Stop being “Ghosted” by recruiters

Stop being “Ghosted” by recruiters


There is lots of talk about being “ghosted” by a recruiter. Job seekers are wanting to limit ghosting, so I have some quick tips to limit ghosting and get the attention of the recruiter that has the job you want. 

First, let me explain why ghosting occurs. Recruiters are time-poor. They have multiple jobs on and lots of candidates applying for all those jobs. Plus emails, phone calls, messages and connections on LinkedIn, plus administration, business development activities, KPI’s to meet each week. It wasn’t until I became a recruiter, that I better understood how many directions a recruiter is pulled in… notwithstanding my commitment to return phone calls in 24- 48 hours. It is more challenging than you can imagine! Do the math; even the most well-intentioned recruiter is going to be struggling under a heavy workload. 

Standard work hours for recruiters in big global agencies are 8 am to 6 pm. I remember wandering into the Morgan & Banks office on my first day, and they handed me my contract to sign (why they hadn’t got themselves organised before then, who knows?). It was a rude shock to hear standard hours are 10 hour days and there is every chance you’ll be working outside those hours. In peak times, I would still be at work till 8 pm or later.  

How do you stand out and get the time, attention and follow up you are looking for from time-poor recruiters when looking for your ideal next career move?

First, figure out what your ideal career move is (but this topic is for another time). Then apply to those roles that give you the career direction you crave and you have enough skill and experience to be taken seriously (Please leave the “hope and a prayer” applications alone, I beg you!). 

OK, let’s stop the ghosting.

Use accountability – yours and theirs.


  1. When you are phone screened, hold your recruiter to account – ask them directly – “Am I moving to interview?
  2. After an interview, ask, “Am I going to be shortlisted?”.
  3. Get a clear YES or NO answer each time you talk to a recruiter or HR manager.
  4. If you get a YES, then ask for a timeline and remind them. “If I haven’t heard from you by Wednesday, should I call you for an update?” 
  5. Get agreement on follow up times.
  6. Then YOU call them on Wednesday (or the agreed day and time). 

If a recruiter hears you are committed and dedicated to a clear time frame, then there is more chance they will stay accountable too – they know you are calling on Wednesday for a follow-up. They also know you are committed to showing up – Always a good look for a prospective employee.  

We always try to give a YES or NO decision when screening and interviewing so nobody is left hanging or feeling “ghosted.” If I am unsure, I say so and explain why, and agree to a follow-up call by a certain time frame. 

Happy Job Hunting!  

Kerri O'Connor
[email protected]

Kerri is a former marketer, sales executive and all round passionate die hard within the architecture, interior design and construction industry in Australia. The last twenty plus years have been spent listening to senior executives, general managers, business owners and graduates.