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Top Tips for Handling Unresponsive Candidates

Published: Wednesday 11th March 2020

It’s a candidate-driven market. Whereas, in the past, candidates complained about being ‘ghosted’ from unresponsive recruiters, now it’s the other way round. In an employment market where hirers are competing for the best talent, candidates have more choice than ever and can disappear off the radar at any point during the job application process. In some cases, even when a job offer is made, the candidate can vanish, meaning the hiring process has to start all over again – a costly and frustrating scenario for recruiters. 

There are many reasons why this happens: the candidate may have had a better offer, or perhaps has decided to focus on other more preferred roles. In some cases, candidates may even be making job applications just to see what offers they receive 

Ghost figure in dark blue background with zoek logo. Candidates ghosting recruiters concept

Keeping candidates engaged in the recruitment process 

In a competitive market, more recruiters are discovering that focusing on and delivering an exceptional candidate experience is vital if you want to source the best talent and make sure they stay with your throughout the recruitment process. A good applicant tracking system can help here, but there’s plenty more you can throughout the recruitment journey to keep candidates on board and engaged. 

Post a job advert that targets the right people. A generic job advertisement attracts generic candidate applications. Keep the description short, clear and accurate. If at all possible, include a salary or range (as well as any key benefits). Candidates are put off by job listings without salary indications – especially those that define remuneration as ‘competitive’. 

A figure of a man, smartly dressed being invisible. Candidate ghosting concept

Make the application process as simple as you canLong-winded hiring processes are probably the most common reason candidates drop out. Keep them informed throughout and follow up to see if they’re still interested in pursuing the role at each stageRespond to emails as soon as possible and get in touch when you say you will. Let them know that you’re not one of those recruiters that ‘ghost’ candidates. And even if they’re not right for this particular roleoffer feedback on the reasons. That way, they are more likely to reapply if a more suitable role comes up.  

Build a great employer brand 

Your employer brand is crucially important to attract candidate applications and keep them engaged. Make your brand more attractive than your competitors and candidates will ghost your rivals in favour of you. On all communications, reinforce your employer brand by highlighting the positive aspects of working with the company, along with key benefits.  

Handwritten text showing Employer Branding. Business concept for Brand Building Written on sticky note paper, wooden background

When interacting with candidates, try to build up a personal relationshipMake them feel unique and not just another applicant. This can lead to referrals boosting your employer brand further and keeping candidates coming back when new vacancies arise. Try to be flexibleSome candidates may find it difficult to get time off from their current job to attend interviews, so where possible, allow candidates to schedule their appointments at a time that suits them.  

For more help with building a great candidate experience and developing your employer brand, check out some of our hirer blogs on Zoek UK. 

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