Which Industries See the Most Candidate Ghosting?

Candidate ghosting—when a candidate stops communicating during the recruiting process—is pretty common these days. According to a recent Recruiting Daily Advisor survey, 58% of respondents report being ghosted at some point during the hiring process. But which industries are being affected most by this failure in communication?


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Education and training specialists,, recently surveyed 1,325 full-time employees from a range of industries in the U.S., between March and May of 2019. The Knowledge Academy sought to discover more which industries see the most candidate ghosting. The findings are outlined below.

Industries with the Highest Ghosted Rate

The industry that saw the most applicants ghost their respective employers is in advertising, marketing, PR, and media—a whopping 28% of respondents said they had ended communication in the interview process.
This is followed by business, finance, and legal which saw 21% of applicants ghosting an employer at some stage of the interview process. The remaining industries surveyed are ranked as follows:

  • Retail and hospitality (14%),
  • Technical services (11%),
  • Miscellaneous other (10%),
  • Education (8%),
  • Healthcare (5%), and
  • Government (3%).

Industries That Ghost the Most Candidates

As much as we hate to admit this, employers are known to ghost jobseekers as well. The Knowledge Academy survey flipped the tables and asked jobseeker respondents which industries have ghosted them during the hiring process.
The survey found that the applicants that have been ghosted the most by employers come from business, finance, and legal companies—according to 23% of jobseeker respondents.
Next in line is advertising, marketing, PR, and media companies in which 22% have ghosted prospective employees. This finding is startling, considering these areas see the most ghosting from jobseekers. One would think you reap what you sow and therefore would make the most concerted efforts not to ghost candidates.
The remaining sectors place as follows, in descending numbers:

  • Healthcare (16%),
  • Retail and hospitality (13%),
  • Miscellaneous other (8%),
  • Technical services (7%),
  • Education (6%), and
  • Government (5%).

Tales of Ghosting

Speaking exclusively to The Knowledge Academy, experts across a range of industries have shared their stories on workplace ghosting:
“The location of my business means I’m competing with the likes of Google, Oracle and Facebook when hiring/retaining employees. Due to this, around 30-40% of potential applicants applying to my company don’t show up for interviews! And unless I have a deep pocket, there isn’t anything I can do about it,” says Yungi Chu, owner of
Many recruiters in the tech-sphere can attest to how difficult it is to find top talent when having to compete with tech giants, and sadly, none of them have deep pockets either! Generally, one way to find talent is through employee referral programs, but not according to this respondent:
“A current employee at ThinkLions recommended a friend for an available position within our agency. The friend progressed to the second stage of the process, but on the day of the interview, she didn’t show. We received a call telling us that she had been in a huge accident that morning, and so her friend wanted to call and check she was O.K. The interviewee obviously didn’t realize everyone was in my office listening, as she answered with “OMG, I missed my interview today! This hangover is the worst!” recounts Mike Sims, CEO and Founder of ThinkLions.
And then there’s this respondent with a very strange tale:
“A few months ago, a customer told us that while hiring for a replacement employee in their company, they began the sourcing and interviewing process. They had interviewed an applicant on the Monday, who see med very promising and perfect for the job. They hired the individual on the Tuesday, yet saw them walk out by Wednesday. As it turns out, the employee simply needed proof of employment to take out a loan for a car,” says Vivek Kumar, CEO of Qlicket.
We are certain that this final tale of ghosting takes the cake! When it comes to candidate ghosting, it is important to have a plan in place for what you will do if you are ghosted, but you should place a greater emphasis on providing a great candidate experience to reduce your chances of being ghosted.

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