Avoid Getting “Ghosted” by Improving the Candidate Experience

The ongoing talent war is tough enough. Having candidates drop off the face of the earth won’t make anything easier.

What does getting “ghosted” mean?

Ghosting is when one party (the candidate or the hiring manager) cuts off all communication without warning or an explanation during the interview process. Formerly known as “NCNS” (no-call, no-show), the term “ghosted” originated in the online dating world but has become relevant in the workplace, especially when it comes to hiring. According to an Indeed study, 28% of candidates say they ghosted an employer during 2020. The percentage shot up a whopping 18% from 2019.

In the ongoing war for talent, employers and managers should do anything in their power to avoid getting ghosted. That’s why we’ve laid out strategies for how you can create a better, more memorable experience for job candidates.


5 Ways to Start Improving the Candidate Experience

1. Hire and train great recruiters

Of course, the foundation for successful talent acquisition is a great recruiter. Firstly, recruiters should have a leadership presence at your organization. Candidates will feel more valued and respected when a recruiter is a credible decision-maker who has influence and answers. Furthermore, great recruiters will also heighten the candidate experience by:

  • showing a genuine interest in candidates as people with unique strengths and experiences
  • streamlining the hiring process to respect candidates’ time
  • establishing realistic expectations for the interview process and the job
  • communicate a deep and authentic investment in the review process
  • help candidates envision themselves in your work culture
  • warmly and genuinely champion for your brand
2. Involve invested managers

Show your candidates they are a priority by putting leaders at the forefront of the interview process. When managers and leaders are involved, it communicates that they care. It’s also a great opportunity to see if candidates will mesh well with their potential manager. Not only should managers be involved, but they should also come prepared. Be thorough and answer questions to send the message that you are a truly invested manager.  

3. Personalize the process

Individualize the interview process for each candidate. Don’t be afraid to build a personal-yet-still-professional relationship. They’ll feel seen and you’ll be able to better understand and attend to their needs. If they end up seeming like a great fit, you can paint a unique picture that helps them visualize fitting right into your culture. Plus, a candidate who feels a connection with a hiring manager is less likely to ghost your hiring team.

4. Communicate quickly and transparently

Transparency begins with a detailed job listing. Descriptions should be accurate to each job and include a salary range if possible. You will end up gathering a stronger pool of candidates in the first place. Then, communicate frequently, openly, and promptly throughout the interview process. Candidates who are left waiting are a lot more likely to ghost you. They have probably already moved on to other opportunities.

5. Set the example

Finally, employers and managers should be setting the example by never ghosting candidates. Even if it ends up being bad news, candidates deserve closure. Indeed found 77% of candidates have been ghosted by prospective employers since the pandemic began in 2020. It’s important for all employers to start doing better.


Ghosting has become too much of a norm, so we need to reset to a standard of communication and transparency. Further enhance the candidate experience by personalizing the process, involving invested leaders, and showing candidates that you and your organization genuinely care.