Are Recruiters Really Ghosting Candidates?

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We did a poll 📊on the Remotive LinkedIn page:

We were surprised by the results and the comments we received. One reply caught our attention:

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If the 2023 job market wasn’t challenging enough, job seekers seem to face more than just the usual obstacles like interviews, resumes, and skill tests. Apparently, they cannot get recruiters to text them back.


If you have ever dated online, you might be familiar with the term ghosting: it means a sudden, unexpected end to all contact. Job ghosting has become an unfortunate reality for job seekers: recruiters and employers abruptly cut off communication, leaving applicants in limbo. According to Greenhouse’s 2023 Candidate Experience Report:

“A surprisingly large majority – 67% of candidates – say they have been ghosted by employers after a job interview. It’s especially disheartening to hear that historically underrepresented candidates face an almost 25% higher chance of being ghosted.”

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An Inside Look

To truly understand the frustration and disappointment job ghosting can cause, let’s delve into the personal experiences of job seekers like Andrés, Salma, and Venus. They replied to our call for stories about job ghosting on our newsletter, social media, and Slack community.

Venus is a UX Designer based in Southern California. As a current job seeker, she is no stranger to ghosting:

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“Have I ever been ghosted by a recruiter before? Is water wet? 🤔 But seriously, I have recently been ghosted by a recruiter who I talked to in late April. It was a screening for a contract job, and I felt that it went well. She said that I would be updated in a week’s time. It’s been well over a month, and I even sent her an email to check in and see if there was anything I could do to help. Radio silence.”

Andrés, a marketing and customer success professional, told us:

“I was in an interview process; they said cheerfully that they’d be contacting me early the next week and to reach out if I had any questions for them as they had rushed me through the interview and didn’t give me a chance to ask any questions. I followed up with some questions when I thanked them for their time and then followed up early the next week, and didn’t get a response to either message and never heard back from them.”

Unfortunately, that was not the only time a potential employer ghosted him 💔:

“I was in the final stages of the interview process, and they said they’d let me know by the end of the week as they had to discuss with the founders. I later saw that someone announced they were starting that position on Linkedin, and when I reached out to the recruiter thanking them for the process, I never got a response.”

Salma, a PR and Digital Marketing professional based in Kenya, told us that being ghosted can be “exhaustingly disappointing. It’s tough, especially when you put in a lot of effort towards preparing for the assessments and interviews, and you don’t receive feedback.”


Taking Back Control 💪

While job ghosting can leave job seekers feeling powerless, it’s important to remember that regaining control over your job search is possible.

Here are some strategies to help navigate the uncertain waters of job ghosting:

🌱Cultivate a diverse job search strategy: Diversify your efforts by pursuing multiple job opportunities simultaneously. This approach reduces reliance on a single prospect and helps mitigate the disappointment of being ghosted. It works when online dating, by the way! Two tips for the price of one. 🤣

📝 Follow-up effectively: After an interview or application submission, follow up with a thoughtful thank-you email expressing your continued interest and seeking an update. A gentle nudge can serve as a reminder and show your proactive approach.

📅 Set realistic expectations: While it’s reasonable to expect timely communication from employers, be prepared for delays or potential ghosting. Cultivate resilience by recognizing that job ghosting is not a reflection of your worth as a candidate but rather a reflection of the employer’s communication practices.

🤝 Seek feedback elsewhere: If ghosted, don’t hesitate to reach out to professional networks, mentors, or online communities of like-minded individuals for feedback and support. Constructive insights can help you refine your approach and enhance future opportunities.

Maintain positivity and persistence: Job searching can be arduous, but staying positive and persistent is crucial. Remember that the right opportunity will come, and your perseverance will pay off.

If an employer or recruiter has ghosted you in 2023: firstly, we’re so sorry, that’s awful… Secondly, we’d love to hear from you! Send your stories to hello@remotive.com.



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