Decoding The Psychology Of Candidate Ghosting

In the rapidly evolving landscape of recruitment, one phenomenon that continues to challenge employers is job ghosting. Discover the reasons behind job ghosting and how Leap Onboard can be a part of the solution.

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According to a recent survey published in December 2023 by Indeed, over 60% of U.S. job seekers (61%) have admitted ghosting two to four employers in the past year. Ghosting, where candidates abruptly cease communication during or after the hiring process, is more common than you realize. By understanding the psychology behind this behavior, employers can develop effective strategies to reduce its occurrence and impact.

Unpacking the Phenomenon

Job ghosting, a prevalent issue in contemporary recruitment, refers to candidates abruptly cutting off communication, neglecting scheduled interviews, or even failing to show up for their first day of work, leaving employers perplexed. This leads to a disruption in not just the recruitment process but also in the company missing timelines, losing billing opportunities and placing increased stress on existing teams.

  • Silent Disappearance: Candidates cease communication abruptly, ignoring calls, emails, and scheduled engagements. This behaviour often leaves employers feeling frustrated and uncertain about the candidate’s intentions.
  • Recruitment Disruption: The sudden disappearance of candidates disrupts the flow of the recruitment process, causing delays and uncertainties. This can result in additional expenses and resources spent on finding replacement candidates.
  • Puzzling Behaviour: Employers are left questioning what went wrong and how to prevent such occurrences in the future. Understanding the motives behind job ghosting is crucial for devising effective prevention strategies.

Root Causes of Job Ghosting

Several underlying factors contribute to the phenomenon of job ghosting, rooted in the dynamics of the modern job market and candidate behaviour:

  • Choice of Options: Candidates, often faced with multiple job offers, experience decision paralysis or favour more appealing opportunities. Employers need to differentiate themselves to attract and retain top talent.
  • Avoidance of Confrontation: Many candidates find it uncomfortable to communicate rejection or negotiate terms, opting for avoidance instead. Building rapport and fostering open communication channels can encourage candidates to express their concerns more readily.
  • Email Disconnection: The impersonal nature of email communication makes it easier for candidates to ghost without facing the emotional weight of personal interactions.

Strategies to Reduce Ghosting

Employers can implement various strategies to mitigate the incidence of job ghosting and foster better candidate engagement:

  • Personalized & Relevant Communication: Employers should aim to create personalised, relevant and consistent experiences for a candidate. Establish open, transparent channels to foster connection and responsibility, discouraging candidates from ghosting.
  • Be Available: Regular updates and feedback can help candidates feel valued and engaged throughout the process.
  • Expedite Hiring Processes: Simplify and expedite hiring procedures to maintain candidate interest and reduce opportunities for ghosting. Clear timelines and expectations can minimise ambiguity and encourage commitment from candidates.

How Leap Onboard Can Help Companies Tackle Ghosting

Organisations today struggle to build and maintain strong relationships with candidates during the hiring process and beyond. At Leap Onboard, we offer a solution to this challenge. With our platform, companies can seamlessly connect with candidates and employees, drive engagement through tailored posts, track and measure interactions, and efficiently collect onboarding documents. When candidates experience a well-organized and responsive recruitment process, their enthusiasm to join your organization increases.


In conclusion, job ghosting presents a significant challenge in today’s hiring landscape, but it also offers an opportunity for employers to re-evaluate and improve their recruitment strategies. By understanding the motivations and frustrations behind why candidates ghost, employers can create more engaging, transparent, and respectful hiring processes. Investing in technology and tools such as Leap Onboard to enhance communication, providing timely feedback, and fostering a positive candidate experience are critical steps to reducing ghosting incidents.