How Ghosting a Recruiter Can Come Back to Haunt You

ghosting a recruiter

I get it, some recruiters have a reputation of ghosting candidates, and you probably think that what goes around comes around. However, ghosting a recruiter can come back to haunt you. And I was taught as a child that two wrongs don’t make a right.

I work mostly with Software Engineers and it seems more rampant with the tight labor market in the Tech Sector, especially in the Bay Area where I fill most of my jobs. But markets shift and recruiters like me who are in the height of their careers have long memories, and even more importantly, applicant tracking systems that share all data on our interactions with candidates. So, even if one recruiter leaves or moves on to a new role within the company, the ghosting becomes part of your records.

Going dark

I was recently working with a prospective candidate where I was actively engaging with them. We were emailing, texting, as well as playing major phone tag. They had a great first conversation with the client and the client asked to bring them in for an in-person team meeting. Then the candidate went dark. It took days to get a reply back and then when they did surface, they only provided one day of availability. I shared this with the client, and of course, the client was at a training that day and unable to meet. I immediately shared this update with the candidate, via email and voice message. No response, nothing… It was like the middle of the night quiet but not peaceful because we now had to share the unfortunate news with our client that this individual ghosted us.

It’ll come back and haunt you

Fast forward a few months later we have more openings with this client. I posted the job on our website and traditional boards plus did my due diligence in searching to fill these roles. The same candidate who ghosted me applied four times on two different job boards. It appears that this candidate hasn’t worked since I last spoke with them. Even though they are a fit for the role and could add value to my client, I can’t take the risk on them again and I don’t want to risk my client’s projects on someone who is clearly not a team player.

I can’t take responsibility for what other recruiters do, but I can do my best to make your experience with me and JSG a great one and ask for the same in return.

By staying in touch, that candidate could have made an advocate of me for their career. And even if this role didn’t work out, I would have kept them in mind for another better opportunity in the future.