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Ghosting and the Silent Treatment - Navigating the Lack of Feedback from Recruiters


Halloween is not the only time the ghosts come out to play. They seem to be attracted to job seekers. Boo! In today’s job market, where technology has streamlined the recruitment process and AI interviews are becoming more common, candidates often find themselves facing a frustrating phenomenon: ghosting. Ghosting, simply put, is when recruiters or employers abruptly cease communication with candidates, leaving them in the dark about the status of their application or interview feedback. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind ghosting, its impact on candidates, and offer strategies for navigating this phenomenon effectively. 


Understanding Ghosting  

Ghosting has become increasingly prevalent. The ease of online job applications has led to a surge in the volume of applicants for each position, making it challenging for recruiters to provide personalized feedback to every candidate. Additionally, their use of applicant tracking systems (ATS), automated processes and, many candidates not knowing the best practices for optimizing their resumes for these systems, may result in candidates slipping through the cracks, leading to unintentional ghosting. To add insult to injury, recruiters may prioritize candidates who are further along in the hiring process or who are perceived as a better fit for the role, leaving others waiting indefinitely for feedback.  


Impact on Candidates 

Job Seeking is Emotional

While ghosting may not be intentional in all cases, it can have significant repercussions for candidates, including feelings of frustration, rejection, and a negative impression of the hiring organization. The lack of feedback from recruiters can have a detrimental impact on candidates' confidence, motivation, and overall job search experience. Candidates invest time and effort into crafting tailored applications, preparing for interviews, and engaging with recruiters, only to be met with silence. This lack of closure can leave candidates feeling disheartened, unsure of where they went wrong, and hesitant to apply for future opportunities. 

Ghosting perpetuates feelings of disrespect and unprofessionalism in the recruitment process, eroding trust between candidates and employers. Candidates who experience ghosting are more likely to share their negative experiences with others, damaging the employer's reputation and potentially deterring top talent from applying in the future. 


Strategies for Navigating Ghosting 


While ghosting can be disheartening, there are steps that candidates can take to navigate this situation effectively: 

Brainstorming Ghosting
  1. Follow Up Politely If you haven't heard back from a recruiter after a reasonable amount of time, it's absolutely ok to follow up to ask about your application status. Express your continued interest in the role and ask for feedback on your candidacy. 

  2. Consider Reaching Out to Hiring Authorities: The job search does not have to stop at the recruiter’s doorstep. Consider doing something bold by contacting hiring managers through the groups on LinkedIn where both of you may be members. This is a great way to show your combined interests and spark a possible conversation with the people that have the power to pull the trigger and get you in the door. 

  3. Let it Go to Seek Closure:  If you receive no response after multiple follow-ups, it may be time to seek closure and move on. Remember that ghosting reflects more on the employer's communication practices than on your qualifications or worth as a candidate.   

  4. Reinvigorate Your Approach:  Use the experience of being ghosted as an opportunity to reflect on your application materials, interview performance, and overall job search strategy. Seek feedback from trusted mentors or peers to identify areas for improvement.   

  5. Maintain Professionalism:  While it's understandable to feel frustrated or disappointed, it's important to maintain professionalism throughout the process. Avoid burning bridges or badmouthing the employer, as this could harm your reputation in the long run. 

  6. Expand Your Options:  Don't allow ghosting from one employer to deter you from pursuing other opportunities. Cast a wide net in your job search, explore different industries or roles, and remain open to unexpected opportunities that may arise.   

  7. Provide Feedback:  If given the opportunity, provide constructive feedback to employers about your experience with their recruitment process. Highlight areas where communication could be improved to benefit future candidates. 


At the end of the day… 


Ghosting and lack of feedback from recruiters are unfortunate realities of the modern job market, but they need not derail your job search efforts. Understand the factors that contribute to ghosting, recognize its impact on you, the candidate, and implement strategies to navigate the reality. You can maintain your resilience and professionalism throughout the job search process. Remember that while ghosting may be discouraging, it's ultimately a reflection of the employer's communication practices and not your value as a candidate. Stay focused on your goals, continue honing your skills, and remain open to the possibilities that lie ahead in your career journey. 

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