Ghosting: It’s Not Just For Halloween

by | Jul 5, 2023 | Hiring Tips | 0 comments

Have you been ghosted before? Chances are, that’s a yes, but don’t worry, you’re not alone! 

Recent statistics show that over 75% of employers have been ghosted by candidates during the hiring process. Naturally, it’s left employers scratching their heads, wondering what happened to that promising candidate they thought they had in the bag.

The insurance industry has especially felt the effects of ghosting. Competition for top talent is fierce and it certainly doesn’t help that within the next 15 years, 50% of the current insurance workforce is forecast to retire, meaning over 400,000 job openings need filling. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to always be on the lookout for top talent whether you’re actively or passively hiring. That way, critical positions are filled in a timely manner, productivity loss is kept to a minimum, and your agency can keep up with industry demands. 

Hiring the ideal candidate is going to strengthen your team and help your agency grow, so when a potential candidate just disappears into thin air, it’s a really hard pill to swallow; it’s like trying to catch a unicorn – elusive, rare, and frustrating as heck!


So…. why do candidates ghost employers during the hiring process?

There are a variety of reasons candidates ghost potential employees:

  • The candidate received a better offer from a competitor
  • The candidate changed their mind about the role, company, or industry
  • The candidate didn’t know how to communicate their decision or had a change of heart
  • The candidate had the wrong expectations of the role
  • Communication during the hiring process was poor or non-existent
  • The candidate decided to move to a remote island and live out the rest of their days in peace 

Okay, maybe not the last one (sounds amazing though), but in fact, a survey by Indeed found that the most common reasons for ghosting included receiving a better offer from a competitor (40%), the salary not being up to par (22%), and being unhappy with the benefits package (15%). Other reasons also included being uncomfortable letting the employer know they’d had a change of heart (26%), poor communication or experience during the hiring process (13%), and some just didn’t know what to do, so vanished (13%).


How can you combat ghosting?

Ghosting is a frustrating, time-costuming, and costly problem for employers, so here are some examples of what employers are doing to mitigate the effects of ghosting.


Be Transparent

Transparency throughout the entire hiring process is everything. If you’re not transparent, then you run the risk of candidates not returning your calls, showing up for interviews, or even turning up for the first day on the job. 

One of the first things we recommend when writing your job ad is to ensure it clearly conveys what the role entails and your company culture, what the candidate needs to be considered for the role, and what you have to offer in terms of compensation and benefits. That way the candidate’s expectation is set correctly from the get-go. Candidates don’t want to be left with questions or uncertainty so having a clear job ad is key to getting your relationship off on the right foot. 

Need help with your job ad? No problem! 

  • We have an extensive library of Help Center articles offering advice and recommendations on how to write a great ad (among other topics). 
  • You can talk with our Client Success Team via live chat or schedule a call with them to discuss any additional tips and tricks they may have. 
  • Need more help? We got your back! Feel free to purchase an expert job ad review or even get a custom job ad written for you. If interested, reach out for more information.



This will help build a positive relationship with the candidates and show candidates that you value them and their time

  • Reach out to candidates within the first 24 hours of applying. It’s a competitive market so waiting could mean, missing out on an awesome candidate.
    • This can be done using technology such as text messaging and chatbots
    • Subscribe to our AceBot 
    • Too busy to reach out to your candidates? Check out our Candidate Engagement Program for more information on how we can help you with this
  • Set up calendar invites and send interview reminders
  • Keep candidates informed throughout the entire hiring process (whether they’ve been successful or not) and if successful, update them on what the next steps are.


Be competitive

Is what you offer potential candidates competitive? 

Minimize any ghostly activity by ensuring what you are offering the candidate is also competitive. If it’s not, then candidates will find their ideal work environment, salary, and benefits package elsewhere.

Ask yourself: Is your salary and benefits package on par with other agencies in your area? Is it more competitive than other agencies? Would you or your top producer apply to this ad based on what you are offering? 

If the answer is no, or you’re unsure then I encourage you to do some market research and update what you have to offer potential future employees accordingly. Check out the Conducting Market Research Article from our Help Center Article for more advice.


Don’t Ghost Candidates

Applicants are pretty savvy these days and can easily find out how your hiring process is by just doing a quick Google search or checking out job review sites, like Glassdoor. Candidates will swiftly know whether you’re a great place to work, whether your hiring process is simple, whether you are transparent with applicants, but also whether you have a habit of ghosting candidates. 

As Iain Campbell McKenna said in a recent LinkedIn post, “It’s okay to say “no”; it’s “not” okay to ignore a candidate and leave them wondering what happened.”

Treat candidates like you would a potential customer – with respect. Nurture them through the process and provide a great experience (whether they get the job or not). 

You wouldn’t leave a lead sitting for a week, so don’t leave top talent hanging either. After all, they’ve invested time and effort into applying, taking the assessment, preparing for interviews, etc., and just because they’re not right this time around, who’s to say they wouldn’t be the next time you have an opening (especially if they’ve taken any prior feedback and gone to get the license or experience necessary for the role that they want)? Oh and don’t forget, they could also be a future customer themselves, so always keep that in mind! 


Streamline Your Hiring Process. 

68% of candidates believe that a company’s hiring process reflects how it values its people. With that statistic, I’m sure you can agree on how important it is to streamline your hiring process so that candidates feel appreciated. 

To get started on the right track, you need to know exactly the kind of candidate you are looking for and write an ad for that person. Once candidates start applying and taking our industry-specific personality assessment, then you’ll want to ensure you’re reaching out to those candidates in a timely manner and keeping them informed of their progress along the way, not to mention providing any constructive feedback. Adding our One-Way Video Interview Tool is another great way to speed up this process and screen candidates more efficiently so check out IdealInterviews for more information! 

Streamlining your hiring process and a having positive candidate experience go hand in hand. If your hiring process is overly complicated, or time-consuming, has the candidate jumping through hoops to get to the next interview stage, or leaves candidates wondering if you even received their application, then the candidate is more likely to get frustrated and find another opportunity elsewhere which does leave them with a positive experience.


Final Thoughts:

While ghosting may be a frustrating problem in the job market, it’s important to remember that it’s not personal. By understanding the reasons behind ghosting and taking proactive steps to prevent it, employers can improve their chances of finding and retaining top talent. So next time you’re dealing with a ghost, remember to stay positive, be understanding and patient in your hiring process, communicate clearly, and resist the urge to call in the Ghostbusters (unless, of course, you’re dealing with an actual ghost).


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