The Ghosting Game in Tech Recruiting: Why It Matters

In the world of tech recruiting, the ghosting game — when recruiters suddenly stop communicating with candidates— is more common than you might think.

In this blog, we’ll explore why this happens, and how recruiters’ lack of even basic technical understanding is a major contributor to this growing issue.

What You’ll Learn:
  • The specific reasons behind ghosting in tech recruiting
  • How these issues tie into recruiters’ technical knowledge gaps
  • Steps to take to address the issues

The 3 Reasons Behind Ghosting In Tech Recruiting

1. Lack of Technical Understanding

Often, tech recruiters ghost because they don’t fully understand the roles they’re hiring for.

This lack of technical knowledge usually leads to uncertainty in decision-making. For instance, a recruiter might bypass a candidate with a Python background for a Java role, not realizing the transferable skills the candidate might bring. They may feel unqualified to assess the technical skills accurately and thus hesitate to proceed with candidates whose resumes don’t exactly match the job description. And in software engineering, where the nuances of different programming languages, tech-stacks, libraries, tools and frameworks overlap, this only makes the situation worse when technical recruiter is clueless about the role they are recruiting for.

Without even a rudimentary technical understanding from the recruiter about the role, recruiters will be unable to accurately assess a candidate’s suitability.

2. Misalignment with the Role’s Requirements

Sometimes, recruiters ghost candidates when they realize there’s a mismatch between the candidate’s skills and the job’s requirements.

When recruiters discover a mismatch but aren’t confident enough to explain it, they may choose to ghost instead of having a difficult conversation. This leaves candidates feeling ignored and frustrated, worsening the ghosting issue in tech hiring.

This misalignment often rooted from recruiters’ insufficient grasp of the technical specifics needed for the role.

3. Awaiting Feedback from Technical Teams

Tech recruiters often depend on feedback from technical teams to proceed with candidates.

If this feedback is delayed or not communicated well — they end up ghosting candidates. This breakdown in the feedback loop reflects a larger issue of communication between non-technical recruiters and technical teams​​. Imagine software engineer constantly having to provide feedback to recruiters after each interview, only to have it ignored, simply because they wouldn’t even understand the nuances of the feedback.

This can quickly become overwhelming, especially when software developers have other critical tasks.

Steps To Take To Address The Issues

Here are few things you could do to address the issues.

For example, it’s best to involve at least 1 software engineer in the entire recruiting process.

By having a software engineer work closely with recruiters — crafting job descriptions, reviewing resumes, and pre-screening candidates — you save time for the rest of the engineering team and streamline the interview process.

Allocating at least 1 exclusive technical resource also helps to address and establish certain bottlenecks and set specific criteria. For instance, here are few:

  • Better Picking of Candidates: A software engineer knows what skills are really needed. They can help pick the right people for technical roles.
  • Clearer Job descriptions: Software engineers know exactly what the job needs. They can help write job descriptions that say just what’s needed.
  • Less Mix-Ups: A software engineer can tell if someone’s skills match the job better than a regular recruiter. This means fewer mistakes in picking the right person.
  • Smarter Interviews: With a software engineer helping, interviews can be about the right stuff. They know the best questions to ask.
  • Quick Decisions: A software engineer can quickly say if someone did good in an interview. This means the company can decide faster.
  • Checking If They Fit the Team: Software engineers can also see if someone will work well with the rest of the team, not just if they know their tech-stack.
  • Makes the Company Look Good: Having a software engineer involved in recruiting shows that the company really cares about getting good technical people.
  • Better Teams in the End: Because the software engineer knows the team and the work, they can help find people who will really fit in and do a great job

TL;DR & Takeaways:

In short, by just involving at least 1 technical resource in your hiring process, you get better hires, and a happier engineering team. Not to mention, the significant decrease in the ghosting game that has become so prevalent in tech recruiting.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Technical Know-How Matters: When recruiters don’t have the technical background, they will ghost candidates. Understanding the job’s technical side helps in picking the right people.
  2. Positive Company Image: Having a software engineer in recruiting shows candidates that the company is serious about tech and values their skills.
  3. Faster, Smarter Hiring: With a software engineer’s help, interviews focus on what matters, and decisions happen quicker.
  4. Better Matches: A software engineer in the recruiting team means fewer mix-ups. They know who’s really right for the job.
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