Stop Playing Cat & Mouse with Your Candidates

Raise your hand if you've ever sent an email and then been ghosted.

🙋‍♀️ 🙋‍♂️ 🙋

As you can imagine, you’re not alone.

Inboxes and social media have become black holes full of distractions. Sure, a lot of us aspire for inbox 0, but when it comes down to it, very few of us manage that.

In order to stay close to your candidates in the hiring process many people organizations are exploring text as a communication tool to better engage their audiences.

Even if you live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that email responses are few and far between, which creates really drastic hold-ups in your process. Now, what if I told you that texting could cut your time-to-fill in half?


Why does SMS appeal to potential hires?

Texting is often the preferred method of communication for hourly employees. If they are currently employed and looking for a new opportunity, most candidates aren’t in a position to be able to take an unscheduled phone call to answer questions or chat about a job.


Candidates have a higher chance of being able to check their phone and respond to a text message quickly.

Not only is texting convenient for them, but it also allows candidates to get fast, real-time updates on their journey through the application process.

When the recruiting team starts texting with candidates, it provides candidates with a low stake channel to keep the lines of communication open. Applicants can easily ask and respond to questions without feeling the pressure of sending off a more formal means of communication such as an email.


How does SMS benefit the process as a whole?

Let’s face it. We’re all addicted to our phones. Our dopamine-addicted brains are conditioned to feel compelled to respond to the immediate notifications we receive on our phones.

Most of us are actively screening our notifications as they come in and we respond to the more important messages first. From there, even if we don’t respond right away, many of us will get back to the sender in 24 hours or less.

Due to the texting habits we see in the world today, the recipient of a text is left with a sense of urgency that isn’t there with an email. This push helps to engage candidates by promoting quick response times.

With the low barrier to entry, and the ease of use, shooting off a quick text early in your recruiting process can help you reach a candidate before another organization has the chance to.

As we mentioned earlier, having a less formal communication channel is great for candidate engagement because they can easily ask questions, rescheduled if needed, and have a quick response line if they are struggling to find an interview link, entering the building for onboarding, and finding the room for orientation.

The big win for most teams is that texts are incredibly easy to personalize. That extra intentional step helps create a better experience for the candidate making them more likely to respond and accept a role.


How do you create an SMS-based process?

Well, the good news is that there really isn’t a right or a wrong way to develop a process that drives results and works for your team.

When it comes to finding a couple of places to start, we suggest taking a step back, and refreshing everyone’s favorite sales phrase.

The old -> ABC: Always be closing
The new -> ABT: Always be texting


A few questions to help you figure out where SMS may be a good fit include:

  • How can a text be used as the first point of contact
  • How can a text be used to supplement contact that has to be sent via email
  • How can a text be used to drive candidate engagement along the funnel
  • How can a text be used to enhance other areas outside of engaging active candidates?


As you think about ways to implement texting in other areas of your talent recruitment we suggest using texting to:

  • Follow up with candidates after a hiring event
  • Re-engage with stale candidates or your silver medalists when another opportunity comes around
  • Help with your prospecting and sourcing of candidates in your funnel
  • Create a quick, efficient onboarding process that new hires can fly through


Where should your recruiters be texting in the process?

We encourage teams to experiment with how comfortable they are with a text-heavy communication system based on their organization’s company culture, recruiting process, and what the team as a whole is comfortable with.

One way to help your team get in the habit of texting is by making a new team catchphrase…

”Does this have to be an email? Or can I send a text?"

If you’re open to replacing all nonessential emails with texts, maybe you can take a proactive approach with your communications by building early connections, directing them to important emails, and setting timeline expectations for things like a background check or a drug test.


Leveraging text is a great way to naturally increase your candidate experience and engagement, but if you’re looking for really tactical ways to do that, we recommend adding text to these places in your funnel:

  • Application - Shoot a candidate a text thanking them for applying, establish a timeline for when they will hear back from you, and let them know they can reach out to you directly with any questions!
  • Phone Screen with Recruiter - If texting is their preferred method of communication, text them the link to schedule their phone screen, or get creative in ways to facilitate a texting screen.
  • Scheduling Reminders - Shoot a quick text over the morning of as a reminder and include any logistical information that would be helpful, ie: the building address or where they can find the link to join.
  • Offer Stage - Send them a congrats message and prompt them to go check their email to sign their offer letter!
  • Background Check / Drug Screen - You can use text to send reminders and create urgency, and then let them know when they can expect their results.
  • First Day - Send reminders, well wishes, and logistical details that would be helpful.


Outside of your normal hiring process, a few ways to use texting to increase your candidate experience include:

  • Sending surveys - These could include specific things to your company or a more broad survey like an NPS Survey.
  • Sending modern-day 'thank you' notes - A great example could include a recruiter sending a candidate a text like this, “it’s been a pleasure working with you, wishing you all the best in your new role with XX company.”
  • Sending check-in messages as they onboard - these can look like something as simple as, “hope your first day was a great one!”


