Over the years, we’ve had the ‘Great Recession’, the ‘Great Depression’ and now we are living through what has been dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’, where employees are re-evaluating their working life and as a result either quitting their jobs or quitting work entirely.

This, tied in with the fact that recruitment is extremely difficult, is making running a business particularly challenging. What’s more is that just when you think you have found a candidate who would be perfect for your role, we then add into the mix the concept of “ghosting”.

Also used in the online dating world, the term ghosting is now trending in talent acquisition. Have you ever had a candidate genuinely excited at the prospect of joining your Company, but then without any explanation they stop responding to your emails? Perhaps they stopped answering your calls? Or maybe, they didn’t show up to a scheduled interview or even their first day, and have completely dropped off the radar? Then I’m afraid to say, you are being ghosted.

According to a report by Indeed in February 2021, an astonishing 76% reported that they’ve been ghosted in the past year and 57% believe it’s more common than ever before. Sadly, it appears that these no-shows and disappearing acts are a regular occurrence in today’s job market. So, why is this happening?

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Why are your applicants ghosting you?

There are various reasons why applicants start ghosting, however, it is also worth noting that candidates simply have more choices today with multiple job offers on the table. They may also feel if they are not being kept informed, they would rather go silent than have an awkward conversation where they are going to be delivered bad news.

Other reasons can include receiving a better job offer in the meantime (whether that be from their current employer or another recruiter), being dissatisfied with the salary offer or benefits package or they decided the job wasn’t right for them.

Whatever the reason, when you’re on the receiving end, the lack of communication can be frustrating for employers as it causes a significant amount of lost time. Sometimes, ghosting occurs which is out of your control, however, there are ways to reduce your chances of being ghosted.

What can you do to prevent ghosting by candidates?

Transparent, timely and consistent communication

Timely and consistent communication is key. Make sure that the candidate is kept informed of where they are in the recruitment process and what the next stages are. Make sure you respond to their email queries or voicemails within a timely manner.

This will help the candidate feel more involved in the process, build loyalty and trust, and decrease the chance of them losing interest in you. Having a positive candidate experience can help to build a strong employer brand, meaning even if they are not successful, the candidate would have no hesitation in applying for your other vacancies or telling their friends about your company.

Also being transparent about your company culture, the pay range and benefits, sets expectations right from the start, leaving no room for assumptions or disappointment. This can be risky as you may find that this honesty can deter candidates from progressing in the process, yet being transparent upfront will help to build relationships to make sure your candidate sticks with you.

Remember, starting a new role can be daunting and it is often after the part between accepting a job and starting the new role where doubts about whether they have made the right decision start to creep in. People can and do change their minds so maintaining regular contact, checking in, inviting them to meet members of the team, sending them branded merchandise and keeping them engaged until they start their new role is pivotal.

Keep your recruitment process concise

Having a recruitment process that is too lengthy or has too many stages can turn candidates off, they lose interest or have an opportunity to find a job with another employer in the meantime.

Recruitment can be time-consuming and it is important you do your due diligence with a robust selection method, however, you do need to be prepared to act quickly to avoid losing good candidates. Don’t delay in interviewing candidates and making an offer to that top candidate.

Build relationships with your candidates

First impressions count, so it is important to build relationships with your candidates from the start of the application process. Be approachable and encourage your candidates to be open and honest with you. Regularly ask your candidate questions like “how are you finding the process?”, “is there anything extra I can do in order for you to understand our business and our culture?”. That way, you’ll be able to respond to any queries they have instead of wondering why they disappeared.

Most of all, treat your candidates with the respect you would like from them – don’t ghost if you don’t want to be ghosted! Ultimately, timely and respectful communication makes a more enjoyable application experience for both candidates and recruiters.

If you need any support or help on the topic discussed in this article, please contact a member of our team who will be happy to help.