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How To Handle Being ‘Ghosted’ By A Recruiter

Published: Friday 17th May 2019

Been ‘Ghosted’ By a Recruiter? Here’s How to Handle It.

If you aren’t already aware of the term, ‘ghosting’ is what happens when someone ends a relationship without communicating officially that the relationship has ended. They simply disappear without as much as a ‘goodbye’. It’s commonplace in dating, but the term is now being used in recruitment, mostly when referring to recruiters who don’t respond to candidates after a job interview.

Disappointed job seeker getting 'ghosted' by a recruiter, waiting for a phone call with feedback

How you can reduce the risk of recruiter ghosting

For job seekers, it can be extremely frustrating. Imagine spending hours working on a job application, preparing for an interview, arranging time off from work, traveling to the interviewer’s office, and even coming away feeling like you’ve done a great job, only to never hear anything from the recruiter again.

It’s not only frustrating, but it can also severely dent your confidence and leave you wondering what you did wrong. But, in most cases, the recruiter is at fault, either being lazy or simply because they don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation.

There are things you can do to reduce the risk of being ghosted. Firstly, at the interview, always ask what the next steps of the process will be. Be firm with regards to the timeline. Ask how and when they’ll be letting you know if you’re going forward to the next stage of the application process and confirm that they’ll be getting in touch with candidates that don’t make it through. That way, you can legitimately follow up after that timeframe has passed.

Having said that, you should always keep lines of communication open by following up after the interview with a courtesy ‘thank you’ email to confirm you’re still interested in the position.

Job seekers making follow up phone calls and emails while job searching

Don’t let it affect your confidence

Always remember that if you are ‘ghosted’, it’s not your fault. Independent research by the management consultancy, Robert Half, found that two of the three biggest gripes of job hunters relate to the flow of information from prospective employers. Slow feedback was the most complained about issue by the 1,000 respondents at 53%, while poor communication from hiring managers was a problem for 44%. You’re not the only one on this ‘ghost’ boat – so don’t let it affect your confidence.

Even if you feel you knocked it out of the park in the interview, nothing is guaranteed, so keep applying for new jobs at Zoek while you’re waiting to hear back from the decision-maker.

Cutting up a "I Can't" label for a "I Can" label to increase confidence

Learn from the experience

No-one likes rejection, but there is a fine line between being persistent and being unprofessional. If your emails aren’t answered, or your calls aren’t been taken, you need to make a call and move on. The recruiter is the one who isn’t being professional here. However, that doesn’t mean you should ‘name and shame’ on social media. And while you might be tempted, don’t put your feelings into an email to the hiring manager. A new job may arise at the company when that particular recruiter/interviewer is no longer there, and you don’t want to burn that bridge.

In the end, ghosting reflects badly on the recruiter and their employer brand. Most of the time, how you’re treated during the recruitment process is a good indication of how you’ll be treated at that company. So, ask yourself: is that really the sort of company you want to work for?

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