Does texting actually impact your time-to-fill?

It can sound really daunting to think about recreating your whole recruiting process to enable and rely on texting but the numbers don’t lie…

With engagement rates like this, candidates will fly through your process. You may end up hiring at double, or triple your usual speed.

Your Guide to Getting Started with SMS

With a tight labor market, many are asking how they can make a quick impression and create an efficient process to hire faster. With email being a channel of the past, it’s time to embrace the communication standards we have in 2022.

No, we’re not talking about phone calls, snail mail, or even social media. We’re talking about bringing texting into your recruiting pipeline to help stay in touch with your hard-to-reach candidates.

I get it—texting at work sounds unprofessional and can feel a little weird, but… all the cool kids are doing it! Okay, okay, yes, I know you’re saying, “And if all the cool kids jumped off a bridge, would you?” (I mean… maybe? Exactly how cool are the cool kids we’re talking about? Ya know?) Fortunately, we don’t promote texting as a channel just because it’s trendy.

It actually works.


So, Will My Team Benefit?

Sure, it’s great that some people are seeing success with texting, but how do you know if it’s worth the investment for your team?

If your team…

  • Is struggling to keep candidates engaged
  • Is actively backfilling roles to stay on track for their req targets
  • Is at max capacity managing the talent pools they have

… maybe texting would be a good fit. The thing is, texting not only allows you to get in touch with candidates quickly, but it helps you keep them close and engaged, while allowing your team the opportunity to simplify their workflow and better manage their pipelines.

Ready to see how our customers go about implementing texting to make it a positive and easy addition to their processes?


How The Pros Do It

When it comes to getting your team up and running with SMS, there are a few options. Most of our customers choose to crawl, walk, and then run!


First, We Crawl.

Together, we help you get your notifications set up, integrate with your ATS, and upload some shared templates for your team to use. We also get your team logins set up.

Don’t believe us?

"The implementation plan you gave us just looked way too easy. I told my IT contact that this was going to be a disaster… It was just too easy. I thought something had to be wrong."


Then, We Walk.

Once your team is up and running with templates and notifications, the fun can begin! Any time you would pop over to your email to shoot a candidate a message, try texting them instead.

If you have a group of candidates you want to reach out to collectively, try sending a bulk message instead of individually reaching out to each of them.

Lastly, if you’re ready to go pro with your follow-up game, start scheduling nudges when you send a candidate a message, or set up a bulk message campaign. Grayscale herds your cats for you, so you can sit back, connect with your candidates, and make excellent hires!

Unsure if it makes a difference?

“Our biggest issue was not being able to reach our candidates. We relied heavily on email communication, but having an option to text has increased our response rates and decreased our lag time from application to initial interview.”


Then, We Run!

Once you’re feeling settled and comfortable with SMS in your hiring process, it’s time to give it a little pizazz! By incorporating automations, your messages will be triggered to automatically send when another action happens, i.e., a stage change or an upcoming interview reminder.

Here’s what our users say,

“Communication with candidates via text messaging is at times more efficient and delivers faster results. Bulk messaging saves a ton of time, and automations are a lifesaver!”


Turns Out, People Are So Much More Inclined to Respond to a Text than They Are to an Email.

Believe it or not, we’re all a little fed up with our inboxes! Honestly, can you blame us? Between the amount of work and clutter we accumulate from our jobs and everyone’s favorite—spam—the thought of maintaining our email comms is draining.

Finding a way to get out of the chaos and into a quiet channel can help ensure your important messages are never lost to a spam filter, accidentally deleted, or archived in a purging episode. Plus, you’re more likely to receive a timely reply.

So, yes, texting your candidates is trendy, but it’s also a great way to keep them engaged without overwhelming your recruiters. Ready to give it a try?



Your Ghostbusting Guide to Getting Candidates to Day One

Halloween may be right around the corner, but it's “spooky season” every day for recruiters and HR professionals.

Ghosts are hiding inside every great candidate, waiting to make them disappear.

This leaves many recruiters backfilling roles, crossing their fingers and toes, knocking on wood, and absolutely never holding their breath on the off chance that a candidate will show up for work on day one. The more this occurs, the more discouraging it becomes to our hard-working recruiting teams.

So, why are new hires ghosting before day one, and—more importantly—how do we make it stop?


Why are New Hires Ghosting?

Great question! Here's what we know…

With the current generations of the workforce growing up quickly satisfied by TV, microwaves, cell phones, instant pots, drive thrus, and Amazon Prime, it can be hard to keep someone’s attention without providing almost immediate feedback.

Due to the pressing communication expectations awaiting our recruiters, slow and/or unorganized processes are a red flag sure to make your best applicants disappear.

When we think about the most frustrating situations in the world, we imagine delayed flights, building Ikea furniture, and instances when we don’t know what’s going on, i.e., situationships, filing taxes, anything involving financial aid, and chaotic hiring processes.

Bottom line: People like to know what is happening, and they would like for it to happen quickly and efficiently.


How Do We Stop the Ghosting?

