Ghosting: Why Your Candidates Disappear During Recruitment [Part 1]

Ghosting: Why Your Candidates Disappear During Recruitment [Part 1] Image 1
Ghosting: Why Your Candidates Disappear During Recruitment [Part 1] Image 2

Once regulated to the confines of online dating - ghosting has now shown up as a trend in the recruitment world. One minute a warm candidate, who is active in the recruitment process and heading towards (or even accepted) a job offer, the next… nothing (or in some cases a message to say they’ve accepted a role elsewhere).

It’s easy to blame the candidate, however as this less than ideal situation seems to be increasing, it is something that good recruiters and HR teams should delve into to understand exactly what caused the candidate’s disappearing act, and what they might need to change in their process.

It’s Not You, It’s Me….or is it?

You and the role you were recruiting for just got ghosted. It’s certainly frustrating.

Why aren’t they answering your calls/emails when you have a great position to fill? Was it just that a better offer came along at the last minute? What was really behind the change of heart? Chances are the responsibility lies with both sides.

(Whilst we are focused here on the reasons behind the sudden lack of communication from a candidate, it should also be noted that job seekers have also highlighted being on the receiving end of ghosting from some human resource and recruitment professionals (both internal and agency), especially around never hearing back after applying for a role).

Some of the most common reasons for radio silence from candidates include:

  • People (whether actively job seeking or not) often receive numerous emails weekly, or daily, with job alerts and cold call recruiters reaching out. In this early stage, unless the role meets their criteria or peaks their interest, people are unlikely to feel the need to communicate back or apply.
  • In the current, highly competitive job market, there’s a better than average chance that a really good candidate is fielding offers from more than one company. Therefore salary, benefits, company culture, or even just timing may play a part in them choosing an alternative role
  • Similarly, even without another offer on the table, the candidate may feel the salary undervalues them and/or the benefits of the role don’t match what they could get in other organisations, and therefore loses interest (especially if they’re a the stage of just testing the market)
  •  Avoiding awkward conversations is a natural tendency for most people. Whilst it’s not a great thing to do, people find it easier to just cut communication, rather than be upfront about a change of mind or situation and risk (perceived) confrontation or repercussions.

Now that we’ve identified some of the reasons why ghosting happens, you can see that it’s not always one side to blame - nor in some cases (such as cold call ‘expression of interest’ emails) is it really even ghosting.

So, what should organisations and recruiters do from their side to minimise the chances of it happening when recruiting for the next role? Keep an eye out for Part 2 next month where we provide tips for preventing candidate ghosting and delivering a great recruitment experience for all parties.

As specialists in our field, we always aim to undertake an open, rigorous recruitment process with our client/partners, as well as the candidates we work with, to obtain the desired outcome for everyone involved. If you’d like any more information about recruiting or retaining top cyber security talent, or if you’re looking for your next cyber security role, reach out to the Decipher Bureau team. With offices across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and an experienced team around the world, we’d love to help you out.

Speaking of recruiting top talent, Decipher Bureau is currently looking for consultants! If you're interested in having a chat about joining the team, and to find out why we’re a great place to work, please get in touch.

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