If you’ve ever been waiting by the phone, refreshing your inbox and hoping to hear news about a job you’ve interviewed for, only to be met with radio silence, you’ll know how crushing it can be to be ghosted by a recruiter. Here’s why it happens, how to encourage a response, and how to move forward with your confidence intact.
Why does it happen?
While it doesn’t make it right, unfortunately being ghosted by a recruiter can be a common part of the job-hunting process. HR Professional Tanya Southey and Career Coach and founder of Careerists Thai Ngo explain some of the reasons behind ghosting in the recruitment industry.
Tanya says that it’s quite common for a recruiter’s clients to change what they are looking for or remove the role altogether. While some will let you know, others may not – recruitment is a highly pressurised field and providing feedback for a position they are no longer looking to fill falls down the priority list.
It may also be the case that they have no news to share. “As a former recruiter, I know sometimes recruiters ghost because they are also awaiting an answer from the client – they are the middle man between the company’s HR and the applicants,” says Thai.
He also adds that ghosting behaviour is often also due to recruiters simply not having the time to provide feedback to every applicant and the fact that many recruiters simply aren’t equipped to be able to provide constructive and valuable feedback.
What can you do about it?
“A quick phone call is often your best chance of getting the feedback you need to move forward. Texting and emails are easily overlooked” Southey says.
“Try asking for feedback in a way that recruiters would find harder to resist – for example ‘I’m really trying to improve my job seeking game, so if you had time to give me one thing you’d suggest I work on, I’d really appreciate it,” he says.
Moving on post-ghosting
There’s no denying it, being ghosted for a job you were interested in can definitely dent the confidence, Ngo suggests you frame your experience in a more positive manner. He points out most jobs have many, many applicants, so if you’ve made to the interview stage, this is something to pat yourself on the back for.
In terms of preserving your self-esteem and confidence, Southey suggests making use of your networks. “If you have a great mentor, or former colleagues that can remind you of your strengths and help you identify areas to work on, make use of them and ask for feedback and support.”
And if it’s happened one time too many or you’re starting to see a pattern, you might want to consider some one-on-one time with a career coach. Ngo says the relevant experience and education is your step in the door, but it’s what you uniquely bring to the table that gets most successful people over the line, and many of us don’t always know what this is. A career coach can help you identify it.
The most important thing to remember if you have been ghosted is that it doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t a great applicant, it could be that the job changed or that you missed out by a slither. Instead of focussing on why you were ghosted, shift your focus to how you can best stand out for the next role.