Putting an end to the Harry Houdini acts of our candidates can feel like fighting a forest fire with a watering can—impossible. But here’s the thing: every little bit helps! Below are a few ideas that lead to positive results in your pipeline.


Stay in Touch Throughout the Process

By adding some touchpoints, you can keep your candidates from slinking off into the abyss. We recommend using technology to enable some of these simple “checking in” messages while maintaining a high level of efficiency for your recruiting team.

These can look like adding confirmation messages to your already existing workflow. Something simple like “Your background check is clear. You’ll hear about next steps shortly!” goes a long way.


Get Personal!

Take time to update your messages or templates with your candidate’s first name, and create templates that ask the candidate to engage. As you reach out, ask your candidate a question or request a response of some sort.

The goal here is to make your communication go both ways. Instead of hogging the texting thread, this gives candidates the opportunity to weigh in and build a relationship with the recruiter. If they feel personally connected to the team, they will be less likely to disappear without warning.


What Will it Take to Change the System?

Those on the job hunt are looking for employers who value them, are focused on creating manageable workloads, and are interested in investing in their long-term development. While it can be hard to change the culture of an organization, many are on the right track!

Here are a few ideas to help you keep the candidates first in the hiring and onboarding process to attract the best talent.


Personalize Your Communications

I know, I know, I sound like a broken record, but taking time to update your templates so they feel personal makes a lasting impression on your candidates. No one wants to feel like just another number or just another application. By using a candidate’s name, you’re humanizing them and their experience every step of the way.


Use Your Channels Cohesively

Be thoughtful about not overwhelming your candidates with hoards of emails and texts and phone calls. Make sure you’re not sending the same message in three places, and use your discretion as to what is too much when it comes to contacting your candidates.


Send Helpful Messages

Don’t send things just for the sake of it.  Sending a “good luck on your first day” text is cute, but sending them instructions on how to get into the building or which door to park near is 700 times more valuable. Give your texts the same energy as your favorite aunt or your best friend; offer your candidates the DL and help them go into their next interview or their first day with confidence!

Sure, candidate ghosting is a common problem, but we don’t have to accept it for what it is. We can take charge, make some changes, and get our candidates in the door on day one.



Blog Illustration - Lead the Next Wave of Candidate Experience with SMS

Lead the Next Wave of Candidate Experience with SMS

As we think about enabling better hiring at scale, it can be overwhelming to create a human-centric process for an abundance of candidates.

  • The first solution most people come to is to throw more bodies at the problem. However, it's not always sustainable, it is inconsistent, and the sheer volume can be overwhelming and messy for the recruiters involved.
  • Alternatively, you can move towards an entirely automated process. With an almost endless amount of softwares and technology-based products, you can hire without ever actually speaking to your candidates.

Both options will solve the inherent problem, but they also come with a price to your staff or your candidate's experience.

When we think about how to create a better, faster, simpler hiring process, we're seeing most of our customers opt to rewrite the handbook for high-volume hiring completely.

The goal for their new processes? Create hybrid systems to automate the mundane tasks and enable them to get candidates interacting with a member of the team faster.

In the recruiting world, you need to get in touch with candidates fast! The market moves so quickly now. Texting candidates is a useful tool that I love!

- Angie S.

For some teams, texting has become the primary communication channel; however, for others, it's a tool they use to help expedite the logistical tasks and get them into an interview asap.


Where can you use technology as an enhancement not a replacement?

Our friends at Dick's Sporting Goods say they think about technology usage as a way to facilitate a seamless process, similar to how other companies think about simplifying their checkout processes.

"I'm thinking about how I can make the application process as easy as Apple Pay! How do we make our process auto-populate all the important information at checkout? What can we do to make it easier, so we don't lose the sale?"

- Rick Jordan

When it comes to creating a harmonious candidate experience, many people see success with using SMS as the main channel of communication.


How can SMS be used in your high volume recruiting process?

Our customers say leveraging texting helps them:


Showcase team personality and build better relationships

Using automations coupled with intentionally curated templates can allow you to create personalized and professional touch points throughout the process. With texting being less formal than email, this is an opportunity for your team to leverage emojis to create a warm and inviting experience! This can sound like quite the feat, but with the right tools, it's easier than you think!


Stay top of mind and shows your candidates you value them

No matter how hard we try to rewrite our brains, whatever information it can distill first is most likely to create a bias in our brains for that company or product.

When it comes to candidates applying for jobs, the first company they hear back from will naturally be assumed as better.

Finding a way to quickly and effectively meet the needs of the candidates in your pipeline will help you enhance your candidate experience and supercharge your high-volume hiring.


Provide visibility and quickly communicate what’s next

34% of candidates ghost when the interview process is confusing, challenging, or unclear.

By leveraging SMS, you can easily help set expectations and reasonable timelines with an automated text as simple as, "hey there, we got your application, and you can expect to hear back from me in 48 hours or less!"

These ideas seem great in practice, but with our recruiters already stretched thin, without the help of automation, this method simply doesn't scale.


