Ghosting Candidates: A spooky phenomenon

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Ghosting candidate
Photo by Zsófia Fehér

With Halloween coming up, we want to address one of the spookiest situations every recruiter faces: Ghosting candidates. *Insert thunder and lightning scene here* This happens to us every now and then, and it’s something which you, yes you reading this considering to apply for that role in Amsterdam, must promise never to do!

What is ghosting?

We’ve mentioned before that the process of landing the job can be a long perilous journey, through thick and thin you will be jumping over hurdles, and running in loops until you hear the words “you got the job!” Sometimes on this journey, candidates will suddenly vanish; *Poof* into thin air, without notice or warning. We will try calling, emailing, and calling again. We call it the ghosting candidates phenomenon. Sometimes we’ll light a candle and chant to find the lost candidate, but there is never an answer, no call back, no trace left behind. Just a simple mist which lurks, but never rises to present answers.

Ghosting phenomenon explained

We’ve all got a shiver up our spine at the thought of this eerie ghosting phenomenon. Why do candidates disappear, and how will this affect their relationship with not only the recruiter but also the company they’ve applied to? It may evaporate just like the candidate’s presence. We understand that life happens, perhaps there was (heaven forbid) a family emergency or the candidate has been in an emergency themselves, but as we know from experience that these are very extreme cases. In the best-case scenario, ghosting candidates end up updating their LinkedIn profile with a new job title a few weeks after initially disappearing. But the worst is when there is no answer at all.

Ghosting aftermath

So to our dear candidates, whatever the problem or case, tell your contact what has happened, why you are no longer interested, or that for personal reasons you cannot proceed. Put an end to the ghosting phenomenon. This brings a sense of calm for the recruiter, answers many questions, and gives the company a chance to move on. It most importantly doesn’t stain your name in the long run, because even ghosts can burn bridges.

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