Generation Z is becoming a larger part of the workforce and recruiters are scrambling to figure out how to attract and engage this new generation of candidates. On top of that, according to many media reports these candidates have been known to ghost from the application process. But, why? From not being updated on the latest tech to trying a catch-all strategy, here are eight answers to the question, “What are a few examples of things that make Gen Z ghost recruiters?”

Lack of Tech Savvy

One of the biggest issues that Generation Z recruiters face is a lack of connection with prospective candidates. Gen Zers are more tech-savvy, so they prefer digital communication over face-to-face interaction. That can make it difficult to create an authentic connection and build rapport with potential recruits.

If a recruiter doesn’t take the time to build a relationship with the candidate, they may be perceived as a “ghost recruiter”—someone who quickly contacts a candidate and then disappears.

To avoid this problem, recruiters should try to stay connected with prospective candidates over longer periods of time through multiple channels, such as email, social media, and text messaging.

Aviad Faruz

A Counter-offer From Their Current Employer

I’ve recently learned how many professionals, especially Gen Zers, look for job offers while already employed to negotiate their salary in their present workplace. Since they aren’t serious from the beginning and only need an offer in hand to prove their worth where they’re already working, they end up ghosting the recruiter involved.

With the looming recession forcing businesses to save costs, getting a raise isn’t as straightforward as it once was. Proving you have an offer ready if you’re denied a raise can sometimes help you get that much-needed salary jump without switching jobs.

While a few applicants are moral enough to excuse themselves, most don’t bother notifying the recruiter that they’ve accepted their company’s counteroffer and are, therefore, turning down the new opportunity.

Anjela Mangrum
President, Mangrum Career Solutions

Misrepresentation of the Position

If a candidate feels like they have been lied to or misled about the requirements, responsibilities or work environment of the role, that will cause a major loss of trust in the company. Lying about or misrepresenting a role is a good way to lose candidates from any generation.

The younger the candidate, the less patience they tend to have for this kind of behavior, and Gen Z in particular is likely to drop out of the application process without feeling the need to explain why. This is especially common with “remote-washed” positions, which seem to be fully remote from the job posting but in reality use a hybrid model, or are even mostly in-person.

That said, any change to the role’s responsibilities, compensation, benefits or work environment from what was originally described to the candidate is at risk of prompting them to ghost, especially if they feel the deception was intentional.

Archie Payne
CEO, CalTek Staffing

Taking Too Long to Respond 

As a recruiter in the tech niche, I am increasingly hiring Gen Z candidates. A key concern that comes up is how long it takes to hear from the recruiter/hiring manager/employer.

Gen Z grew up in an era of instant feedback, a phenomenon mostly driven by social media and they are not used to long waiting periods. Some have said that they deem it rude when they do not hear after as little as five days and will not hesitate to cut all communication and move on if this happens.

You might come back to them a few weeks later with a job offer, only to find that they will not respond to your messages or calls. Even if they haven’t accepted another job offer, they’ve definitely grown disinterested in yours.

Adding a disclaimer in the job posting on how long candidates might have to wait to hear from you can keep them engaged. And engaging them throughout the waiting period, for example, by sharing helpful content and updates, will keep top talent in your pipeline.

Joe Coletta
Founder and CEO, 180 Engineering

Unclear Job Descriptions

A lot of us have endured agonizing silence while waiting to hear from a potential employer, only to hear nothing at all. In actuality, though, it’s not only the recruiters who are ghosting the candidates—now it’s the candidates themselves. Some job seekers are quitting contact and responding to companies giving no notice. What is the cause, though?

The reason candidates are ghosting is that most of them reconsidered during the interview process or had done more research on your business after the fact. Although Gen Z isn’t afraid to turn down an offer if the job or benefits aren’t what they expect them to be, they usually know how to be polite. Gen Z already has the power to demand things like high pay or flexible work.

However, the candidates will ghost recruiters back if recruiters are unclear about the entire recruiting process and they feel ghosted. Always be upfront about the details of the offer and the expected hiring schedule.

Andre Oentoro
Founder and CEO, Breadnbeyond

Bias in the Recruitment Process

Gen Z candidates are among the most awakened and knowledgeable about workplace diversity, equality and inclusion. For recruiters interviewing candidates for a company with a flawed recruitment process, this becomes a sign of further problems down the line and in the organization in question.

Owing to their inclination to work for inclusive companies, Gen Z candidates will “ghost” recruiters from companies that they sense have bias, which may be clear in the language they use to advertise open roles in the company or in the requirements they mention.

Liam Liu
Co-Founder and CMO, Parcel Panel

Poor Communication

Gen Z is used to immediacy and fast-moving environments. Poor communication about the hiring timeline can lead Gen Z candidates to believe they’re no longer in the process if they haven’t heard from recruiters in just a couple of days.

When hiring managers and recruiters fail to keep candidates in the loop and cannot establish clear expectations for them regarding the steps and duration of the hiring process, candidates may choose to forget about the application and move on to other job opportunities.

Andrei Kurtuy
Co-Founder and CCO, Novoresume

Using a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

I was guilty of approaching hiring in a one-size-fits-all manner when I first started out as a CEO. But as I grew in experience, I came to see that this wasn’t the ideal strategy, particularly for Gen Z. People want to know that their unique skills and interests are considered and that they are more than just a resume. Gen Z prospects can see that you regard them as people and are interested in what they offer by personalizing the hiring process.

One strategy I’ve found to be effective is to provide each Gen Z prospect with a tailored message in an email or phone call. I spend a few minutes looking over their website or LinkedIn page, and I say anything I found intriguing about their educational background or professional experience. This shows my interest in them as a candidate and that I have taken an effort to get to know them.

Percy Grunwald
Co-Founder, Compare Banks



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