Four in Ten Candidates Still Being Ghosted When Applying For Jobs

Despite being more commonly associated with dating, ghosting also happens in the realm of job applications.

Recent research conducted by Tribepad, a recruitment technology company, reveals that out of the candidates surveyed, 42% reported experiencing ghosting, marking a significant one-third reduction from 2022’s 65%.


Demographics and Impact


Evidently, ghosting disproportionately affects younger people, with 69% of candidates aged 18 to 24 acknowledging being ghosted, compared to only 14% of those over 64. The situation is particularly dire in London, where 60% of candidates have experienced ghosting. This is especially concerning considering the challenges young job seekers already face in today’s competitive job market.

The emotional toll of ghosting on candidates is substantial. An overwhelming 97% express feelings of depression or sadness due to the experience. Additionally, almost 40% reveal that it takes them several weeks or even months to fully recover from the impact, with those aged 25 to 44 being the most severely affected.


A Blow to Job Seekers and Companies


Ghosting doesn’t just affect candidates; it leaves a negative impact on businesses as well. A staggering 91% of respondents indicate that being ghosted creates a negative perception of the associated brand.

Such an impression discourages candidates from reapplying for future positions within the same company and hinders their willingness to recommend the organisation to others. Consequently, this loss of potential talent and brand advocates can significantly limit a company’s ability to attract well-suited candidates over time.



Understanding and Addressing the Causes


Factors contributing to ghosting include an excessive number of applicants for a single role and limited time and resources for effective communication. Employing technology to streamline administrative tasks and automate processes can alleviate the risk of candidates being left in uncertainty.

Moreover, fostering transparency from the outset by outlining the steps and timelines involved in the recruitment process establishes a foundation of accountability and openness between both parties.


A Two-Way Street: Candidacy and Responsibility


While candidates also have agency in the recruitment process, statistics reveal that recruiters are more prone to engaging in ghosting. While 19% of candidates admit to ghosting potential employers, the majority of instances involve recruiters being the culprits, highlighting the need to curb this harmful trend.

Dean Sadler, CEO at Tribepad says “In 2022 we set up an industry wide campaign to End Ghosting in recruitment after finding out just how often it happens, the impact it has on individuals, and on a company’s reputation. Why? Because we’re on a mission to make recruitment fairer, faster and better for everyone. We know the landscape is hard – for everyone.

“Layoffs are occurring, the cost of living crisis is making people reconsider their career moves or take on second jobs, and automated systems are causing a spike in job applications, making it hard for hiring managers to filter through and identify the best people for their vacant positions. But that doesn’t mean it’s ok to not appreciate time, investment and emotional labour that goes into applying for a job, and just leave people hanging due to time pressures, a lack of resources, or even a way of avoiding difficult conversations.

“We want to see ghosting stop. In 2023 with all the technology and systems available to us to streamline recruitment processes, there is no reason to be ghosting anyone.”