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Candidate Communication: Don’t Leave Candidates in the Dark

Updated: May 23


Your company has a job opening, and you’ve been trying to find the right person to fill it. After reading through several resumes and conducting a lot of interviews, you’ve narrowed the field down to your top three candidates. Now, you’re ready to schedule the final round of interviews and begin checking references and backgrounds for your top candidates. Or you would be ready, if only you could get people to call you back.


You call and email the people who’ve been going through your hiring process, but as the days pass and you don’t get a response, you’ve started to wonder if you’ve been ghosted.


If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone.


The Tables Have Been Turned


Ghosting, a slang term for abruptly cutting off contact with someone without giving an explanation, has long been reported by job seekers. People who are looking for jobs use the term to describe their frustration at the sudden lack of contact from the companies where they’ve applied. Feeling ghosted by a company is more than just not knowing if your resume was received, to begin with (although that’s certainly frustrating too. Candidates feel ghosted after they’ve been contacted by a company and then left to wonder if they’re going to get an interview, or if they’re still in the running for a job.


Until recently, employers have held all the cards when it comes to the interview process. However, recently, things have changed. We’re now at a time when we have the lowest rate of unemployment since 1970. People have noticed this, and now, the tables have started to turn. Today, job candidates are the ones who are ghosting employers by ending contact without any notice. A whopping 83% of employers, roughly four out of five, now report being ghosted by candidates during the interview process. Employers are frustrated by this new behavior, but candidates are only doing to employers what employers have been doing to them for years.


Feels bad, doesn’t it?


When Employers Ghost


There may be perfectly good reasons for your company to abruptly stop communicating with candidates. You might have a position that needs to be filled urgently and all other candidate searches have to be put on the back burner. Or someone on the hiring team suddenly becomes unavailable. Perhaps there’s been an unexpected change to your budget, your clients, or something else. All of these may seem like good reasons to fall out of contact with the people who are seeking employment with your company. But however good these reasons seem to you, the people who are interviewing for a job with your company have a different opinion.


When you ghost a candidate, they don’t know your company’s reasons for doing it. All they know is that they were contacted by your company and had a first, second, and possibly even more interviews, and then… POOF! Nothing. What a frustrating, maddening experience for anyone, especially someone who is looking for a new job and is trying to find the best job fit possible.


Ghosting candidates is a stupid way to harm your company’s reputation as a potential employer, especially these days when there are more job openings than candidates. The people your company ghosts are unlikely to put themselves in that position again, and they will tell their friends and colleagues how you simply stopped communicating. When you ghost a candidate, you burn your bridges.


The Power of a Simple Thank You


As employers, we expect job candidates to thank us for the opportunity to interview for a position with our company. Thanking a company for an interview is a good idea for the candidate because it shows that they recognize and appreciate the effort that went into conducting an interview. And frankly, the thank-you note gives the candidate another chance to explain why they should be considered for the job. But did you ever think that we should also thank candidates for considering a position with our companies?


Candidates spend a lot of time and energy preparing for interviews, whether those interviews happen remotely or face-to-face. Their efforts deserve recognition beyond advancing in the interview process because frankly, not every candidate will get asked back for another interview or get a job offer. But they should all feel like their time was appreciated.


Sending an email thanking a candidate for interviewing with your company may seem unusual, but that’s only because most companies simply don’t do it. Thanking someone for taking the time to interview with your company is a great way to show that you appreciate the candidate as an individual, and these days, anything that makes your company stand out positively as a potential employer should be relished. Of course, if the candidate is later hired, the thank-you note is a great way to start employee engagement.


Thanking a candidate for an interview doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple email saying, “Thank you for meeting with us regarding XXX position. We will be in contact with you shortly regarding the status of your job application.” An alarmingly high number of candidates will be overwhelmed by the level of consideration and respect shown by this simple gesture.


What if it’s a No?


There is nothing more frustrating to candidates than never hearing another word about their interview. Unfortunately, this is what happens to most candidates – they have an interview and just never hear another word.


Most of the candidates you will interview will be adults, or at least of legal working age, so they should be mature enough to accept rejection, provided that the rejection is given professionally. What they won’t appreciate is simply never hearing anything.


We had a talent crunch before the pandemic. Now that the pandemic has started to let up, we’re in a full-blown talent crisis. Good candidates are demanding more money, more options on scheduling and work location, and even changes in the type of work they’re expected to do. Job seekers have more options now than they’ve had in recent years, and the market for good candidates is more challenging because of it. When you respond to candidates professionally, your company will shine.


Let Optimum Staffing Solutions Guide You

Optimum Staffing Solutions can help both candidates and employers with the placement of accounting professionals. For the best staffing agencies in Greensboro, NC, as well as for the best staffing agencies in Charlotte, NC, contact Optimum Staffing Solutions.


A Greensboro temp agency, an Atlanta temp agency, as well as a Charlotte temp agency, Optimum, can provide your company with a highly skilled freelancer, contract, temporary, or direct hire professional along with HR Services. Of the temp agencies in Greensboro, NC, Atlanta, GA, and the temp agencies in Charlotte, NC, Optimum offers small to medium-sized businesses a wealth of talent to fill their positions.


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