Written by Maciej Szczerba Job Market | Recruiting | Recruitment Agencies

Ghosting in our time

I originally wanted to give the title "Ghosting in the time of the plague". But I hope we're past the plague. And that in the plague, ghosting was not as terrible as it is now. In the "post-Covid" time it just became the worst ever.

I have 20 years of experience in B2B services, 14 of them in recruitment. 

In those 20 (14) years, I have never had to deal with a situation where clients, potential clients, candidates, after they have had a few minutes conversation with me and declare initial interest in collaboration/recruitment.... do not then respond to my emails, calls, text messages.

In other words, they "ghost".

I could always (or almost always) count on a reply:

"Our plans have changed".

"But we don't have the budget" 

"We need to postpone the decision" 

„I found an offer that suits me better”


In the last pandemic 2 years I have seen on LinkedIn as well as on many other social media statements: "Ghosting is dramatically increasing", "this is just rude"....

But let's consider where this high level of ghosting has come from and if we can do something about it.

The 3 main causes of ghosting:

1.In remote working in companies the number of meetings has increased significantly. Until now, the number of meetings was limited by the availability of meeting rooms. The number of "on-camera" meetings is not limited by anything. A large proportion of these meetings have turned into "meetings" similar to a bygone era, which simply steal time. People, therefore, have less and less time to do the basic tasks for which they were hired. They are increasingly difficult to reach.

2. Probably the most important reason- during a pandemic, therefore extreme uncertainty, people became afraid to make decisions. And this trend has been growing for two years. And unfortunately, it has been growing all the time. I see it very clearly on the customer acquisition side. It used to be that if the main decision-maker accepted an offer, he was able to convince his colleagues. Today, decision-making has become much more collective....It just gets bogged down somewhere. This is not good at all.

3. Ghosting on the part of candidates. Since the summer of 2021, I've seen candidates move into the market en masse. Far more than ever before. In theory, it should be easier for recruiters. In practice, it isn't. Why? It used to be that candidates were looking for a "slightly better position". So as to raise their salary and the next rung in their career by some 15%. Today, candidates are looking for a 'dream job'. What does this mean in practice? They want to make up for all the employers who were not perfect... Difficult for a recruiter. Right?

What to do with all this? Honestly, I don't know. But I am trying. My experience, which I could share because it gives some (better than worse) effect.

1. Use many different media to contact your prospects - not just LinkedIn and email. The good old telephone is coming back into favour. If the candidate/client doesn't pick up, send a text or message via messenger.  Build your presence in social media (write, comment, be an author). According to marketers, a person needs 5-7 points of contact with a brand to make a purchase decision. Yes, with your personal brand too. 

2. Try humour/joke. I'm not the best at this, I say right away. But I have 'educated' myself in it a bit. E.g. I've seen one UK recruiter throw in the message "my Bonnie went over the ocean", and a Polish recruiter throws a skeleton over the keyboard - because he's still waiting to hear from the candidate. Important- your joke must be authentic, in keeping with your sense of humour.

3. Adapt to the candidate's/client's daily routine. Best time for contact- 4-5pm (last hour of work). Then 13.45-14.15- just after lunch. Finally-9.00- the start of work. During these hours we are likely to get the highest response.

4. Like never before, you need to be prepared for the perfect sales pitch (this will be in the next post). In short: you need to understand the technology perfectly. Where the candidate is coming from and where they are going in their professional development in terms of technology. You also need to have a good understanding of what business area the candidate wants to grow in. People who work in large orgs will probably not want to move to a start-up. And vice versa.

5. You don't always get it to the hiring manager/client. Or rather, you don't get it. But work out in your language the 3 main arguments for the candidate in favour of your offer. In an ethical way. According to research, people mostly remember 3 arguments (no more).

I hope I helped at least a little.

"Good night and good luck".



Author: Maciej Szczerba LinkedIn Profile

Photo: Gowri Somanath / canva.com 

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