So, what does texting candidates look like in action?

It can be whatever you want it to be! You can use text as an additional communication channel where you follow up as needed, or you can opt to redesign your hiring process to promote a text-based communication style.

Our customers see the greatest impact from texting when they integrate it into their core processes with automations, nudges, and reminders, all sent round the clock to enable a more personalized and communicative experience for your candidates.

When it comes to maximizing your candidate engagement and minimizing ghosting, what's better than engaging with candidates on a platform they already use and love?


DoorDash uses texting to:

Build personalized relationships with their candidates and help them move through the pipeline at a pace that feels right for them.


GardaWorld uses texting to:

Instill respect and dignity into their candidates from day one; they aim to make each applicant feel like a team member from the get-go.


Dick’s Sporting Goods uses texting to:

Quickly and efficiently get applicants into an interview where they can interact with a team member face-to-face to build a personal connection with the team.


Amazon Pharmacy uses texting to:

Automate and expedite their hiring process to shorten their time to fill and make it easier for recruiters to manage larger requisition requests.

Maybe it's time to consider a new approach to picking software for TA teams. What if we decided based on what made it easier for the candidate to engage with the process? Perhaps, it's time we meet them in the middle, where they are, on their phones!



[Webinar] Tried and True Strategies for High Volume Recruiting

Blog Illustration - Minimize Ghosting & Accelerate Volume Hiring with Texting & Automation

Minimize Ghosting & Accelerate Volume Hiring with Texting & Automation

We sat down with William Tincup, President at RecruitingDaily, and Jessica Morales, New Business Verticals, Recruiter at DoorDash to discuss high volume hiring. They shared everything from their thoughts on process optimization, to how to better engage candidates, and what exactly they find useful to minimize ghosting!

With the market for talent as scarce as it is, we’re all struggling to meet reqs and transform this narrative of candidate ghosting.

Most recruiters are feeling a tension between creating processes that ensure quality hires while trying to scale for volume and deliver on their reqs. It leaves many of us thinking:

  • Should you focus on speed and rely heavily on automation?
  • Should you be focused on creating a human-oriented process to build trust and deeper relationships?
  • Is it even possible to find a balance?

Well, here’s what Jessica and William suggest.


How to Get Comfortable with Automation

William Tincup, President at RecruitingDaily, encourages us to think about all the other areas of our life where we outsource things.

"Who mows your grass? Cleans your pool? Shapes your trees?"

Knowing we only have so much time in the day. We have to decide what we enjoy enough to do, then focus on getting things we dislike off our plates. When we do that, it’s called outsourcing!

"As we think about TA as a function, what would it look like to outsource the tasks we either can’t keep up with or don’t like?"

- William

If you’re struggling to embrace using automation in your volume-hiring process, William suggests asking:

  • Where am I strong?
  • What am I struggling to accomplish?
  • Which tasks would I focus on more if I had more time?
  • If I could outsource something, what would it be?

Leveraging automation is an easy way to outsource your cumbersome tasks. In this case the thing you would be outsourcing to would include softwares, because they are built to do it more efficiently.


How to Leverage Texting to Engage Candidates

"My number one struggle is candidate ghosting. With the market as wild as it is now, I’m backfilling reqs left and right. I see candidates back out at the last minute every single day.”

- Jessica

For her and her team, texting has made a big difference in helping to counteract the candidate ghosting plague.

Jessica suggests building out automated texts, and scheduling follow up texts.

“Candidates usually won’t respond to the first one, but once they get a second, they usually reply saying ‘oh I thought this was a robot!’”

Since initially implementing text as a channel, Jessica and her team have baked this communication method into every stage of their process.

Jessica personally experiences a 44% response rate. There’s no denying it’s the channel to invest in.

"Candidates are so much more inclined to respond to a text than they are to an email. It’s the easiest and quickest way to hear back from them.”

Jessica and her team, leverage automated follow up texts 24-48 hours after they send the original message. She notes that the second text helps candidates realize they are talking with a person, not a robot.

“I think it promotes a lot of open communication with the candidates I’m working with.”

For Jessica, the human element is the differentiator.


How to Create Undeniable Offers for Candidates

Both Jessica and William agree that the most compelling experiences aren’t solely related to speed, so what can you do to help manage drop off at the offer letter phase?

William suggests having the candidate set the pace. In your early interactions ask:

  • When would you like to make a decision on this?
  • How motivated are you to move quickly?
  • We are happy to move with you, how quickly are you looking to make this decision?

His closing thoughts include changing the process as a whole. Don’t take days to send an offer letter because things change. Take the extra 5-minutes while you still have them to ask, “what would it take for you to sign this today?” Then get it to them ASAP.

Jessica believes that compelling offers aren’t solely based on the speed of the process. She notes that candidates have options and they will pick the option that affords them no surprises or inconveniences. If they can get a dollar more per hour and a shorter commute, that’s the job they are going to take.

