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A bad candidate experience can have a detrimental effect on both brands and those applying to work with them. During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in volume of applicants for different positions. Rumors ran rife about being ghosted deep into the recruitment process. We wanted to investigate the scale of the problem and the damage being done, so we commissioned some research.

The findings were shocking. 65% of people have been ghosted, according to our research of 2000 UK adults. 86% said their experience of being ghosted left them feeling down and 43% said it took weeks, or even months, to rebuild and move on. The damage to brands also became clear, with 94% saying it left them with negative thoughts or feelings towards the company they applied to.

Most small companies manage with spreadsheets and simple trackers while large companies and recruitment agencies invest in technology, customized to their needs. Here are some tips to ensure your company can confidently avoid ghosting candidates.

  1. Get everyone on board. Recruitment is an area that most department managers get involved in as well as HR teams. Step one is to take the facts about the impacts of ghosting and educate everyone internally. Once you have company-wide support to ensure this doesn’t happen in your organization it’s time to make a plan on how you’re going to tackle ghosting head-on.
  2. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. What sort of communication would you want at each stage? A quick email takes seconds and can really help a candidate.
  3. Set up automated emails. If you have one, use your applicant tracking system (ATS) to set up automated emails to candidates at each stage of the application process. This means they will always be kept informed of the stage of their application.
  4. Send updates promptly. No news is good news, except for when you’re waiting to hear about an application. As soon as you’ve made a decision, positive or negative, then let the candidate know.
  5. Make notes straight after a call or interview. ‘Don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today’ as the old adage goes. Take thorough notes each time you speak to a candidate, this will make it easier to make a decision and also give you plenty of information to use when you go back to them.
  6. Use bulk email or SMS. Communicating with multiple candidates quickly and simply, a standardized message is better than no contact at all.
  7. Use your ATS reporting feature or keep a log. This helps to ensure that no candidate gets forgotten, know how many candidates have applied to each role, what stage they’re at, and when you last contacted them, save all that inbox searching time.
  8. Close down the role. When you hire someone make sure to go back and check you have processed and responded to all of the other applicants.
  9. Get feedback from your applicants. They’re the ones that have been through your process so can offer some valuable insight. Make sure you speak to both successful and unsuccessful candidates for a well-rounded view.
  10. Review and improve your process. There’s always room for improvement, ensure you revisit your plan and the tactics you’re using every few months to make sure they’re still impactful and to implement any new ideas.

Telling candidates they haven’t been selected is a tough call to make, especially when you’ve been positive up until that point. But doing so quickly and kindly provides closure and allows them to move on with their career elsewhere.

No one ever intends to ghost a candidate part-way through the recruitment process, but it’s important to acknowledge that it does sometimes happen. We need to tackle this problem together. By supporting this campaign and following the best practice guidelines, employers can show that they care about each applicant as an individual. We invite readers to join the campaign or share their stories at www.end-ghosting.com.

By Neil Armstrong of Tribepad.

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Sally Fletcher
Sally Fletcher

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Sally Fletcher
December 12, 2023

I would highly recommend agilis recruitment to anyone looking for work. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Chris, who matched the skills I have to an opportunity I was unable to refuse. He was professional and knowledgeable, but also friendly and down to earth. With quick response times, he was able to answer every question I had about the role whilst selling my skills and personality to the company before I had even met them. The input form Chris throughout the process, not only made everything easier but also it took the pressure off massively. I am very grateful. Thank you.

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Jon Ives
December 11, 2023

Chris has done a great job for me. It's most refreshing to have a recruiter that both understands the role being recruited and listens to the candidate's requirements and concerns. Top marks!

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Michael-William Kelly
December 2, 2023

It was great to work with Chris at Agilis to find my new role. He was always on hand to guide me through the process and make sure I was fully briefed prior to each interview. I would happily use Chris to find me a job... although I'm very happy where I am now! M-W Kelly

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Eric Edge
October 31, 2023

Had a top experience with Edd. Sorted me 3 interviews with my preference of company, landed a role very quickly after. Professional + Friendly guy, would recommend.

