Person trying to work out what to do when a candidate ghosts you

What to do when a candidate ghosts you

In a market where candidates receive multiple job offers, instances of ghosting are on the rise.

You’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of your new hire. But they don’t show. Your candidate has just ghosted you. Here’s what to do when a candidate ghosts you.

What to do when a candidate ghosts you: 7 tips

  1. Empathetically reach out

Assume the best and contact the candidate by phone to see if this is just a case of bad luck. A car breakdown or some other unplanned occurrence may have affected their day and prevented them from getting to work on time.

Lady trying to find out what to do when a candidate ghosts you

  1. Set a timeline for a response

If you are unable to reach the candidate by phone, follow up with a brief but clear email. Include that they were due to start work today but failed to show up and you would like a response indicating whether they are still interested in the position or not. Set a time to reply at a short interval, say 24 hours. It might be nice to also say you are reachable by phone in case they have a personal circumstance they wish to explain in person.

  1. Cut your losses

If the ghoster has not contacted you within the set timeframe, it’s time to cut your losses. Barring extenuating circumstances, there are very few good reasons to ignore someone’s messages.

  1. Refer to your shortlist

By the time you get to offer, you usually have a short list of qualified candidates that you are choosing between. Contact these candidates and don’t be afraid to move quickly. You will also have to be honest about the circumstances of re-contacting the candidate/s.

People wondering what to do when a candidate ghosts you

  1. Repost the job ad

Before you repost the job ad, ensure you review the details. Have you clearly articulated the day-to-day responsibilities of the role? Will the candidate gain an understanding of the business based on the description you included? Are the benefits listed accurate? Consider whether you need to redesign the job role to attract the right candidate.

  1. Speak with the manager who conducted the interview

Even though you have decided to let the candidate who ghosted you go, you can still conduct an informal internal review to ensure your recruitment processes are up to scratch. Especially if you don’t know why the candidate has ghosted you. Speak with the interviewer. Did they ask how the candidate was feeling about the position? Did they touch base with the candidate often? Did they approach the candidate with warmth to inspire them to join the organisation?

  1. Keep a record of ghosters

Save yourself time, money and hassle and ensure you make a record of any ghosters or no-shows. This will ensure you can easily see this should they apply for a position with your company again.


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