For Jessica, it’s about asking “when would you like to make a decision about this” as soon as she can. If a candidate can’t give you a serious answer, chances are, they aren’t serious about the job.


So, What Does This Mean for Your Volume Hiring Process?


Don’t be afraid to outsource things that are burdensome.

Allow yourself the freedom to do a few things exceedingly well, in place of doing everything good.


Lean into the channels your candidates are reachable on.

Why swim upstream if you can float down the river? If your candidates are willing to fire off text messages, it’s not worth the fight to solely use email.


Work in collaboration with your candidates to provide undeniable offers.

Being able to serve candidates a completely customizable experience at scale by letting them set the pace is a game changer. Lean into this collaboration to minimize your ghosting.

Blog Illustration - The Ultimate Guide to Eliminating Candidate Ghosting

The Ultimate Guide to Eliminating Candidate Ghosting

A study by Indeed shows that 57% of employers say candidate ghosting is prevalent, and getting worse. Most of us are jumping this hurdle on a daily basis.

In today’s market, it takes a white-glove experience to engage great candidates. It can feel like an impossible task to think about creating sustainable, scalable processes which prioritize personalization.

When we hire at scale, 43% of our candidates to drop off right after clicking apply. To curb this, we have to think about our processes through a new lens. We are responsible for creating dynamic hiring systems that are simple, efficient, and streamlined.

Candidates have never spooked easier; it’s now mission-critical to create a process that allows applicants a frictionless experience. Friction amplifies ghosting.

If a candidate feels:

  • The process is complicated or overwhelming, they are gone
  • The experience is poor or impersonal, they will ghost
  • Ghosted by you, they won’t hesitate to return the favor

If you’re looking to help your team optimize their time, minimize the amount of candidates that ghost, and enhance your Candidate Net Promoter Score (cNPS), you are in the right place. Let’s dig in. ✨


How Big of a Problem Is Candidate Ghosting?

Most recruiters are currently trying to solve the candidate ghosting dilemma. No matter what roles you’re hiring for, it’s more prevalent than ever before. Thanks to “easy apply,” candidates and businesses alike are stuck playing a numbers game.

"83% of companies face candidate ghosting. The remaining 17% are either misinterpreting their data, or confused by the question. Every recruiter has experienced candidate ghosting more than once.”

Craig de Faselle, Blitz Media

With drop-off rates higher than ever, it’s important to understand the main reasons why candidates are ghosting.



Additionally, candidates are applying to more places than ever – the “spray and pray” method rules today’s hiring climate. Without a reason to remember you, candidates won’t think twice about ghosting you.

More and more, this isn’t limited to the application process. It’s seeping into the next phase of the recruitment process, onboarding. Candidates will sign the offer letter and then ghost before their first day.

Metrics like Time to First Interview, Time in Stage, and Time to Offer are becoming critical measurements. Across the board, you should be exploring ways to lower these.


What Does This Look Like in Practice?

We talked about three of the reasons candidates are admitting to ghosting. In our eyes, they fall in one of two categories.

  1. Too Much Friction in the Hiring Process
  2. Life Is Messy and Unpredictable

Now, put yourself in the mindset of a candidate applying to a high-volume hiring position and then getting lost in the application process.


1. Too Much Friction in the Hiring Process

We must acclimate our processes to get applicants from apply to paycheck ASAP. Our friends at Dick’s Sporting Goods believe candidates ghost for three reasons.



You may not be able to change the compensation, but you can create a simple, straightforward process that enables candidates to move quickly.

"Candidates behave like water, they naturally find and gravitate towards the path of least resistance."

Ty Abernethy, Grayscale

As you think about removing friction from your hiring process, we suggest reflecting on these questions:

  • Where am I seeing a significant drop-off?
  • Is this a point of friction that I can change?
  • What purpose does this step serve in my overall workflow?

The most successful processes allow applicants to move seamlessly at their own pace. The longer your time to hire is, the more likely you are to see a significant amount of applicants dropping off at every stage.


2. Life Is Messy & Unpredictable

I’m sure we could all name a time or two when something in our personal life took over our brains. Maybe we forget to text friends back or drop the ball on some professional responsibilities. We weren’t at our best during these times, but we were trying.

"There are stellar applicants in your pipeline who are struggling with burdens they have no option but to carry."

Randalyn Hill, Grayscale

Reaching out and throwing them a lifeline can be a thoughtful way to re-engage them. When you reach back out, don’t forget: humans connect best with humans. Bring your warm, empathic personality to the conversation.

We’re seeing organizations successfully rewrite this ghosting narrative when they focus on the personal, human connections their recruiters are making with candidates.


How to Create a Human-Centric Approach to Prevent Candidate Ghosting

When we think about the best hiring experiences, we think about the people we’re hiring! We got to know them, and in turn, both parties developed an excitement for the job and the idea of working together. Now, it’s up to us to replicate that experience at scale.

"You can't remove the human from human resources."

Andrew Delabar, Peloton

Recruiters are people people! They want to get to know the candidates, talk with them, learn about them, and build a long-term relationship with them even if they aren’t perfect for this specific job.

