3 Ways to Prevent Candidate Ghosting

Author Mike Marschke Date Oct 25 2020

Why does it feel like the best candidates are always the ones that leave you hanging? It’s missing out on the ghostess with the mostest (yikes, rough crowd) that haunts you (last Halloween pun, I promise).

If you find yourself in this predicament, no need to worry. It’s likely that most candidates are being put off by similar situations, questions, or steps, and slight changes to your process oftentimes are the needle movers.

  1. Accelerate your pace

From purely a candidate retention perspective, the pace is the most important variable in the recruiting equation. The longer your candidates are sitting in limbo, the more likely they are to take another position. 

One of my basketball coaches in high school was quite a historian of the sport. He used to repeat these quotes daily that are still ingrained in my head. My favorite comes from the infamous John Wooden, who was known for the phrase “be quick, but don’t hurry.” 

You make unnecessary mistakes when you’re in a hurry. You send the same text twice, you call the wrong candidate, you accidentally send a rejection email, you send the same text twice (see?). Being quick means being confident, decisive, and most importantly, prepared. 

Develop a routine, and stick to it. Analyze what is working, and alternate what isn’t. Many aspects of recruiting need to be automated in order to maximize your efficiency and attract top talent. Remember, the strongest candidates are only on the market for an average of 10 days and are applying to multiple places at once. When you find the one, be quick. 

Now that you’ve cut your time-to-hire, it’s time for some minor changes. 

  1. If you’ve got it, flaunt it

It’s okay to brag, but it’s not as intuitive as you might think. Whenever I sit down to write a job description I’m always skeptical of what I list under the ‘Perks’ section. 

It can be hard to articulate what makes your company such an amazing place to work for in just a few bullet points. There are the typical benefits you can list: competitive compensation, PTO/schedule flexibility, various stipends and discounts, etc. 

I won’t pretend to know what makes each of your companies individually unique and a terrific place to work. I can share some data that has proven to increase application and candidate retention rates. 

There is no question that you should include benefits in your job description. Companies on the Fountain platform that listed 4+ benefits yielded the highest apply rates at 22.5%. Listing these helped to decrease drop off rates, with candidates much less likely to ghost you (I lied, there’s the main pun). 

  1. Transparency (anotha one)

Your candidate retention rates will be significantly higher when the expectations throughout the hiring process are transparent. It starts with the job description and has to be consistent throughout their experience. 

While one-click-apply has become an increasingly popular feature, 64% of candidates still thoroughly research a company online before applying.  When applicants know the critical job duties, minimum requirements, and wage range, there shouldn’t be many reasons for them not to complete the interview process. 

Word of mouth is so crucial for an organization. There are so many positive residuals that come from having an honest interview process. Even candidates that get rejected are much more likely to report having a positive experience with your company if you’re upfront about the expectations. 


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About the Author

Director, Strategic Programs

Mike Marschke

Mike Marschke is Fountain's Director of Product who has a passion for innovation and optimizing talent acquisition strategies, enhancing candidate experiences, and driving organizational growth.