Is it Normal To Be Ghosted By a Recruiter?: Diving into The Phenomenon of Recruiter Ghosting

Is it Normal To Be Ghosted By a Recruiter?: Diving into The Phenomenon of Recruiter Ghosting
Photo Credits - Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

Given the current skills shortage, you may think employers are fighting tooth and nail to reach out to applicants. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and ‘recruiter ghosting’ is becoming more prevalent. Join us as we delve into the world of ghosting in the hiring process. We’ll explore its definition and offer practical strategies to navigate it effectively.

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Recruiter Ghosting: The Silent Struggle

By definition, recruiter ghosting occurs when someone applies for a job and subsequently encounters radio silence during the process. A new People Management study found that 92% of respondents had been ghosted by a recruiter after submitting a job application. 

Elsewhere, Indeed conducted a survey to discover that job seekers across Britain receive responses from less than 50% of their applications. As a result, 51% have thrown in the towel, citing the demoralising and time-consuming nature of the process.

Paul Surridge, Target Leadership Consulting’s managing partner, recently shared his take on the growing issue of recruiter ghosting. He stated that employers had “no excuse” for neglecting to inform individuals about the status of their applications. He added, “After candidates have been interviewed… they must be communicated with and given feedback, that is common decency”.

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To hit his point home, Mr Surridge implored CEOs to apply for opportunities at their companies anonymously. He explained how this would show them first-hand the experience job applicants encounter and “may give them the impetus to do something about it”.

What Causes Recruiter Ghosting in the Hiring Process?

Before devising strategies to manage recruiter ghosting, it’s essential to grasp its underlying causes. Understanding why someone might be ghosted by a recruiter empowers individuals to address it more effectively.

First, employers frequently encounter challenges amid the skills shortage, notably searching for suitable candidates. The abundance of applications flooding in often includes individuals lacking the requisite skills or experience to fulfil the role effectively. Consequently, some employers overlook applications that don’t meet the essential criteria, frequently omitting communication with the candidates to save time.

Moving on, employers generally prioritise reaching out to the candidate they deem the best fit first. This may cause delays, especially when compliance with company policies, such as reference checks, is necessary before extending an offer. Following the offer’s acceptance, employers might struggle with limited resources or time, making it challenging to inform the rest about their unsuccessful status individually.

What’s more, employers may adhere to intricate hiring procedures. The decision-making process may involve navigating through various hierarchical channels before an offer can be extended. As such, a delayed response might resemble recruiter ghosting, even if the individual awaiting communication is the successful candidate.

Lastly, employers might encounter unforeseen obstacles that are unbeknownst to the applicants. For instance, a surge in workload due to a departing staff member or during the company’s peak season could disrupt the hiring process. These circumstances may inadvertently delay communication with candidates regarding their applications.

Effective Strategies to Confront the Void

In light of the above revelations, job seekers must equip themselves with the necessary tools to navigate recruiter ghosting. This can prevent applicants from becoming disheartened and help them effectively secure work.

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After conducting thorough research, we uncovered the following pieces of advice online…

dealing with recruiter ghosting


dealing with recruiter ghosting

What Actually Works?

Alright, so maybe they aren’t the most helpful, but hopefully, they lightened the mood for those feeling drained by the process! In all seriousness, though, individuals looking to tackle ghosting in the hiring process should:

  • Follow up once a reasonable period has elapsed. If a deadline has been provided, a professional follow-up approximately a week later can help keep the candidate on the employer’s radar. Thank the employer for their time and politely inquire about the application’s status.
  • Continue their job hunt. Although finding the ideal role can be challenging, one never knows when the next opportunity may present itself. Learning not to take the silence personally and maintaining motivation in the pursuit of employment can be pivotal. The applicant has likely done nothing wrong, and staying focused can help them achieve their employment goals.
  • Ensure their application is relevant. As mentioned, employers have identified applications that don’t align with their requirements as a reason for radio silence. According to Indeed’s survey, 23% of candidates have applied for roles they knew they weren’t qualified for. This highlights a vicious cycle: employers refrain from updating applicants due to the overwhelming volume of ‘irrelevant’ applications, while candidates apply for numerous roles regardless of their suitability, owing to the challenges of securing employment. Therefore, to prevent candidates from wasting their time, it’s advisable to apply only to roles they believe they’re suitable for. By doing so, they may distinguish themselves from the ‘irrelevant’ applicants and receive a response.

Need Further Help?

We hope you have enjoyed this employment article about all aspects of recruiter ghosting. Should you have any legal issues concerning any area of employment, contact Redmans Solicitors now. They are specialists in the sector and could help you navigate the legal world.

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