At the end of the day, it’s mission-critical to have personal touchpoints. Our customers are changing the ghosting narrative by creating tech-enabled processes to help candidates build a connection with a team member faster.

"Successful hiring teams use technology to enhance the candidate journey, not remove or automate out the human elements."

Hubert Liu, Grayscale


What You Can Do to Rewrite the Ghosting Story

When it comes to reaching out to ghosted candidates, we see success approaching these candidates with compassion and empathy.

Our knee-jerk reaction when someone ghosts is usually anger or frustration, but those emotions don’t serve to create a deeper connection with our candidates. We challenge you to take an empathetic approach here and always assume positive intent.


1. The Proactive Reminder

Open and frequent communication will keep you top of mind when it comes to staying ahead of the ghosting trend. We all get these reminders about doctors/dentist appointments, and they work! If and when something changes, this open line of communication makes it easier for a candidate to stay in touch and not fall off the radar.


2. The Empathic Reachout

If a candidate ghosts for some reason, it’s easy to let them go and not follow up with them. However, adding an automated reach out to your ATS makes following up seamless and intentional. A kind, thoughtful text will help draw most of your candidates back into the fold!


3. Closing the Loop

When you have an automated drip campaign, you can easily close the loop. When people disappear, this kind of final olive branch will help bring a handful of candidates back or leave those who don’t return with a positive experience.


Using templates like these can help:

  • Create open lines of communication between your recruiters and their candidates
  • Remove or limit the mixed emotions a candidate may have about accidentally ghosting
  • Facilitate professional vulnerability and gives the recruiter an opportunity to better understand and serve the candidate

When you see promising candidates drop off the radar at the last minute, make it a point to follow up with them in a way that stops the shame cycle.

Take a second and imagine it for yourself: you’re moving through a hiring process quickly, and life happens. You miss your interview and feel like you have ruined the opportunity. It’s embarrassing, unprofessional, and disappointing. Now, before you can get too far into that thought spiral, you get a text checking in and asking you if everything is ok. It feels like a breath of fresh air. ☺️

When we’re faced with the option to react harshly or act with intention, we encourage you to create a compassionate plan to follow up with your ghosted applicants.


How You Can Use Tech to Limit Ghosting

Now that you have some ideas on how to follow up with candidates who do ghost, it’s also important to take a proactive approach to the problem. Usually, the most effective approaches involve using all your channels cohesively and respectfully.

When you use multiple channels to connect with a candidate, it helps you stay top of mind. It also gives them more opportunities to experience your personality and form an attachment to the brand.


In recent years, we’ve seen many businesses incorporate text professionally. Now, it’s easier to reach candidates in the one inbox they manage. So send over that scheduling link, or remind them to check their email, and you’ll see a whole new level of candidate engagement.


This channel leans professional. Usually, emails include important information, like offer letters or scheduling links. Still, not everyone is checking them as frequently as we would like, use sparingly and make sure your email efforts with the company are aligned, so they aren’t overwhelmed by too many communications at once.


If They Have a Reason to Remember You, It’s Harder for Them to Walk Away

One of Blitz Media’s favorite stories is about the recruiter who felt so strongly against using text as a communication channel. By the end of their work together, not only had she started using it, but she was raving about it. By incorporating SMS in her hiring process, she had hired an all-star employee.

“This recruiter started using SMS, bringing her warm personality into reminder texts. A candidate was visiting his mom when he received a reminder text about an upcoming interview. His mom made sure he was seriously considering this company, because it was such an intentional and personal experience.”

Scott de Faselle, Blitz Media


Creating Human-Focused, Tech-Enabled Workflows

We get it. Using more technology to create a human-oriented process seems oxymoronic. So here’s what makes it work: use technology to enable quicker movement through the mundane processes.

"The goal with technology in your candidate journey should be to get them talking with a real human faster, not replacing the human element."

Ty Abernethy, Grayscale

These use cases could include Assessment Prompts, Scheduling, and Upcoming Event Reminders.

“We use software to automate scheduling, remind candidates about interviews and next steps, so that when we get them in person we can focus on that interaction whole heartedly.”

Rick Jordan, Dick's Sporting Goods

For DSG, it’s about using tech to increase their interview sit rate. On average, they see a 47% increase in their interview sit rate when they incorporate texting as a means to schedule and remind their candidates.

A lot of our customers cheer their candidates on during the process - scheduling automated, personalized texts after each stage-change.


Automated Message Examples


Final Takeaways on How to Minimize Ghosting

Is candidate ghosting an unsolvable problem? Absolutely not. Does it take some creative solutions to captivate your applicants from start to finish? Absolutely.

Every hiring team has the opportunity to stick out and create an uncommon, memorable experience for their candidates.

The goal should be to rewrite and transform our hiring processes to create personalized touch-points at every step to scale with ease.

No matter what systems you incorporate to create this personalized, white-glove process, be sure to create a human-centric process that treats candidates the way you’d want to be treated.

