improve your candidate experience and reduce the ghosting that you’re seeing? Exelare can help with that. Our automated staffing tools are used by staffing and recruiting agencies to maintain engagement and improve the candidate experience end-to-end throughout the recruitment process. Contact our team to schedule a demo – we look forward to learning more about your company and finding out how we can help.