How to avoid getting ghosted by your candidates!

Empty chairs at an office desk

Let’s face it, as an employer, the prospect of recruiting doesn’t fill you with joy. It takes up your precious time and it causes multiple headaches. So, when you finally find a candidate you like, it doesn’t get much worse than being ghosted by them!

What if I told you, there’s another way… There are steps and measures you can put in place to prevent this from happening to you. So get ready, I’m here to help.

There are a number of points in a process when ghosting can occur. The main two would be during the interview process (the dreaded interview no show!) and worse still, once an offer has been made (and sometimes even accepted!) There are some key reasons for this and some things you can do to prevent the worst from happening.

Find out what the candidate is looking for, first

A big reason that you might be getting ghosted part way through your process is that the candidate was never interested in your role in the first place (sorry!) In the wonderful world of recruitment, we get a lot of what we call “yes people”. For some reason, candidates will tell you they’re interested in a job, even when they’re not. Those candidates will then ghost you when you try to arrange an interview or offer them the job.

Right at the beginning of your process, it’s important that you ask the candidate questions to understand exactly what they’re looking for, both now and in the future. If (and only if) what you’re offering matches up with what they want, tell them everything about your role and move forward with the process. If however, it doesn’t, even if you really like the candidate, walk away. Even if they tell you they’re interested anyway, trust me, it will never work out.

Be honest about your role

Following on from the above, to avoid candidates changing their mind halfway through a process and ghosting you, it’s essential that you’re honest about everything to do with your role and company from the outset – warts and all! For example, we strongly recommend including the salary information on your job advert. You could get all the way to making an offer and then be ghosted because the salary you’re offering is significantly below the candidate’s expectations. If you can’t advertise it, at the very least, discuss it within the first call.

Another common thing we see is businesses hiding elements of the role that they think will put somebody off. But if it’s going to put somebody off, let it, they’re not the right person for your role and would never have accepted it, anyway!

Move quickly!

Another key reason that you could be getting ghosted during your process is that you are taking too long. It’s important to remember that most candidates you’ll be speaking to, will have other opportunities available to them. If you take too long to come back with feedback or if your process is more than two stages spanning weeks rather than days, they could get snapped up by another company who’s moved quicker.

We would recommend having a maximum of two stages in your process. Its fairly common these days to do a first stage via teams and a second stage in person. We would also strongly suggest moving quickly if you’d like to progress a candidate, don’t leave a long time between interviews and get your offer in as soon as possible after the final stage.

Don’t let your interview process put people off!

As I just mentioned, every candidate that you are speaking to is likely to be in the mix for other opportunities. The interview process is just as much for their benefit as it is for yours, as they will be assessing you too. Therefore, it’s important to sell your opportunity to them and to keep the interview process as simple as possible. Don’t have them jumping through hoops just for the sake of it (if you’re looking for an administrator and your process includes a presentation, it might be time to rethink!) You could be getting ghosted because your interview process is putting people off, when they’re comparing it to other processes that are much simpler.

Test their commitment

This one is a biggy and if you do nothing else but this, you’ll see a significant change.

As I explained earlier a great joy of recruitment is dealing with “yes people” who will tell you they’re interested in moving forward with your role, even when they’re not.

The biggest tip I can give you is to implement a step in your process that tests their commitment. We usually do this following the first phone call we have (always have a call, never arrange a face to face interview via email!)

Once you’ve spoken with them and established they’re the right fit for your role and vice versa, tell them about your position and then send them away with a full Job Spec and a link to your website. Ask them to come back to you if they are interested and (very importantly!) do not chase them. If they don’t come back, you’ll know they weren’t really interested in the first place.

This is the best way to remove time-wasters from your process and will significantly minimise your interview no-shows. In over 1000 interviews we’ve arranged as a recruitment agency, we’ve only ever had 4 people not turn up (and I think this tip is the main reason!)

Keep in touch regularly!

Once you’ve got a candidate through your process and you’ve had your offer accepted (wahoo!) it’s very important not to take your foot off the gas. Typically candidates will have a 4 week notice period, that’s a long time for their current employer to twist their arm and convince them to stay. It’s important that you keep in touch with them throughout their notice period and keep reiterating how excited you are for them to join your team. It will keep you and their new opportunity fresh in their mind and will hopefully ensure they don’t get cold feet and ghost you at the final hour!


We know how painful it is when you get ghosted by a candidate you really like! But if you’re honest about your opportunity, move quickly, test their commitment and keep in touch, you should find it happens a lot less (hopefully not at all!)

If you need any support or you simply don’t have time for all of the above, get in touch (01625 509182) – we’d love to help!