How Dick’s Sporting Goods is Eliminating Candidate Ghosting

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG) found themselves struggling with candidate ghosting in their volume hiring process. As it got increasingly harder to fill reqs and adequately staff their retail locations they went looking for a solution to eliminate ghosting in their application and onboarding process.

We sat down with Rick Jordan, a Senior Director of Talent Acquisition, at DSG to learn more about the way they approached changing the dynamics of their hiring process to limit candidate ghosting.

"Candidate ghosting is the result of the market versus how engaging your process is. When someone ghosts us, it’s because they found it easier to pursue the process somewhere else."

– Rick Jordan

With this viewpoint, as they were exploring options, it was mission-critical for them to create a solution to enable a high-touch, scalable, and personalized experience for every applicant.


The Set-Up

When Dick’s Sporting Goods reached out to learn more about what we do here at Grayscale they wanted to address some very specific issues in their high volume hiring process.

They were seeing a record numbers of candidates disappear throughout the hiring and onboarding process. Instead of just finding more candidates to put in the pipeline, they wanted to take a proactive approach at understanding why they were falling off the radar in the first place.

"We believe people are core to our business. Our goal is to build really solid relationships with everyone we interact with, so how do we automate that?"

Their hypothesis was that by leveraging automation, they could significantly limit the amount of ghosting they were seeing.

They studied their reporting and came to a few conclusions. Let’s break these down.



  • Lack of speed. When it comes to keeping candidates engaged, they are looking to move. If you’re too slow to respond they won’t stay engaged and will pursue a process they find captivating.
  • Confusing or complicated processes. If you’re making too many asks, or not giving enough direction, candidates will get lost in the process and move on to a place where they feel seen.
  • Misaligned market compensation. Candidates are looking for competitive salaries to match their worth. If it’s possible, revisit your compensation structure, though this is usually the hardest force to work against.

Dick’s realized the two things they could quickly and easily change to help minimize ghosting were speed and process. So they got to work!


The Solution

After reviewing some data points, they sat down to simplify and refine their high-volume recruiting process as a whole. They developed three main goals.

  • DSG wanted to find their own perfect balance of leveraging automation while sticking close to their human-centric roots
  • They wanted to assess every ask of their applicants and trim the process down to include only the highest value requirements
  • From there, they wanted to move as many necessary but lower value tasks into onboarding, or on the job training to help simplify the process and keep candidates engaged

When it came to finding the right balance of automation and humanization, they wanted to use tech to accelerate the process, not remove the human elements.

For them, this project became about getting really clear on the exact things they needed to know about candidates. No more filler questions or mindless hoops!

It was time to transform high-volume hiring through creating the simplest process they could.

With an end goal of reducing their ghosting, they made sure the updates they were making to the process enhanced the experience, in place of extending it or convoluting it.


How They Built It

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods uses data to encourage engagement and lean into the platforms their candidates are more accessible on
  • They aim to leverage automation to enhance in-person, 1:1 interactions, instead of to replace them
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods intentionally worked with the local teams to roll out this process for a seamless and streamlined candidate experience

When it came to reimagining a system where candidates moved seamlessly through the process, they decided to let data be their guide.

They sat down and reviewed their major drop-off points, their time-to-fill, their application expectations, and the engagement metrics around the communication formats they used.

As they teased out what this could look like, their goal was to create a system that allowed them to create more intentional relationships with their applicants.

From there, they took scissors to the process, and worked with their local hiring managers to create and implement changes to optimize for efficiency and humanization.

It looked something like this:



  • Dick’s Sporting Goods believes automation should enable your human interactions not distract from them
  • With team being a core value of their company, they strive to create meaningful conversations in the hiring process
  • When creating new systems and processes, they ask, “what would help our hiring managers do their jobs better?”

As Dick’s Sporting Goods has upleveled their volume hiring process, they have seen a significant drop in their candidate ghosting!

During this time of revitalization, Rick Jordan kept one thought central.

“I’m thinking about how I can make the application process as easy as Apple Pay! How do we make our process feel as easy as auto-populating all the important information at checkout. What can we do to make it easier, so we don’t lose the sale?”

When it comes to auditing and iterating on these processes through time, DSG uses the data in their systems to continue testing and refining their processes for perfection.

Introduction to Candidate Ghosting

Ghosting - a phenomenon that is widely popular in the dating world - has unfortunately made its way to the recruiting world.

As a recruiter, have you ever been through a whole recruitment process, interviewed your top candidate, and even sent out your offer letter, only to be met with silence from the candidate's side? It was as if the candidate vanished into thin air without so much as a second glance? If yes, then unfortunately you have been ghosted!

Employers all over the world are noticing this emerging trend especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As per a survey conducted by Indeed, 77% of employers accepted the fact that they have been ghosted by jobseekers between March 2020 and February 2021.

So, why do jobseekers ghost employers, and what can you do to avoid candidate ghosting in your organization?


Why Are Your Candidates Ghosting You?

