suit at a computer screen with no person

What to Do If You’ve Been Ghosted Remotely by a Candidate

Ghosting ­— a term that comes from the dating world — has become a part of our regular vocabulary in the recruiting world. Now that more organizations are recruiting remotely and hiring for “work from home” positions, it’s becoming more common to hear about candidates ghosting employers.

In some cases, job candidates are not showing up for interviews (including virtual interviews) and not responding to outreach attempts. They may even skip out on their first day of (remote) work.

When you’re on the receiving end of ghosting, it is not a pleasant experience. As employers, remote ghosting can leave you with a sense of panic and confusion, especially when you thought you had landed the perfect candidate for the job. So, what can you do to prevent remote ghosting, and what can you do if it happens to you?


man looking at computer while talking on the phone


What to Do If You Are Ghosted

First of all, if you’re ghosted, look on the bright side. If a candidate ghosts you, you probably wouldn’t want them working for you, anyway. You may have avoided making a poor hiring decision.

Next, if a job candidate ghosts you after accepting an offer, act fast. Reach out to your second choice quickly. Let them know that the job is still open, and find out if they’re still available and interested. If the “runner-up” candidate is not interested, follow up with your third choice. Hopefully, if you act swiftly, you won’t have to go back to the drawing board and start the recruiting process all over again.

You also want to be transparent when a candidate ghosts you. If you’ve already sent disqualification letters out or let your second- and third-choice candidates know that your filled the position, it’s OK. Candidates understand that it’s a competitive job market. If they’re still available, they will likely be happy to receive your call. Just be honest about the situation. Candidates will appreciate your open communication, which helps build trust between you and your potential hire.



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How to Prevent Remote Ghosting

When it comes down to it, remote ghosting frequently occurs due to a breakdown in communication and a lack of human connection during the hiring process. To prevent candidates from ghosting you, take time to review your remote hiring and onboarding process to ensure anti-ghosting measures are built into it. Ask yourself:

  • Are there any areas that need tweaking to prevent ghosting?
  • Is there a clear communication and feedback loop to ensure hiring managers and recruiters are frequently touching base with remote candidates, making it more difficult for applicants to ghost you?
  • Is there enough face-to-face video or person-to-person phone conversations, or are texting and email used too frequently? (Texting and email make it easier for candidates to ghost employers.)
  • Is there enough emphasis on ensuring the remote candidate has a pleasant, welcoming recruiting and hiring experience?
  • Does your hiring process primarily support in-person hires? If so, do you need to update it to support remote hires?


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Candidate ghosting is likely here to stay and happens to the best of us. Fortunately, with some proper evaluation of your current practices and implementing the right measures, you’ll mitigate the risk of remote ghosting for your organization. You’ll also be better prepared to handle the situation if a candidate ghosts you in the future.

By iHire | October 15, 2020