Ghosting Your Recruiter? Don't. | Consult

Ghosting Your Recruiter? Don't.

Ghosting Your Recruiter? Don't. main image
Read time - 25 min

Ghosting. We live in a world where many have the mindset to put their phone on silent and ignore the situation away. Starting out in the dating world it’s now in the professional one and can happen both ways in recruitment. I’m specifically going to talk about candidates ghosting recruiters mid-way through a process, why as a candidate you should avoid it and what to do instead!

Recruiters get it, you are going to choose what’s best for you.

This article explains why ghosting is far from the best option. Before I kick off though I admit, sometimes there are things that the recruiter could have done better, perhaps they’ve not been in contact with you enough and the process has dragged on, so by the time they come back to you again you’ve lost interest or got another opportunity. Maybe you’ve been contacted by the recruiter too much and you’re fed up with getting back to them.

Sometimes however, it's without warning. You’ve changed your mind and it’s ‘easier’ to ignore the recruiters calls and hope they give up. These points are aimed at this scenario, and the things you should give some consideration to the next time you are ignoring that recruiters calls!

Why You Shouldn’t Ghost Your Recruiter


Professional courtesy

As a candidate, recruitment consultants spend a lot of time qualifying you, coaching you for interview, giving you feedback and trusting you to put the effort in to get the position. They may have gone out on a limb for you with their client to fight your corner.

When they do their job right, they invest the time in you and it’s professional courtesy and respect to take the time out to respond with a call, text or email to let they know things have changed. They may be disappointed sure, but they will respect it and appreciate the contact. It takes one minute to send a message and will save them a lot of time and their relationship with their client won't suffer as a result.

You ghosting them may also be holding up a client’s whole process. A client who has also spent time qualifying your profile, so it’s not just the recruiter's time that’s been spent.



You may feel there’s no harm in not continuing contact with a recruiter and assume it doesn’t matter because there are other loads of recruiters out there. Wrong. The world is small, recruiters are very well networked and if you want to create an unprofessional reputation, this is the way to go about it.

Recruiters will advise their clients you are no longer coming back to them and it won't be just the recruiter that has a poor impression of you. Recruiters record these situations on their databases and it may rule you out as a potential candidate for that whole consultancy. You never know when you might need them or want to work with their clients again. Perhaps that hiring manager could move to another company you really want to work for. By ghosting the recruiter and hiring manager they will both be very reluctant to consider you again.


You might be missing out on a better deal for yourself

If a certain factor has put you off, let your recruiter know! If it’s something they can help or advise with, they will, but by ghosting them they will never know and never understand why you would not like to continue with that opportunity, or what they could have done to help you further with future positions. You’ll be missing out on any other potential opportunities with them.


Personal development

If nothing else, look at your interview process as practice for personal and professional growth. You are more than likely going to encounter uncomfortable situations in your professional future and when those situations arise, you don’t want to be stuck not knowing how you handle yourself.

Ghost outside
Ghost in the street

What to do Instead


Create a relationship based on commitment and honesty

It’s all too easy to take the coward’s way out and ignore those calls. Who likes dodging repeated calls, texts and emails? Because they will chase you, wondering if it's just because you are busy that you are not replying, or that perhaps something has happened! You’ll feel much better about yourself if you bite the bullet and call them as soon as you possibly can. Don’t leave it until the last minute and don’t be afraid to tell the truth to your recruiter.

It may feel uncomfortable in the moment, but everyone will leave feeling respected, and the recruiter will be more likely to consider you for future opportunities and to speak positively about you to potential employers.


Help yourself

Recruiters deal with changing scenarios constantly and they appreciate that your driving factors and motivations may change throughout the process and that you are wanting to negotiate the best opportunity. Communicate with them so they can manage expectations effectively and diffuse situations straight away. When they know the full story, they can then assist you and the hiring manager, with both of your interests at heart.


Realise recruiters and hiring managers are people too

The hiring managers that recruiters deal with have all been part of their own interview process at some point and will understand that motivations may have changed. It may be disappointing news for them to hear that you’re not going to be their new exciting team member or attend their interview, but they would wholeheartedly appreciate understanding why you have made this decision, instead of silence. They will be able to focus their efforts where they need to be rather than spending time chasing you and having you ignore their calls.

Insights ghosted coffee

In Summary

Managing your relationship with your recruiter is key when you are seeking an opportunity. They have the contacts within the market and access to opportunities that are not listed. So don’t be short-sighted!

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