Presently, unemployment is at a historically low rate in many countries, while the demand for skilled and qualified candidates is on a rise. Today, candidates hold more power in the recruiting process than they have ever before. Skilled and talented job seekers are no longer afraid to walk away from organizations that don't align with their expectations and goals.

A report by LinkedIn revealed that almost 95% of employers have been ghosted by prospective employees and as high as 40% of candidates believe that it is perfectly acceptable to ghost an employer.

Let's look at some of the biggest reasons why prospective employees are dropping their employers and refusing to respond to their messages:


You Don’t Communicate Properly or Take Too Long to Respond

One of the biggest reasons why candidates ghost recruiters is slow communication. Most job seekers apply to multiple positions simultaneously and thus, it is important to respond to quality candidates within 24 to 48 hours of receiving their application. If you take too long to respond, chances are some other organization will grab their attention and your messages will be met with nothing but silence.


You Have a Lengthy and Unstructured Hiring Process

Your recruiting processes play a huge role in deciding the applicant's interest in your company. If you have a lengthy and unstructured hiring process, they will likely lose interest in your company.

Most talented candidates receive multiple competitive and lucrative job offers and they are usually off the job market within an average of 10 days. So they don't have the patience to go through a longer and extensive recruiting process when they already have multiple offers and interview calls on their hands.


Personal Reasons

Sometimes candidates don't intentionally ghost their employers but an emergency or some personal reason makes them do so. Recruiters often face situations where at the last moment, candidates don't show up for the interview or fail to report on their first day after accepting the offer letter.

This can happen because of various reasons. Maybe they got stuck in an emergency or their loved one fell sick or maybe they had other justified reasons for not showing up for failing to respond to you.

As an employer, it is extremely important to be empathetic and give job applicants the benefit of doubt and keep the channel of communication open.


How to Effectively Combat Candidate Ghosting

Candidate ghosting can happen to any recruiter and it is almost impossible to avoid it completely. You will encounter at least a few candidates who will ghost you even if you do everything right. However, enhancing your approach and making some innovative changes in your recruiting tactics can help you greatly minimize and limit this problem.

Here are some of the tricks that you can use to effectively combat candidate ghosting:


Make Texts Your Best Friend

Just like in every other aspect of your work and life, communication is the key to effectively deal with candidate ghosting. Keeping candidates in the loop about the timelines of your recruiting process and being honest with them about your expectations can reduce the chances of them ghosting you. And the best way to do this is by leveraging SMS.

Text is a phenomenal medium. Over two thirds of job seekers say that it is perfectly acceptable for organizations to contact them through SMS. Moreover, texts have a significantly higher chance of being read and engaged with than email or phone.


Speed up Your Responses

Speeding up your responses is also a wonderful way to minimize candidate ghosting. 46% of candidates start losing interest in a company within a week of no contact. It's vital that you respond to your top candidates as quickly as possible. Preferably, within 24 hours.

Enlisting the help of a candidate engagement platform like Grayscale can help you easily automate communication at mass, or seriously aid in manual communication using Grayscale templates.


Automation for the Win!

Leverage technology wherever possible in your recruitment process. Automating away the grunt work can help you focus on more high-level tasks, improve the candidates' experience during recruitment, and ultimately minimize the chances of them ghosting you.

Grayscale enables automation at every step of the hiring process. Send intro texts when candidates apply, use our nudge feature to automatically remind candidates of uncompleted steps, automate scheduling via our Calendly integration, and send automatic interview reminders to increase your interview sit-rate.

Then after the fact, keep a pulse on candidate NPS scores with automatic surveys.


Do Timely Follow-Ups

To effectively deal with candidate ghosting, give candidates the benefit of doubt for not responding to you. It's important to be compassionate and kind towards all your candidates and keep the lines of communication totally open.

If you don't hear back from candidates, don't hesitate to send a follow-up text. This is an effective way to let the candidates know that you are still on board with the hiring and are not planning to ghost them. This in turn will ensure that they won't ghost you as well. Automate this step using Grayscale nudges.


Maintain Transparency and Give Candidates an “Exit” Option

Maintaining transparency and being totally honest about the terms of the recruitment process, your expectations, and other factors goes a long way in helping you avoid candidate ghosting.

Another great practice is to provide an "exit" option to the candidates yourself. For example, you text candidates something like, "If we don’t receive a reply to this message by the end of this week, we will assume that you are not interested in the position." Doing this will help you avoid any confusing situations and stop candidate ghosting even before it gets a chance to appear.


Summing Up

Candidate ghosting is an emerging problem that is affecting recruiters all over the world. Although it is not possible to escape from completely, having an effective communication process, leveraging technology, and being compassionate and authentic with job seekers can go a long way in helping you combat candidate ghosting.

We, at Grayscale, have largely conquered the issue. Grayscale is designed to make hiring easier at every step. We leverage the most effective medium for communication and pair it with the most powerful automation suite in the talent acquisition world, and bake that all directly into your ATS.