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7 Reasons Why You Should Never Ghost Your Applicants

Written by Milan Demeter

on May 15, 2023

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The hiring process is a two-way street. Companies are looking for the best applicants to fill their open positions, and applicants are looking for the best companies to work for. The last thing you want to do is turn off a potentially great applicant by ghosting them during the process. Ghosting is when you suddenly stop communicating with someone without any explanation. It’s the same thing as if you suddenly stopped returning someone’s calls or texts – it’s incredibly rude and unprofessional. Keep reading to learn more about why you should never ghost your applicants, and what you should do instead!

You never know when you’ll need a referral

Hiring is a long and sometimes tedious process. When you go through all the trouble of finding that applicant, you never know when you may need a referral from them in the future. Ghosting them when they have done their part can really stop that kind of connection from forming. By keeping the lines of communication open, you open the possibility of creating a mutually beneficial relationship with the applicant. You never know when they may have a great connection for a future opening at your company. Plus, the referral themselves could end up being the perfect fit for the position you are hiring for.

It’s disrespectful towards applicants

If you ghost a candidate, it gives off the message that you don’t care about the effort and time it takes for them to apply for a position, as well as the dedication it takes for these candidates to put themselves out there in hopes of getting the job. It’s important to remember that your team doesn’t treat these people like machines – they are real people who have made an effort to put their application together and have invested time in applying. You should have the same respect for them as they have for you.

You might be missing out on your next great employee

Ghosting an applicant can stop your chances of finding the perfect, or even almost-perfect, hire. Every qualified applicant should be given the same time and energy. Ghosting could be taking away that opportunity. You can’t always spot the perfect hire by just looking at their résumé or even during an interview. Every candidate should have a chance to impress you and keep the conversation going for any potential openings. That way, when the perfect applicant does show up – you will know it and everyone will benefit from it.

It harms your employer’s brand

Ghosting an applicant during their process can result in them sharing their bad experience with family, friends or on social media. No one likes to be ignored. Therefore, this could have a highly negative impact on the reputation of your company. It’s incredibly important to be on top of your communication so that you can avoid such negative situations. You don’t want your company to be known as one that ignores its applicants – instead, you want to be known as a company that values the time and effort each person puts in. Do you need help how to brand your company correctly? Let The Hub help you with our post about the 5 keys to branding your startup!

It wastes everyone’s time

Whenever an applicant is ghosted, it’s a waste of both their time and the hiring team’s time. It’s important to remember that both teams are valuable and that their time should be respected. By taking the extra step to stay in touch and be up-front with your communication, you save yourself and the candidate time. That way, the right candidates get the job and the other applicants have the opportunity to apply to other positions without wasting their time with a ghosted application.

It sends the wrong message to other applicants

Ghosting not only sends the wrong message to the applicants you are ghosting but also to potential candidates who may be considering applying for future openings. If someone hears about an instance of ghosting, they may be deterred from making an application – and they might tell their friends and colleagues too. This makes it harder to find the right candidates for any open positions. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot by giving the wrong impression to your potential candidates.

Because it’s the right thing to do

Ultimately, it is just the right thing to do. You should give a polite rejection after an applicant has completed the process. Even though the applicant may not end up getting the position, they are still a person and deserve some respect. Even if you don’t think you will ever use them again, it doesn’t hurt to give them a nice rejection and to keep the communication open. As a company, it’s important to remember that your hiring practice reflects on you – so you should always treat your applicants in the right manner.

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