What to Do When a Recruiter is Being Unresponsive

Did a recruiter suddenly stop responding to your emails? Are they not responding to you after you went to multiple interviews? Have you sent them polite emails and multiple phone calls for a month, but they’re still not getting back to you? Then you have been ‘ghosted.’

Ghosting is a pretty common occurrence not only in recruiting, but also in life. It’s when the other party ‘slowly fades away.’ If you find yourself being ghosted in the hiring process, here’s what you should do.

1. Mourn About It

Let it all out. Cry on your bed. Punch your pillows. It’s ok to feel upset. You have every right to feel that way. However, it’s important to do this privately. Share your pain and frustration with your closest friends and family, but don’t bring it to your social media. Venting through your social media is not the best option. It will demonstrate a lack of emotional control to your future employers and ruin your chances in the job hunt.


2a. Send a Firm Email Saying That This is Not Ok

Ghosting is an unprofessional business practice. Sending a firm email may not get you the job, but it might make you feel better. Recruiter Jane Ashen Turkewitz from .comrecruiting suggests sending an email like this:

“I would like to thank you for the opportunity to interview for the role of X. I was surprised, after my 7 rounds of interviews, to not hear anything regardless of my attempts to stay engaged.

Due to the lack of response, it’s a fair assumption that you have decided to move in another direction.  While I am disappointed, I certainly respect if someone more qualified entered the picture.

That said, isn’t it common courtesy to let a candidate know where he stands in the process, even if it’s a difficult conversation? A rejection is disappointing but ghosting shows a lack of leadership and empathy.

I hope one day, if you are in my shoes, interviewing for a new, exciting job, that you are not treated in such an unkind manner. Wishing you and yours continued success as I find success elsewhere.”

Be cautious about sending a firm email. Remember, send it only when you’re ready to move on from the job. Also, it’s best not to be too firm when you’ve only been to only one interview with them. Instead, you can them a small and polite note.

2b. You Can Also Not Do Anything

Please don’t go assuming that recruiters are evil. Not all of us are like this. Sometimes recruiters have no control over this. Sometimes being unresponsive can be a part of the recruiter’s job. Some companies have a “no feedback” policy. By not doing anything, you won’t be burning any bridges. It’s a good way to keep your options open with this company, especially if it’s a big company.

3. Don’t Let It Affect Your Other Applications

Don’t start becoming impatient and keep asking questions to future recruiters. It’s best to always present your best self. Getting ghosted sucks, but it’s best to let it go. Yes, we realize that it’s much, much harder than it sounds. Every recruiting process is different. It’s best to simply learn from this experience to be prepared for when a recruiter ghosts you again.

Don’t be discouraged when you’re being ghosted. It happens more often than you’d think, but not all recruiters are like this. It doesn’t always mean that they’re not interested in you either. Getting ghosted can be very upsetting, but worst case scenario: You won’t end up in a company that lacks proper etiquette. If they’re treating you poorly from the start, who knows what else they would do to you.

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