Ghosting in the job market: The phenomenon of the disappearing candidate

"Ghosting" is a term that has become increasingly popular in the context of the labor market. Traditionally associated with interpersonal relationships, it now finds application in recruitment. But what exactly does "ghosting" mean in the world of work?

What is ghosting in the labor market?

The year 2021 brought many surprises. Faced with uncertainty, many job candidates may have felt hesitant before accepting a new role. However, one of the most surprising trends this year is "ghosting" in recruitment. In a nutshell, this refers to a situation where a candidate suddenly stops responding to messages, doesn't show up for appointments, or even doesn't come to work on the first day without giving any explanation. Research conducted by Indeed has shown that this phenomenon has become more common in the past year.

Why do candidates use ghosting?

The phenomenon of "ghosting" in the context of the job market may seem puzzling, but it has its causes. Nowadays, when candidates in the IT industry have many options to choose from, they may feel more confident in their decisions. Sometimes they get a better job offer elsewhere, and sometimes they get a counteroffer from their current employer. In some cases, they may have doubts about the culture of the company to which they are applying. But are these reasons enough to completely abandon communication with a potential employer?

How to counteract ghosting?

Faced with the growing phenomenon of "ghosting" in the recruitment process, employers face the challenge of adjusting their strategies to attract and retain the best candidates. One key step in this direction is shortening and streamlining the recruitment process. These days, when candidates have many options to choose from, a long and complicated process can discourage them. Responding quickly to applications, clearly communicating next steps, and communicating decisions in a timely manner are key.

In addition, it is worth considering how the company presents itself to the outside world. Is the organizational culture attractive to potential employees? Are the salary and benefits offered competitive with other companies in the industry? Many people decide to "ghost" when they receive a more attractive offer from a competitor. That's why it's important to stay abreast of what's happening in the market and adapt to these changes.

Finally, consider building relationships with candidates. A personal approach, understanding a candidate's needs and expectations can make them more engaged in the process and less likely to use "ghosting." Today's job market requires employers to be flexible, empathetic and open to candidates' needs.

Ghosting - what are the consequences for employers?

The phenomenon of "ghosting" not only complicates the recruitment process, but also has long-term consequences for the organization. First of all, the unexpected disappearance of a candidate can lead to delays in projects and tasks, especially if the company was counting on a specific person to fill a key role.

Besides, "ghosting" can affect a company's image. If candidates regularly drop out of communications without explanation, it can suggest that something is wrong with the recruitment process or company culture. In the age of social media and portals like Glassdoor, negative reviews spread quickly, which can scare off other potential candidates.

Another aspect is the financial cost. The recruitment process, especially for specialized positions, can be costly. Investing time and resources in a candidate who suddenly disappears can lead to significant financial losses.

As a result, companies need to be more proactive in managing their recruitment processes to minimize the risk of "ghosting." This includes not only adjusting recruitment strategies, but also building strong relationships with candidates and ensuring a positive image of the company in the labor market.


"Ghosting" has become a challenge for the modern labor market, introducing uncertainty and complications into the recruitment process. Both employers and candidates need to understand the implications of this phenomenon and work to build transparent, open relationships. The key for companies is to adapt to the dynamically changing environment, listen to candidates' needs and create attractive job offers. Only then can they effectively counteract "ghosting" and build lasting, fruitful relationships with prospective employees. In the digital age, where communication is easier than ever, this has ironically become more complicated. But with the right approach and understanding, companies can turn this challenge into an opportunity for better relationships and recruitment success.

Fast Forward Solutions - Your source for the best professionals

Fast Forward Solutions specializes in recruitment services in the areas of IT, e-commerce, sales and marketing. Our rigorous methodology combines role profiling, executive search and candidate assessment, supported by consulting services. As a result, we guarantee efficiency and rapid acquisition of the best talent on the market. With our support, any company can increase sales, reduce operating costs, improve the efficiency of human resources management and strengthen investor confidence.


About the author: Tomasz Bożyczko

Tomasz Bożyczko is an experienced leader in managing marketing and sales teams, President and Founder of Fast Forward Solutions. His passion for recruiting and developing teams has contributed to the success of many organizations. Tomasz is an expert in hiring top talent and improving recruitment processes.

We hope these tips will help you create compelling job opportunities and optimize your recruitment process to attract the most valuable employees for your company.