Ghosting: The New Hiring Headache

Over the weekend, LinkedIn published a fascinating story on what has become many companies’ newest nightmare: Candidate “ghosting.” Lately, multiple HR and recruiting publications have been featuring articles about ghosting.

Recruiters and hiring managers attribute a candidate-driven market and low unemployment for possible reasons candidates have gone quiet. Ghosting is impacting the hiring process, devastating recruiters, and forcing companies to overhaul their candidate experience.

So, what does “ghosting” look like?

A job candidate may agree to an interview and never show up, or bother to email or call to cancel their interview. Or, they may go so far as to accept a job, yet never show up for the first day of work. That leaves us to ask a couple of questions:

Why do candidates ghostWhy would candidates take the chance to burn a bridge with a recruiter or a company?

At Staffing Solutions, we are experiencing this same phenomenon. We have an excellent reputation, specifically a 4.7 Glassdoor rating. The high rating is because we are more than a staffing agency; we are your “talent agent!”

So, what gives?

The answer lies in the unemployment rate being lower than it has been in almost two decades. With more jobs available, candidates have many options to consider.

Maybe technology has depersonalized the communication style of younger generations. Social media and messaging apps have helped establish connections quicker, but a lack of face-to-face conversation and personal contact often make for relationships that lack depth or commitment.

Maybe it’s easier to avoid an awkward conversation with a recruiter or manager if they can take the easy way out by ghosting them.

What if this is about payback or karma?

Maybe candidates want to give companies a taste of their own medicine?!

Remember that employers ghost their candidates all the time. Our candidates regularly share stories of having multiple interviews with a company, and then never hearing from them again, even after several attempts to follow up!

We agree with our candidates! Companies should be more respectful! Candidates don’t deserve to be treated like a paper plate, to be used and tossed away.

Remember: Not all companies mistreat candidates. Check out all potential employers on Glassdoor before you accept the invitation to interview. Companies’ reputations, thanks to technology, are easily found online. Don’t accept an interview with an organization with a questionable reputation.

With every interaction you have with a recruiter, you are either strengthening “your brand,” or weakening it.  Since we all know that St. Louis is a small town, ask yourself this question, “Do I want to risk taking a hit to my reputation (and brand) by ghosting potential employers?’’ Recruiters have good memories, and word travels fast. Who knows, you may cross paths with someone you previously ghosted whether it’s at a work conference, a networking event, or another interview down the road. Maintaining a stellar reputation could be critical to your career growth.


Simply put: Be professional. Be courteous. Be communicative. You will be rewarded for it!