Rarely has there been more competition for top talent.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. is the lowest it's been in decades, at 3.7 percent. Many employers have struggled to fill jobs, and there has even been news of candidates "ghosting" employers – dropping out of the interview process without notice or any further communication — when they find a better job.
But the more common situation is that applicants are ghosted by companies. They apply for a job and never hear anything in response, not even a rejection. In the U.S., companies are generally not legally obligated to deliver bad news to job candidates, so many don't.
They also don't provide feedback, because it could open the company up to a legal risk if it shows that they decided against a candidate for discriminatory reasons protected by law such as race, gender or disability.
Hiring can be a lengthy process, and rejecting 99 candidates is much more work than accepting one. But a consistently poor hiring process that leaves applicants hanging can cause companies to lose out on the best talent and even damage perception of their brand.
Here's what companies can do differently to keep applicants in the loop, and how job seekers can know that it's time to cut their losses.