The Disappearing Job Seeker. Candidate Ghosting.

September 30, 2021

Most people relate the term “ghosting” to a bad dating scenario whereby one party got stood up without any notice, reason, or communication from the other party after.

There is a lot of buzz going around about the term ghosting and certainly there are two sides to every story but in this narrative, we will look at the term from the job seeker perspective and investigate why employers, hiring managers, and recruiters are struggling to keep candidates engaged throughout the entire recruitment process.

This year, Indeed.com conducted a survey of 500 job seekers and the results of candidate ghosting behavior was staggering. Nearly half of the respondents (approx. 48%) stated they are guilty of halting communication with a prospective employer during the initial screening process, 46% admitted to not showing up for a scheduled interview, and 7% did not show up for their first day of employment. Why is this happening? Here are some theories:

A Candidate Driven Labor Market.

Although candidate ghosting is a relatively new phenomenon on the job seeker front, 2021 is proving to be a very challenging year for employers due to this tight labor market. It’s no surprise when we hear candidates mention that they are dealing with 2-5 job offers at ONE time and still looking ... even with multiple opportunities on the table. Job seeker’s state that one of the main reasons for disappearing from communication is simply because of the sheer volume of offers at hand. It’s the classic, “oooh, squirrel!” scenario for candidates and all of these “shiny” objects are job offers with each career opportunity trumping the last.

A Tit for Tat.

Ghosting has been prominent on the employer side of recruiting for many years and there are continuous complaints from candidates that employers simply stop conversing if another candidate was selected for the role. Some say this behavior has been done by employers for far too long and job seekers are paying back those hiring managers who are known to ghost job seekers post initial conversation. The feeling of being left high-and-dry and guessing why they didn’t make the cut has left job seekers playing a “tit for tat” based on what has been done to them in the past. Is this right? No, but it’s happening.

A Loss of Human Connection.

Gone are the days of creating and building real human connections that are not behind a computer screen. We see it in our younger generations, and it is now pulling up to all ages due the instant gratification social media plays on our lives. Is this a behavioral trend that we must adapt to? We are afraid so. Not too long ago, we were attending face-to-face career events, physically shaking the hands of those who may be our next hire, and ultimately creating lasting relationships built on personal (LIVE) evaluations. Hiring has changed as an output of COVID-19 and we must find ways to bring this human connection back by doing the right things, even if it’s easy to hide behind our screens.

As a nationwide recruitment agency, we feel the pains of candidate ghosting every single day. This pandemic has changed our global workforces on all levels but allowing the frustration to take the best of us will only amplify the behavior.

To all the Job Seekers out there, we speak to you on behalf of all employers, hiring managers and recruiters trying to navigate through these trying times. We appreciate and understand all the job options available to you and you have worked hard to deserve them. We also respect that you have to make the best decision for you and your family, but please know that there are some hard working folks on the other end of your decisions desperately trying to help you in your job search, as well as help employers seek talent just like you! If you are uncomfortable delivering the news that you are no longer interested in a position, a simple email or text is all we ask, and we will do the same throughout our process as well. We are on your side and want to see you succeed, just give us the courtesy of knowing whether (or not) this position fits your long-term plan.

Surely there are two sides to this story and employers are not innocent to the ghosting game either. Stay tuned for our next blog post to learn more on the employer perspective.

About Talascend

Talascend is a Veteran Owned Business that is dedicated to the success of our nation’s civilian and veteran personnel. With over 73 years of staffing success, Talascend has been one of the most reliable and effective providers of strategic staffing solutions for clients serving multiple industry verticals needing top talent in engineering, technical, and skilled trade disciplines. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, the Talascend companies have worked with some of the world’s largest and best known organizations on an extensive range of high-profile projects nationwide. If you are looking for a new career, or to grow your workforce, contact us today!