How to deal with ghosting in the interview process

Hi! I know in today's landscape, HR professionals and recruiters are very busy and inundated constantly by applicants but I'm looking for advice on how best to handle lack of communication further along in the recruitment process. For example, I had a few rounds of very successful interviews for a Director-level role in late November through mid-December for a company I was internally referred for and everything felt great. They let me know that I was the first interview and that they likely wouldn't make their decision before the holiday. I sent my post-interview thank you within 24 hours etc and followed up in early January with both the person I would be reporting to and my HR contact reiterating my interest and asking if there were any updates and have not had a response. Is it worth another follow up requesting an update again or do I leave it and move on? I was exceptionally excited about this particular role and the team in question, so it feels akin to being ghosted. Is it worth interpreting the lack of communication as a red flag or is this standard practice if they have gone with a different candidate? Thanks in advance for your perspective!

Hey Simone, I can empathize with your story, it’s a pretty cruddy feeling to have had reasonable amount of communication and then *crickets*, especially for a role you’re excited about. I’m feeling very similar about a role I quite unexpectedly began communicating with a company about late last year, and they stated they needed to move quickly, but four weeks later there doesn’t seem to have been any movement. There are a myriad of reasons why a HR person might not be responding - their workload, they’re waiting to hear back from the hiring manager and have no news from the last update, they’re away from work so there’s a bottleneck, etc.If you’re not in a situation where you’re in a rush to get into another job, and you’re still excited about the one you’ve interviewed for, perhaps set a hard date to move on if you don’t hear back, leave things be and wait it out. If you need to move quickly, then perhaps it’s time to move on?Ultimately, I think it’s based on your interactions with the company. If it’s crossing your mind that this interaction with lack of communication is a red flag for you and/or that you’ve been ghosted because they went with another candidate, you owe it to yourself to trust your instincts and do what you feel is right for you.
Hey!Ghosting is the worst, I hate it when firms do it and think at times, it can be a red flag too. I'd suggest you follow up again (what's the worse that can happen at this point) but don't get too excited about the role, as disappointing as it can be, because you might not hear from them. I'd encourage you continue pushing your efforts, to get interviews at other places! Good luck, you got this!
It sounds like you are fairly senior in your field — have you considered engaging a headhunter? I know it won't help with this specific role, but they can actually be very helpful in figuring out and communicating what's going on behind the scenes.
I agree, this may be the missing piece! I'd welcome any recommendations on people you've had success with or trust! I work in entertainment marketing, strategy and tech. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate your insight.