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Candidate Ghosting Company?

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Winnie Cheng

Thu Oct 18 2018 06:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

According to the latest labour force statistics (i.e. provisional figures for May – July 2018) released on August 17 by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in May – July 2018.


With this astonishing figure, The job openings exceed the demand, that then lead to ‘ghosting’, which candidates are bailing on scheduled interviews, in some other cases, some candidates are not showing up for their first day of work without any notification.

Why would the candidates do such a thing? Is it not the candidates’ responsibility to remain professional and courteous after signing the employment agreement?

The hiring process usually takes months to complete and can be lengthened depending on the seniority of the position. Beginning with posting job advertisements, interviewing candidates from different channels including recruitment agencies, post-interview paperwork, awaiting for candidates to serve for their notice period etc.


Let’s see some of the situations of why applicants and employees ‘ghost’:

“Employers almost never follow up after the interview to let candidates know that they didn’t get the job. So, they say, if employers can’t be bothered to show the smallest courtesy, why should the job candidate?”

“I have shared my abilities and provided previous track record to show I am a solid candidate and I am confident that a candidate or employee like myself has many other options.”

“Maybe they didn’t discuss compensation or benefits until the moment of contract signing, forcing candidates to re-think their application with the company on whether they are sincere enough when giving out the offer.”

“Businesses and people both exist to make money in general terms. If a better offer comes to me, I’m going to ignore the worse one, the same as the business would if a better offer than ME came along.”


During the recruitment process, communication is one of the key factors to build a good relationship with applicants or candidates, to ensure they understand the culture, values and prospects. Two-way communication helps both parties to understand what the expectations are and to ensure all parties are on the same page before proceeding to the next stage.


Here are some suggestions companies can embrace and practice to improve the recruitment process:

Interview process – Notify the full interview process to candidates. It is worth mentioning the length of the interview process. The more experienced (intermediate or above) candidates may interview other companies, let them know upfront about the process for a better time arrangement.

Benchmark salaries – A good understanding of where your organisation sits in relation to the market is essential in order to set an effective reward strategy. This will enable you to recruit new employees at the right salary.

Compensate fairly – Many businesses have standardized compensation instead of rewarding by using meritocratic approaches. Treat your existing and potential employees with more flexibility. Don’t underpay and undervalue talent because of legacy processes. Because when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

Keep your offer transparent – To minimise or avoid time wasting, you should discuss the employment details like compensation, benefits and welfare at the beginning of the process.

Recognize their working motives – Are they result-driven or money-driven candidates? You need to understand them in order to think whether or not the candidate suits your company culture.

Even though we are in a digital world, face-to-face communication is still the key to express ourselves, grab hold of this opportunity to understand each other’s expectations and come out with a win-win solution.


Confused at what to say?

Applicants should either by email or phone call to thank for the opportunity for having an interview. Notify them that you are not moving on in the interview process and explain why (no need to get too specific if you don’t want to). Wishing them well in sourcing potential candidates and expressing you are opened for other opportunities that they have in the future.

This is a small world, you never know who someone is, or will become, and when you might encounter them again. Keep your professionalism, positive reputation and relationship! After all you don’t want to burn bridges!!! You can’t control someone else’s part of the interaction; you can only control yours — and do the right thing. And the right thing is to do is either show up for the interview or let the employer know that you don’t intend to. We could all do better. But let it start with you.


Interested in exploring career opportunities or know a friend who does? Let us know!

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