Don't let long periods of time pass without any communication between you and an applicant, says Ashley Pelliccione, the senior director of talent acquisition at the HR software company Namely. Institute a policy for communicating with candidates. Namely, for instance, sends updates every 48 hours to candidates who make it to the phone-screen or onsite interview stages.

Another way to stay in touch is through automated email responses to candidates who submit applications or inquire about their status in the process, says Juliana Barela, vice president and general manager of recruitment process outsourcing at consulting firm Korn Ferry. Automated responses acknowledge the candidate, verify that application materials were received, and look as if they were sent by a human, Barela adds.

Finally, always take the step of formally rejecting candidates you don't plan on hiring and telling them why they weren't the right fit, says Paul Wolfe, the head of human resources at the employment search engine Indeed. Companies that articulate this message and avoid so-called ghosting increase their chances of getting referrals or hearing from the candidate for other positions in the future, Wolfe adds.