If you’re part of a hiring team, you’ve probably been ghosted. Ghosting is when a candidate just disappears without a return phone call or email. It can happen at any point during the hiring process, up to and including the first day on the job. A 2018 study showed that, of the 1,300 people surveyed, about one-quarter of the participants admitted to ghosting someone, whether it was an employer or someone they were dating.  

It’s easy to ghost a recruiter. Just stop returning their calls. But it’s much harder for the recruiting team to figure out a way to make sure this nasty practice doesn’t happen to them. 

Best Ways to Stop Ghosting 

Communication and relationship building are really the two key elements that dissuade a candidate from ghosting. However, it can still happen. But if the hiring team builds a one-on-one relationship with the candidate, it’s less likely to happen. Communicating your hiring timeline and then staying in touch with a candidate could help prevent ghosting from occurring. If a candidate grows frustrated with a long timeline and then the recruiter isn’t great at communicating what’s next, it’s a lot easier to walk away.  

Develop transparency as much as possible with the candidate to build trust and set expectations. Outline the timeline and process in the first and subsequent interviews, so the candidate understands what’s going on. It also helps to keep the recruiting process as quick as possible, not only to shorten time to hire, but to keep your candidate engaged. 

But the hiring relationship is a two-way street. If the recruiter is being honest with the candidate, then the recruiter should expect that the candidate will share if they are entertaining other offers. That’s fair. Try to build this kind of relationship with the candidate so they feel comfortable telling you exactly where they are in their search process—and you do the same. 

This is especially true if this is a high-end executive level or specialized skills candidate. It’s safe to assume, if their skills are in-demand, that other opportunities will crop up even as you’re interviewing them. If the interview waiting period is long, try to keep the candidate engaged by offering to let them speak with current employees to see what the culture is really like.  

During this process, talk about the candidate’s career goals to make sure this opportunity meets all their needs. Do you know if the salary and benefits are a fit? How does this job fit within the needs, wants, and priorities of the candidate? If you don’t know the answers to these questions you haven’t built the kind of relationships that will withstand the temptation of ghosting if another great opportunity comes along.  

Can Your ATS Help Prevent Ghosting? 

Interestingly, we believe the technology you use can make a difference in the recruiting process. If a candidate decides to ghost you the reality is there’s nothing you can really do about it. However, you can keep candidates more engaged by using your ATS to automate regular contact with candidates. These tools can also help you streamline the application process so it’s easy to apply and go through the process. Exelare has the kind of software that will help engage your candidates in a clear and compelling employment process. Talk with our team about how we can help.