Why Ghosting Candidates Can Harm Your Employer Brand

Sabrina Son

Nowadays, the world is at our fingertips, thanks to technology. It’s difficult to stay under the radar, and it’s easy for one small mistake to gain national, even global, attention—in a negative way. When one applicant has a bad candidate experience, they could easily turn any employer’s world upside down by posting to social media (think: Glassdoor reviews or LinkedIn) and even spreading the word to their friends and family, making companies lose customers. This is why more and more employers are keeping a close eye on their employer brand and candidate experience. In this article, we’ll go over what exactly ghosting is, some eye-opening stats, and how you can bridge this ghosting gap in the recruiting and hiring process.

What is Ghosting in Recruiting?

“Ghosting” is a term that comes from the modern dating world. Merriam-Webster defines it as, “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.”

Now this term has woven its way into the recruiting world to describe the relationship between employers and candidates, where one party withdraws from communication—whether deliberately or accidentally. Let’s face it, recruiters are bogged down with a lot of tasks, and they simply can’t handle the volume of applications that can come through.

What Happens When Employers Ghost Candidates?

Candidate ghosting is more common than you might think.

As we mentioned earlier, when applicants have a negative candidate experience, they’re more than likely to share their experience online. This is because those who went through the negative experience don’t want other applicants to also be put through the wringer.

So what happens if an applicant goes through a positive candidate experience? Consider these stats from the Human Capital Institute:

  • 57% of applicants who were happy with an employer’s candidate experience said they would consider seeking employment with the company again.
  • 37% of applicants said they would tell others to do the same.

How to Avoid Ghosting Candidates

We all already know that recruiters have a lot on their plate, from sourcing to screening to scheduling interviews. So it’s a given that they won’t have time to respond or interact with every applicant that comes around. In order to fix this, many businesses are turning to automating parts of the recruiting and hiring process.

When it comes to sourcing candidates, is it a recruiter’s best use of time to scour job boards or social media for potential candidates? Most likely not. What about screening—is that also a good use of a recruiter’s time? Again, most likely not. Nowadays, you’ll find recruiting software that is backed by AI to conversate with candidates by asking predefined questions. This ensures that you’re not missing out on potential qualified candidates.

More candidates are getting ghosted by employers than you may think. And these negative candidate experiences can’t just be swept under the rug—applicants are more than willing to air their dirty laundry on social media for the world to read. To avoid this, employers are automating parts of the recruiting and hiring process to ensure that they engage with every candidate that comes by, freeing up recruiter’s time to focus on the truly qualified candidates that they want to move forward with.

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