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Edna Atkins
July 17, 2023

An excellent recruitment experience. From the initial contact and throughout the interview process, Chris and his team excelled. I can highly recommend this agency.

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Brendan Dodge
May 15, 2023

Chris from Agilis recruitment was fantastic. Professional and friendly; from providing the role, to the level of contact throughout the process.

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Jen Cummings
May 15, 2023

Edd was great, I had some bad experiences with recruiters whilst looking for a new role but Edd restored my faith!

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Harry
March 29, 2023

Chris at Agilis was professional throughout the entire process and was always available to discuss any concerns. He also made sure to only flag roles that I would have a genuine interest in. Thanks again Chris!

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Mac Beirne
March 1, 2023

Chris Ellsworth was my recruiter and I was greatly impressed with the level of his assistance throughout the process from start to finish. He provided me with job role applications that were personalised to me based on what I told him I was looking for. If there was any confusion, I was always able to contact him throughout the whole process and ask for clarification which he would then, always happily give. Chris genuinely made me feel that he wanted me to get the role as much as I did and helped me with every step on the way.

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subhash d
May 24, 2022

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. Found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way. Thank you so much for the support Ed.

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Jessica Stafford
May 10, 2022

Had a great experience with Agilis Recruitment. Ed helped me find the perfect role for me in a great business. He also was very professional, cooperative but most importantly, understood what was important to me and listened to what I was looking for. Thank you Ed!

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Arthur Guide
February 25, 2022

Amazing experience with Agilis, a professional company. I have no words to thank Edward. He found a great role for me.

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Miles Jarvis
February 5, 2021

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. It was great to have a recruiter who understands exactly what his clients are looking for in a candidate. 5 stars!

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Damian Marchewka
February 2, 2021

Ed was great, found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way, solid agency

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Nadia Mkinsi
May 27, 2020

Laura is a lovely individual and easily the best recruiter I have ever worked with: proactive without being pushy, professional without lacking sincerity, and most importantly, she genuinely cares about her clients. She was incredibly conscientious in understanding my background and aspirations, and matched me with a role I WAS really excited about. I knew I was in good hands from our very first conversation – and I am happy to say I am a month into my new job and loving it!

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Dean Rudge
April 21, 2020

I worked with Ed when securing my role. It was a massive step in the direction I wanted to move my career in and Ed was pivotal in making that happen. I liked that right from the start he was not pushy, he listened to what I had to say and feedback and he kept in regular contact without bombarding me, using the most suitable form of messaging whether it be LinkedIn, Email or a Phone Call. I would highly recommend Ed and the guys at Agilis - keep up the great work guys!

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Paul Stonuary
March 30, 2020

A really nice team to do with. Proactive, prompt and supportive - just what you want, but rarely find in a recruitment agency.

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Chris Harvey
March 23, 2020

Have found Agilis recruiting fantastic. Cannot rate them highly enough! Give them a go for all recruitment needs!

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Harry Ray
March 20, 2020

Laura and Ed at Agilis helped me get placed last year, and Laura was exceptionally accommodating and patient, calling me outside of hours when it was convenient for me and keeping me in the loop about everything that was going on. I'm happy with my role and feel like the guys at Agilis really put time and effort into their work -- thank you!

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Tarnea Garvey
March 20, 2020

My experience with Agilis has been great. I found Laura to be incredible helpful and always ensured she remained in contact with me throughout my job search. Thankfully I managed to find a new job through Agilis and the company has turned out to be everything that they told me the it would be! 5 Stars from me!!

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Alex Dewey
March 19, 2020

Great experience with Agilis. Following relocating to Bristol I’d found myself having conversations with a couple members of the team. I’d expressed how important it was for me to find the right role but also due to circumstance I needed the process to be accelerated as much as possible. Laura was my main point of contact and managed to find me the best role I’ve ever had in what must be record time. I couldn’t rate their work higher and will definitely be my first point of contact when looking for new opportunities. Thanks again!

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Harry Rossiter
March 19, 2020