‘Ghosting’ Is No Ghost Story When It Comes to Talent Acquisition, Retention

6 minutes read

By James Tehrani

It’s not Halloween yet, is it?

It sure feels like it since the “ghosts” are out and about. 

In fact, hearing this news might make your eyes bug out like a cartoon character who’s just seen a ghost: More and more job candidates are “ghosting” companies nowadays. 

A typical complaint we hear from job candidates is that companies don’t get back to them quickly or at all regarding their status for an available position (AKA, ghosting) because companies usually hold the best hand. But now that the tide has turned and job seekers have been dealt a trump hand, more candidates are either not responding to recruiters or, worse, not showing up at all even after they have been hired!


A recent Recruiting News Network survey found that, eerily, 40% of the talent acquisition respondents cited ghosting as a top challenge. 

“The sad fact is ghosting will very likely continue for the foreseeable future due to pervasive talent shortages,” according to Recruiting News Network. “Candidates now wield considerable power in the talent market, and many of them have multiple job offers, counteroffers and potential employers on the table at any given time.”

No wonder the world of recruiting has become such a “ghost” town!

While not exactly paranormal, this problem has been levitating for a while now. An Indeed survey from last year found that 28% of job seekers had ghosted a company while 76% of companies said they’d been ghosted. 

The most common reasons for ghosting included that the candidate:

  • Received another job offer.
  • Decided the job was not right for them.
  • Was not offered enough money.

Anyone have the Ghostbusters’ phone number handy? Who else ya gonna call?

And while the pandemic is far from over, we are seeing companies returning to a sense of “normalcy,” but they are needing more and more talent to keep up with demand. For example: Booked any flights lately? Pricing flights might make you say, “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” as will seeing how understaffing has led to cancellations and frustrations for passengers and employees alike. 

Still staffing, itself, is surging, but you know there is a “but” coming …

So here’s that famous “but.” 

The Great Resignation, Great Reset, Great Reshuffle or whatever else you want to call it is here as is soaring inflation. Add a labor shortage to that mix and you can see why ghosting has become so ghastly for companies. The employers that don’t adapt will likely be haunted by that decision for a while because, if working conditions are not to their liking or pay is inadequate, chances are candidates or current employees will disappear.  

Additionally, as Recruiting News Network reports, a poor candidate experience, ghoulish recruiting process with interview upon interview, and even a “lousy” onboarding process could scare people away from joining a company.

So what’s a company to do?

PrismHR, EPAY’s parent company, recently published a new staffing e-book where staffing companies and nonstaffing companies alike can learn great tips on how to rev up their recruiting efforts. 

And trust us: This is no ghost story.  

James Tehrani is EPAY System’s digital content marketing manager. He is an award-winning writer and editor based in the Chicago area.

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