April 22, 2022

HackerNews Hot Takes With Wes Part 3: Engineering Managers Ghost Candidates

By Casey Higgins

Welcome to Hot Takes With Wes, a video series where Woven Founder/CEO Wes Winham Winler schools us on all things recruiting, assessing, and hiring software engineers.

Today’s Hot Take: Engineering managers ghost candidates during the interview process.

Why? Let’s hear Wes’ response to several HackerNews posts where candidates voice their frustration and wonder what happened.

Full Transcript:

I just ghosted 10 great engineers. I’m a hiring manager.

I’m busy, I mean to respond. I talked to 10 people for an engineering leadership role, and I know I owe them a thoughtful email about how great they were, and maybe what the gaps were so they can improve and get their next role.

I just feel really bad. Every time I sit down I find something else to do. And it’s no excuse, it is crappy. I owe them that. But I still haven’t done it. It’s been six weeks.

That’s one of the reasons at Woven, we built a feature to ensure that every candidate — every developer that goes through — gets the best feedback they ever got from an interview.

They get code review level feedback, they get feedback on their system design, on their troubleshooting, and it just happens — you don’t have to worry about it. You configure it once, you set your preferences, and you ensure that every candidate is going to have a great experience — an even better experience than they’re having at other places.

So if you’re like me, and your reach for a better candidate experience sometimes exceeds your grasp, hopefully you can try something like Woven that guarantees that every candidate has a great experience. And hopefully we’ll be coming to a role near you soon.

Key Takeaways

Engineering managers aren’t jerks. They’re just busy. But that’s no excuse for ghosting candidates.

What we’ve learned is that candidates crave feedback. Even senior engineers who have been through the job search process several times want to know what they could have done better. And the candidates you reject — which is statistically 9 out of 10 — still deserve a thoughtful email about their performance.

Here’s what one candidate said after taking a Woven assessment:

“Thank you so much for sending this feedback report on the simulation I took. This is incredibly helpful and highlights areas of improvement that I will surely focus on moving forward… This was easily and by far the VERY best technical assessment/interview/simulation that I have ever participated in.”

If you want to attract and retain top engineering talent in today’s competitive market, you have to offer a great candidate experience.

Finding a tool that can automate the process can help.


Woven’s human-structured evaluation allows us to do what no other technical assessment does: send personal feedback to every candidate who applies. We’ll help you save engineering time and deliver an amazing candidate experience — it’s a win-win.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Hot Take. Be sure to check back soon for Part 4!

Want higher offer/accept rates? Start a free trial with Woven and see why our evaluation process is the most candidate friendly.