Ghosting and Candidate experience…. Are you impacting your overall cost of hire by the way you treat potential employees?

By Jon Hampson


How did you feel when a company you really wanted to work for didn’t get back to you after you interviewed with them? Chances are the words you are looking for range from ‘bitter’ through to ‘negative’ or even ‘angry’!

From personal experience I remember interviewing as a fresh-faced job seeker back in 2003 and interviewing for a software sales role based on Sydney’s beautiful Northern Beaches.  I remember the interview well, (even the cringeworthy shiny grey suit I was wearing!) as the hiring manager drew me in with a one-sided interview where I felt like I was being interrogated. I’m surprised I wasn’t attached to electrodes!

After outlining in detail the fantastic rookie sales program I had been through during my days at HP in the UK (where a real emphasis was put on you taking initiative and training you how to deal with people at all levels), I noticed the interviewer furiously writing away and asking fairly pointed and detailed questions to make sure he squeezed every last drop of information out of me around this before looking at his watch and then asking me if I had any questions for him.

I walked out of that interview knowing pretty much nothing more about the company, the role I was interviewing for or anything about the manager that was interviewing me. What I did know was that there was no way on earth I wanted to work for that company! The whole experience had put me off. The promises of further interviews being set up didn’t materialize, in fact nothing did. As it happened, I didn’t get the job as I didn’t hear from them ever again. I even phoned up and left messages to find out where my application had progressed to but alas, no update was ever received. I’d been ‘ghosted’ and it wasn’t a nice experience.

In terms of a ‘sliding doors’ moment this may well have contributed in my decision to make the switch from IT Sales into Recruitment. What I realized is that I actually wanted to treat people in the same way in which I like to be treated and Recruitment allowed me to do that day in, day out!

I’ve heard many stories recently and have personally witnessed times during my career where an organization works really hard to entice somebody to an interview only to then instantly lose them because they have provided a below par candidate experience.

In this day and age when IT, digital disruption and all-round skills shortages are becoming the norm; as a business if you haven’t yet defined your candidate experience then research shows that your hiring experience is going to be erratic and have a much higher overall cost of hire. Making the process, fast, easy and most importantly personal for a candidate is only going to increase your chances of hiring them.

Your overall Employment Brand is so important as it is inherently linked to your Candidate experience. Whist this isn’t necessarily a new concept in an age where employment choices are driven by a multitude of factors including a company’s environmental stance, flexibility of workplace, gender, diversity and a number of other equally important factors then can you afford NOT to have a brand or to continually invest in promoting it? The big end of town has this nailed in terms of branding their experience but it’s taken time.

With Australia being the land of the entrepreneur where small to medium businesses are the big business of tomorrow then having this defined now will make you even more likely to have a memorable candidate experience for the right reasons.

Here at Genesis we have years of collective experience around what constitutes good (and bad!) candidate experience. We are constantly striving to make sure we get this right and whilst we’ve personally learnt from our mistakes in terms of how we treat the candidates we work with; we are more than happy to share what we see. Drop us a line or give us a call and as part of our overall service in recruiting Contract and Permanent IT Roles we promise not to ‘ghost you’. Just don’t’ ask me about my own ‘ghosting experience from 2003’. It’s still hurts….!



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